Research Collaborate Lab Hall

Center for Immunology

Research Education

Scientific Retreats

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2020

The Center for Immunology is pleased to announce the Annual Immunology Scientific Retreat will be held March 12th on the Medical College of Wisconsin Campus.  The Retreat format includes talks by principal investigators followed by a poster session in the Alumni Center. We welcome campus-wide submissions and strongly encourage graduate students, research scientists, and postdoctoral fellows to submit an abstract and prepare a poster. The abstract deadline is January 30th.

Additional details will be forthcoming.

2019

In March 2019, Center for Immunology Faculty members gathered at Miller Park to discuss the strategic vision for the Center. Members were able to discuss the resources that will be important for the Center.

2018

In October 2018, Center for Immunology Faculty members gathered at the Versiti Blood Research Institute to discuss the strategic vision for the Center. Members were able to discuss the resources that will be important for the Center.

Download the Conference Program (PDF)

Other Resources

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Graduate Immunology Course

25-230 Current Topics in Microbiology and Immunology – 3 credits
This advanced course consists of introductory lectures on a selected topic followed by in-depth discussions of original research articles on topics such as bacterial invasion, virulence factors, immune evasion, virus-host interactions, T-cell functions, and viral regulatory proteins.

25-234 Cellular and Molecular Immunology – 3 credits
This course is an introduction to the experimental basis of immunology through readings from texts and current immunological journals. Topics covered include the cellular basis of the immune response, antigens, antibodies, and molecular basis for generation of immunologic diversity, and regulation of the immune response.

25-259 Mucosal Immunity – 1 credit
Gastrointestinal diseases are among the most common and least understood human health problems. Intestinal epithelial cells act as a dynamic interface between the external and internal environments and are polarized into an apical and basolateral domain. The primary functions of these cells are to maintain barrier integrity via tight-junctions with neighboring cells and function in absorption and secretion. Epithelial cell polarity is reflected by distinct protein localization. Those in the apical compartment are specialized for nutrient absorption and ion secretion. Basolateral localized proteins are specialized for maintenance of the electrochemical gradient and adherence to neighboring cells and the subjacent extracellular matrix. Intestinal epithelial cells are key participants in the mucosal immune response and maintain chronic physiologic inflammation characteristic of the intestinal mucosa. In response to pathogen infection or inflammatory stimuli, epithelial cells upregulate the expression of proinflammatory cytokines, antimicrobial peptides and chemokines and are a likely cause of pathologic inflammation in numerous gastrointestinal disorders. The primary objective for this course is to provide advanced information and conceptual knowledge regarding the mucosal immune system in health and disease.

25-262 Tumor Immunology – 1 credit
Tumor Immunology is an upper-level, 1-credit hour M&I course that will focus on the interactions of tumor cells with various components of the immune system. These interactions are complex, and immune-based strategies for treating cancer have had limited success in the clinic. This course will examine the following: (a) How the immune recognizes tumor cells as “foreign”, (b) Immune strategies for targeting cancer, (c) Barriers to achieving effective tumor immunity, (d) Monitoring the immune response to cancer, and (e) Use of animal models to study the interactions between tumor cells and the immune system. The goals of the course will be to gain an in-depth understanding of the complex interactions between tumor cells and the immune system, and to learn how animal models can be used to better understand these interactions. While the course will be heavily weighted towards the discussion of important papers in the field of Tumor Immunology, it will also involve didactic lectures. Students will be evaluated through attendance and participation (30% of final grade) and a final exam (70% of final grade). The course will meet twice a week for a total of 6 weeks.

25-263 Signaling in the Immune – 1 credit
Signaling in the Immune System is an advanced topic immunology course that focuses on different aspects of cell signaling and how these shape the immune response. Students will learn, in detail, how different immune cell types utilize distinct cell-surface or intracellular receptors to regulate their activity or differentiation state. The course will be divided into formal lectures by instructors introducing different topics, followed by a group discussion of scientific papers in that field.

25-264 Developmental Immunology – 1 credit
Upper-level 1 credit hour M&I course that focuses on the key molecular mechanisms regulating myeloid and lymphocyte maturation and adaptive immunity. Students will gain a detailed understanding of T and B cell development and antigen receptor repertoire selection.

