IMM 301

IMM 301 Immunology Discussion Course

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Course Directors: Shiv Pillai and Galit Alter

Immunology 301 is much more than a course, it is a year-long compilation of seminars, discussions, and lunches designed to give students exposure to research topics in immunology.

Wednesday's Schedule

12:30 - 2 PM: Class discussion lead by a different member of the IMM faculty every week, centered around the seminar speaker's research

2 - 3 PM: Zoom meet and greet with invited speaker and G1 class

4 - 5 PM: Immunology Seminar

Course Requirements

Fall Semester

Prior to each Wednesday afternoon seminar, the speaker provides a set of 2-3 references. Students are expected to read all the references and the faculty leading the discussion class will select one of the articles to be written up and reviewed by the students and discussed in detail in class.

Points for students to address in their 1-2 page review of the article:

  • Do the experiments described in this paper test a hypothesis (if so, how would this hypothesis be phrased), or could this work be classified as descriptive?
  • What is the state of this particular field at the moment of publication (i.e. what is the background of the work more generally?)
  • What is the methodology employed to address the questions asked, and is this methodology appropriate? Are there alternative methods that would be equally useful?
  • Do the data presented warrant the conclusions made by the authors?
  • Are there additional experiments/controls that would have strengthened the authors' conclusions?
  • What would you consider a logical extension of the work presented?
  • On the whole, would you consider this paper a significant contribution to the field?


Spring Semester

The goal of the discussion class in the second half of the year is to focus on the scientific significance of references in addition to their technical merits.  Prior to each Wednesday afternoon seminar, the speaker provides their CV with a complete or selected bibliography.  Students are expected to:


a) review the body of work completed by the speaker

b) look at the speaker's work as a whole and write a specific aims page on what you think they should focus on next

c) demonstrate an understanding of how their research advances existing thought on the subject

d) Two students will be required to write a Specific Aims page of a grant for future studies based on the speaker’s work. This will be presented to the class and discussed with the other students and the Faculty leader