The University of Southampton
Courses

BIOL6038 Immunology

Module Overview

This module covers the major topics in cellular and molecular immunology, including antigen recognition, antigen processing and presentation to B and T cells, the molecular events leading to the generation of antibody and T cell receptor diversity, antibody effector functions, the role of CD4 and CD8 T cell subsets and NK cells in immune responses, self-tolerance and autoimmunity, the inflammatory response and the role of immunity in protection against pathogens and cancer. The module will allow core immunological principles to be utilised in developing research proposals.

Aims and Objectives

Module Aims

The aims of the module are to provide an understanding of core immunology and the immunological basis of some common diseases. • We will cover basic cellular and molecular aspects of immunology including innate immunity, antibodies, T cells, B cells, complement, antigen presentation and the cytokine network. • We will examine how dysregulated immune reactions cause autoimmune diseases, transplant rejection and neuropathology. • We will study the dynamic nature of the immune system and the need for extensive redundancy in the face of pressure from external infectious diseases, and malignancies and autoimmune diseases which arise internally. • This module is of interest for those wishing to pursue a career in biomedical research, either in academia or industry • The module will also engage with current research in immunology and translational immunology and develop skills to progress current research

Learning Outcomes

Learning Outcomes

Having successfully completed this module you will be able to:

  • Know the cellular ontogeny and organ involvement in immunity
  • Explain the principles of self-tolerance and autoimmunity
  • Know how the immune system can fight infections and cancer, including examples of immunotherapy to harness host immunity
  • Know how to engage with current research in immunology and translational immunology
  • Know the difference between innate and adaptive immunity
  • Understand what antigens are and how they are presented.
  • Understand the role of NK cells in innate and adaptive immunity
  • Know the maturation steps of T and B cells and how they work
  • Understand how cytotoxic T cells kill and the role of helper T cells
  • Understand cytokine biology and how the cytokine network interferes with the immune system
  • Understand the mechanisms involved in control of immune responses
  • Describe the cellular and molecular basis of the inflammatory response

Syllabus

The module will cover the major topics in cellular and molecular immunology, including antigen recognition, antigen processing and presentation to B and T cells, the molecular events leading to the generation of antibody and T cell receptor diversity, antibody effector functions, the role of CD4 and CD8 T cell subsets and NK cells in immune responses, self-tolerance and autoimmunity, the inflammatory response and the role of immunity in protection against pathogens and cancer.

Special Features

We may organise Tutorial 1 in the last week of the 1st term as an informal quiz, using questions from material covered to that point in the course. Students will select attendance at a front-line research seminar being presented in Cancer Sciences Unit or Clinical & Experimental Sciences Unit OR examine current research being undertaken by course tutors. They will then prepare a written research proposal for research in the chosen field according to a given set of guidelines, mimicking the process of seeking external Studentship funding for PhD studies

Learning and Teaching

Teaching and learning methods

Teaching will be a mixture of formal lectures (11 sessions) and small group tutorials (1-2 sessions). Independent study is also expected as part of this module. Consultation with course tutors to develop research proposals is encouraged.

TypeHours
Independent Study126
Lecture24
Total study time150

Assessment

Summative

MethodPercentage contribution
Research proposal 25%
Written exam  (2 hours) 75%

Referral

MethodPercentage contribution
Research proposal 25%
Written exam  (2 hours) 75%

Linked modules

Prerequisites: BIOL2002 or BIOL2014 or MEDI6221

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