Key processes covered during formal lectures:

  1. Commitment of progenitor cells to the myeloid and lymphocyte lineages
  2. Rearrangement of antigen receptor genes
  3. Selection events that shape the antigen receptor repertoire
  4. Proliferation of progenitors
  5. Differentiation into functionally and phenotypically distinct lymphocyte subpopulations.

Key themes linking the material:

  1. Transcription factors in immunology: shared factors – different roles
  2. Cytokines and growth factors drive functional diversification
  3. Lineage “commitment” preserves lineage flexibility
  4. Distinctions between steady state homeostasis and immune responses
  5. Distinctions between mice and humans

In addition to formal lectures by the instructors, the course will feature group discussions of seminal papers that have shaped current thinking in the field. Students will be evaluated by their participation during group discussion and by a single take-home final examination. The course will meet twice weekly for 6 weeks.

25-265 Immunological Tolerance – 1 credit
Immunological tolerance is defined as unresponsiveness to an antigen that is induced by previous exposure to that antigen. Tolerance to self-antigens, also called self-tolerance, is a fundamental property of a healthy immune system that is maintained by multiple overlapping mechanisms. Failure of self-tolerance results in autoimmune diseases that can affect every organ system of the human body. Conversely, the induction of self-tolerance may also be exploited for therapeutic purposes. In this mini-course, we will consider the general features and mechanisms of self-tolerance in T cells and B cells. These mechanisms include (1) anergy, (2) deletion by apoptosis, and (3) suppression by regulatory T cells. In addition, this course will consider select models of autoimmunity that have proven to be effective tools in our effort to understand tolerance as a complex biological process. The mechanisms of immunological tolerance constitute essential knowledge for all students training in Immunology.

In addition to formal lectures by the instructors, the course will feature group discussions of seminal papers that have shaped current thinking in the field. Students will be evaluated by their participation during group discussion and by a single take-home final examination. The course will meet twice weekly for 6 weeks.

25-266 Clinical Immunology – 1 credit
Clinical Immunology is an upper-level, 1-credit hour M&I course that will provide advanced information and conceptual knowledge regarding the human immune system in health and disease. The information presented in this course will: provide the student with a knowledge of general and specific tests to evaluate specific components of human immune function, lead to a fundamental understanding of diseases caused by primary or secondary abnormalities in immune function, provide a basic understanding of histocompatibility antigens in human disease and their role in bone marrow transplantation, provide knowledge of autoimmunity (systemic autoimmunity, autoimmune diseases of skin and the gastrointestinal tract), provide a fundamental knowledge of atopic diseases. We will also explore present and future therapies for disorders of immune function.

25-280 Classical Papers in Microbiology and Immunology – 1 credit
Classical Papers in Microbiology and Immunology (M&I) is a course suitable for all students in the Microbiology and Immunology graduate program. Through this course, instructors and students will review, discuss, and critique notable papers from the last century that have made seminal contributions to the fields of molecular biology, bacteriology, virology, immunology, biochemistry, and/or genetics. The impact of these contributions in the present day will also be discussed. In addition to instructor-identified papers, students will also choose and formally present a recent paper for discussion that they feel has made a substantive contribution to the biomedical sciences. Papers to be discussed are expected to vary between semesters depending on topic of discussion and instructor(s) facilitating the discussion. Ultimately, this course is expected to provide students with an expanded knowledge base of seminal papers in the broad fields of microbiology and immunology.

25-298 Immunology Journal Club – 1 credit
The purpose of this course is to learn, evaluate and present cutting edge immunological research topics from leading journals to gain knowledge of new immunological findings and to stay current with emerging technologies. Students will attend and present in a weekly independently organized immunology journal club. During the semester, students will be required to attend the journal club and write a short paragraph after each presentation regarding what they learned. This should include: The knowledge gap being addressed, the hypothesis being tested, strengths and weaknesses of the study and resulting conclusions. If a journal club is not scheduled for a particular week, the students will be required to attend an independently organized immunology work-in-progress series. For the students’ presentations, students will select a research paper of immunological focus from a list of pre-approved journals. While the student can choose any topic of interest, the selection will require approval from the course director. The presentation will consist of a PowerPoint-style presentation including the following information: Why the student selected the article, the knowledge gap being addressed, background information supporting the hypothesis, the hypothesis being tested, discussion of the approaches and experimental data, strengths and weaknesses of the study and conclusions including potential future directions. Ultimately, this course is expected to provide students with an expanded knowledge base of current topics in the broad field of immunology.