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Committee on Immunology

This is an archived copy of the 2012-13 catalog. To access the most recent version of the catalog, please visit


  • Alexander Chervonsky, Pathology


  • Albert Bendelac, Pathology
  • Eugene Chang, Medicine
  • Anita Chong, Surgery
  • Marcus Clark, Medicine
  • Aaron Dinner, Chemistry
  • Yang Xin Fu, Pathology
  • Thomas Gajewski, Pathology and Medicine
  • Tatyana Golovkina, Microbiology
  • Bana Jabri, Medicine
  • Vinay Kumar, Pathology
  • Rima McLeod, Surgery
  • Cathryn Nagler, Pathology
  • Anthony Reder, Neurology
  • Raymond Roos, Neurology
  • Hans Schreiber, Pathology
  • Ursula B. Storb, Molecular Genetics and Cell Biology
  • Jerrold Turner, Pathology
  • Martin Weigert, Pathology

Associate Professors

  • Maria Luisa Alegre, Medicine
  • Yoav Gilad, Human Genetics
  • Barbara Kee, Pathology
  • Kay Macleod, Ben May Department for Cancer Research
  • Avertano Noronha, Neurology
  • Glenn Randall, Microbiology
  • Anne I. Sperling, Medicine
  • Patrick Wilson, Medicine

Assistant Professors

  • Erin Adams, Biochemistry and Molecular Biology
  • David Boone, Medicine
  • Kenneth Cohen, Medicine
  • Jill De Jong, Pediatrics
  • Fotini Gounari, Medicine
  • Haochu Huang, Medicine
  • Justin Kline, Medicine
  • Peter Savage, Pathology
  • Rebecca Shilling, Medicine
  • Dorothy Sipkins, Medicine
  • Jian Zhang, Medicine

The Committee on Immunology offers a graduate program of study leading to the Doctor of Philosophy degree in Immunology. The committee is dedicated to the open exchange of ideas among scholars of all fields, a commitment enhanced by an organizational structure that completely integrates the basic biological sciences with the clinical sciences. This multidisciplinary and integrated approach corresponds well with the reality of the new biology, where molecular and structural techniques are applied widely and with great success to clinical problems.

The Committee on Immunology is a member of the Biomedical Sciences Cluster, which also includes graduate programs from the Committee on Cancer Biology, Committee on Microbiology, the Committee on Molecular Metabolism and Nutrition, and the Department of Pathology’s Molecular Pathogenesis and Molecular Medicine Graduate Program. The five academic units share several common courses, a seminar series and additional common events for students and faculty within the cluster. The goal of the cluster system is to encourage interdisciplinary interactions among both trainees and faculty, and to allow students flexibility in designing their particular course of study.

In addition to formal course work, the Committee on Immunology sponsors a weekly seminar series, an annual retreat where students and faculty present their research, and several focused group meetings.


Students interested in obtaining the Ph.D. in Immunology should submit an application to the Biological Sciences Division by December 1st of each year; indicate their cluster of interest as Biomedical Sciences and select Immunology as their proposed degree program.


The Degree of Doctor of Philosophy

Ph.D. requirements include:

  • Completion of 9 course credits consisting of basic science, immunology and elective courses.
  • A preliminary examination in the form of an oral defense.
  • A dissertation based on original research.
  • A final thesis examination.


Immunology Courses

IMMU 30010. Immunopathology. 100 Units.

Five examples of diseases are selected each year among the following categories: autoimmune diseases, inflammatory bowel diseases, infection immunity, immunodeficiencies and gene therapy, and transplantation and tumor immunology. Each disease is studied in depth with general lectures that include, where applicable, histological analysis of diseased tissue samples and discussions of primary research papers on experimental disease models. Special emphasis is placed on understanding immunopathology within the framework of general immunological concepts and on experimental approaches to the study of immunopathological models.

Instructor(s): B. Jabri     Terms Offered: Winter
Prerequisite(s): Consent of instructor
Equivalent Course(s): BIOS 25258,PATH 30010

IMMU 30266. Molecular Immunology, 100, Units.

This discussion-oriented course examines the molecular principles of immune recognition. We explore the roles of protein modification, protein-protein and protein-DNA interactions in the discrimination between self and non-self, and study the molecular fundamentals of cell stimulation and signaling. Primary literature focused on molecular research of the immune system is integrated with lectures on commonly used biochemical, structural and immunological techniques used in the research papers examined. ,This course is available every year and is also considered a basic biochemistry course. Molecular Immunology examines the structural principles of immune recognition by antigen receptors of the innate and adaptive immune systems, the discrimination between self and non-self and the molecular fundamentals of cell stimulation and signaling. Primary literature is integrated with lectures on commonly used biochemical, structural and immunological techniques.  ,

Instructor(s): E. Adams,     Terms Offered: Spring,
Prerequisite(s): BIOS 20200 or 25256, or consent of instructor,
Equivalent Course(s): ,BCMB 30266,BIOS 25266

IMMU 31200. Host Pathogen Interactions. 100 Units.

