Course Listing

Courses Offered by Immunology

For complete course listings, including syllabi, and other courses available to Immunology Students click here.

Immunology 201. Advanced Topics in Immunology
Thorsten Mempel, Shiv Pillai and members of the Department 
Half course Tu., Th., 1:30 – 3:30 PM

This course provides an intensive and in-depth examination of a selection of fundamental concepts in immunology. It takes advantage of the unique expertise of members of our Immunology faculty to illustrate how these concepts have been established and continue to be developed based on seminal work in the field including contributions from their own laboratories.

Note: Intended for students who have had prior exposure to immunology on the undergraduate level. In the absence of such exposure, students must obtain the permission of the Course Director. Offered jointly with the Medical School as IM 702.0.

Immunology 202. Advanced Principles of Immunology
Filip Swirski
Half course Tu., Th., 1:30-4:00pm

IMM202 builds on IMM201 and explores fundamental principles of immunology in the context of immune and inflammatory diseases. Through a series of lectures and discussion, students will survey a broad range of diseases in which the immune system is essential. Topics will include not only diseases that mobilize classical immunity but also conditions to which we now know the immune systems contribute. Students will use oral and written exercises to learn how to evaluate and synthesize major concepts and tools germane to immunology’s relationship to bioscience.

Prerequisite: Immunology 201 or its equivalent.

Immunology 203. Advances in Immunology
Daniel Lingwood, Stefani Spranger, Shiv Pillai, Bruce Walker, Facundo Batista, Michael Birnbaum, Galit Alter, Brian Bryson, Alex Balazs, Sebastian Lourido, Doug Kwon, Ulrich von Andrian
Half course T, 2:30-3:30 pm Th., 3 - 4 pm

Semester long course, intended for graduate students at Harvard and MIT, jointly taught by Harvard and MIT faculty members at the Ragon Institute of MGH, MIT, and Harvard.

Immunology 204. Critical Reading for Immunology
Duane Wesemann
Half course Th., 10am-1pm

Original research articles from fields including immunology, biochemistry, genetics, and cell and developmental biology will be critically analyzed in an intensive small group format. Grading will be based on class participation and oral presentations.

Required for first-year immunology students; open to second-year students. No auditors allowed.

Immunology 301. Immunology Seminar Discussion Course
Shiv Pillai and Ruaidhri Jackson
Half course (fall and spring terms). Wed., 12 - 1 PM lunch, 2 - 3:30 PM discussion session

Gives students exposure to research topics in immunology. Students prepare for the weekly seminar through readings and discussion with seminar speakers. These discussions are facilitated by members of the Committee on Immunology.

Note: Required for, and limited to, first-year Immunology graduate students.

Immunology 301qc. Autoimmunity
Kai Wucherpfennig and Francisco Quintana
Quarter course . M., 4–6.

This course will focus on basic immunological mechanisms of autoimmune diseases, with an emphasis on recent advances in the field. At each session, we will focus on a particular topic and discuss three important publications.

Immunology 302qc. Clinical Sessions in Immunology
Rachael Clark
Quarter Course

Lectures by physician scientists and clinical exposure to patients with immunologically mediated diseases. The goal is to foster translational research into human immunologic disease. Formulate grant proposals that address critical questions for understanding or treatment of human immunologic disease.
Note: Limited to Immunology students. Hours for clinical visits to be arranged.

Immunology 305qc. Neuro-immunology in development, regeneration and disease
Isaac Chiu, Michael Carroll, and Beth Stevens
Quarter course Th., 4–6:30pm.

It is increasingly clear that the nervous system and immune system share parallel molecular pathways, and communication between neurons and immune cells play significant roles in homeostasis and disease. This course will investigate current topics in neuro-immunology: CNS development, chronic pain, neuro-degeneration, aging, axon regeneration, auto-immunity and infection.  We will focus our discussions on molecular mechanisms shared by the immune and nervous systems and the molecular cross-talk between these two systems.

Each class will cover a specific topic in neuro-immunology.  Students should be prepared to lead discussions on pre-selected papers for each session.

Immunology 307qc. Cancer Immunology
Kai W. Wucherpfennig, Catherine Wu, Stephanie Dougan Philip Kranzusch and Judith Agudo

Quarter course M., 4–6.

There have been many exciting recent developments in the cancer immunology field, and multiple therapeutic approaches have shown efficacy against diverse types of cancer. This course will emphasize new mechanistic insights, in particular on the following topics: Mechanisms of spontaneous protective anti-tumor immunity; Key effector cell populations of anti-tumor immunity; Inflammation and tumor microenvironment; Immunosuppressive mechanisms in tumor immunity; Targeting of inhibitory receptors; Cancer vaccines; New approaches for delivery of immunotherapies into tumors.

IMMUN 312QC Applied Statistics and High Throughput Data Analysis for Immunologists
Meromit Singer, Alos Diallo
Quarter Course
Mon, 2:00p - 3:30p workshops
Fri, 2:00p - 3:30p lectures

This course will provide a friendly, fun, and exciting entry point for students who wish to build confidence in data analysis and the application of statistical tools and packages. Lecture topics will include fundamentals of statistical analysis (e.g., hypothesis testing, inferring the mean, experiment design), modeling, and classification.

IMMUN 317QC Strategies to Achieve Durable Anti-Microbial Host Defense
Wayne Marasco, Quan Zhu
Quarter Course
Tue, 10:00a - 12:00p

Achieving long term immunity in humans to emerging viral pathogens is an important component of global health for which there are broad socioeconomic and geopolitical implications. Yet this effort has been thwarted because of genetic variability of circulating strains and ease of undergoing antibody neutralization escape. In addition, zoonotic transfer of viruses to humans can lead to emergence of new viruses into the human population that can lead to pandemics in the absence of anti-viral herd immunity. This course will primarily focus on broadly neutralizing and protective anti-viral antibody responses and how critical epitope selection on viral glycoproteins that can help to achieve long-term immunity. We will examine through classical and contemporary readings several principles that can be used to design vaccines and anti-viral antibodies to target the virus’s Achilles heel. Critical teachings in this class will include studying how immunoediting of viruses can drive neutralization escape and zoonotic transfer across species. We will discuss the molecular characteristics of bone marrow derived long-lived plasma cells. We will also discuss how to interrogate the broadly neutralizing antibody response to natural infection and vaccines using modern molecular techniques such as NGS and Ab RepSeq. There is also much effort in the field to engineer broadly neutralizing antibodies for passive immunotherapy as prophylactic, preemptive and therapeutic agents. These treatments include therapeutic antibody gene transfer and bi-and trispecific anti-viral monoclonal antibodies. Numerous viruses will be discussed including HIV and emerging influenza, coronaviruses, flaviviruses, alpha viruses, Ebola and others. We will touch on intracellular microbial pathogens. The course will be structured with 20-30 min didactic lectures by Dr. Marasco and other lecturers followed by discussion of 3-5 published papers on the assigned topic of the day.

Immunology 328r. Introduction to Research
Shiv Pillai and faculty members

Three required laboratory rotations in immunology each lasting 10-12 weeks per laboratory. To be arranged by students with investigators affiliated with the immunology program.