'Immunity' is intended to provide an introduction to the basics of immunology and its associated jargon. The goal is to provide interested, non-specializing graduate students the level of comprehension necessary to read the primary immunology literature with some comfort. This course is not intended to constitute part of a core curriculum for specializing graduate students - those intending to pursue a career in the immunological sciences are encouraged to take the Department of Immunology core curriculum instead.
Given the short time-span of a conjoint module, we will not be able to cover all the key ideas in basic immunology, but we will hit most of the major highlights at some level of detail. The perspective will be more molecular in nature. I've limited the class registration to 10 students as it seems unworkable to have more than 7 papers presented thoroughly, especially considering the background reading necessary to understand them.
Since the class is often oversubscribed, please consider carefully if this course is right for you. The alternative is to add more papers to the syllabus, but I think that is not likely to be a popular idea. Also, if you are currently wait-listed, come to the first sessions; several students often drop the course after the first meeting.
Course Structure and Grades
The structure of the course will be:
readings from the assigned text (Abbas, Lichtman & Pillai, Cellular and Molecular Immunology, 6th edition) and 7 papers from the primary literature;
individual, in-class presentations of the 7 assigned papers;
participation in in-class discussions of the assigned readings.
Final grades will be based on in-class participation, the paper presentations and (for those not giving the actual presentation) written, one-page maximum, replies to study guide questions for each paper. One would expect a good presentation to, of course, address all of the study questions. Given the arcane nature of modern immunology, good-faith effort, active participation and enthusiasm will count as much as getting everything right in the final grade. The in-class presentations of the papers are to be a maximum of 45 minutes long, and are expected to cover whatever background material and experimental details outside of the actual paper necessary to fully present the results and conclusions; however, please try to not echo figures or information straight from AL&P, as everyone should have, at the very least, already read this. The final three papers, which are more complicated, will each be split between two students for presentations. There will be no formal final exam, paper or project, unless there's a groundswell of demand for such.