This course explores the basic principles of host defense against pathogens, including evolutionary aspects of innate and adaptive immunity and immune evasion strategies. Specific examples of viral and bacterial interactions with their hosts are studied in depth. A review of immunological mechanisms involved in specific cases is incorporated in the course.

Instructor(s): A. Chervonsky     Terms Offered: Autumn
Equivalent Course(s): MICR 31200

IMMU 31500. Advanced Immunology 1. 100 Units.

This course explores the basic principles of the immune system, including tolerance, the development and differentiation of lymphocyte subsets, the regulation of the class of immune responses, memory, cell homing and migration, cell-cell interactions, antigen presentation and recognition.

Instructor(s): A. Bendelac     Terms Offered: Winter

IMMU 32000. Advanced Immunology 2. 100 Units.

This class will explore the molecular and biochemical mechanisms by which lymphocytes develop and are activated in response to antigen. This will include the signal transduction pathways and transcriptional networks involved in these processes, as well as the molecular mechanisms underlying the generation of receptor diversity.

Instructor(s): B. Kee     Terms Offered: Spring

IMMU 35500. Selected Topics in Immunology. 100 Units.

This course involves an in depth analysis of a particular topic in Immunology, which will vary from year to year. Emphasis will be placed on development of critical thought in evaluation of scientific literature and the course may conclude with the writing of grant proposals and their review in a student-led study section. Recent courses have included: (1) Animal models and clinical issues in transplantation, airway inflammation and cancer.

Instructor(s): M. Alegre, A. Sperling     Terms Offered: Spring

IMMU 37000. Mucosal Immunology. 100 Units.

This course addresses how the gut associated lymphoid tissue distinguishes innocuous dietary antigens and commensal bacteria from pathogenic microbes and mounts an appropriate response. The realization that we live in a dynamic relationship with the trillions of bacteria that form the commensal microbiome has added additional complexity to our understanding of this conundrum. In this course a topic will be introduced with a lecture and review article for the first class of each week. In the second class each week students will lead the discussion of the primary articles assigned. The course will be graded on class participation and a final essay-based exam. Prerequisites: An introductory course in immunology is required. Although intended primarily for graduate students in the Immunology, Microbiology, MPMM and CMMN programs, undergraduates may enroll with the permission of the instructor.

Instructor(s): C. Nagler     Terms Offered: Spring

IMMU 40200. Experimental Immunology. 050 Units.

 This course centers around the Immunology Journal Club and the Immunology Seminar Series and has two purposes. The first is to provide background knowledge for the seminar given each week by an outside speaker or a member of the Committee on Immunology. The second is to allow the students an opportunity to develop skills in analyzing the literature with students at the same stage of training. First and second year students are required to participate in this course. The two-year course counts towards one credit.

Instructor(s): Staff     Terms Offered: Autumn, Winter, Spring

IMMU 40300. Systems Analysis of Proteins and Post-Translational Modifications. 100 Units.

Proteins play a major role in all cellular processes and their modification represents a major vehicle for expanding the genetic code of the cellular proteome (the inventory of all protein species in a cell). Given the crucial roles in the major cellular pathways and diseases such as cancer, proteins and PTM studies are a critical aspect of most biological projects. This course will cover concepts (including biochemistry, proteomics/systems biology, molecular biology, and bioinformatics), and practical techniques for identifying and quantifying proteins and PTMs. Topics include, but are not limited to quantification of protein interactions, abundances, modifications including phosphorylation, ubiquitination, and lysine acetylation, and subsequent discussion of biochemical and functional roles of proteins and PTMs in regulating biological networks.

Instructor(s): R. Jones, Y. Zhao, P. Nash     Terms Offered: Spring
Prerequisite(s): BIOS 20200
Equivalent Course(s): BIOS 21346,CABI 40300,MOMN 40300

IMMU 47300. Genomics and Systems Biology. 100 Units.

This lecture course explores the technologies that enable high-throughput collection of genomic-scale data, including sequencing, genotyping, gene expression profiling, assays of copy number variation, protein expression and protein-protein interaction. We also cover study design and statistical analysis of large data sets, as well as how data from different sources can be used to understand regulatory networks (i.e., systems). Statistical tools introduced include linear models, likelihood-based inference, supervised and unsupervised learning techniques, methods for assessing quality of data, hidden Markov models, and controlling for false discovery rates in large data sets. Readings are drawn from the primary literature.

Instructor(s): Y. Gilad, D. Nicolae     Terms Offered: Spring
Prerequisite(s): STAT 23400 or Statistics in the Biomath Sequence
Equivalent Course(s): BIOS 28407,BPHS 47300,CABI 47300,HGEN 47300