Required and Offered Courses:
Advanced Immunology (MICR 6408)


Dates: Tuesday and Thursdays
Times: 9-11 AM
Room: Levin Hall 3.320
Course Number: MICR 6408

Course Directors

Gregg N. Milligan, PhD
Ext. 78145
Rm. 3.322 MMNP

Yingzi Cong, PhD
Ext. 24902
Rm. 4.142C MRB

Course Coordinator:

Aneth Zertuche
Ext. 22322
Rm. 4.102 MRB

Textbook and Reading Materials

There is no required textbook for this course. For each lecture, instructors will provide background reading, usually in the form of review articles and a current research manuscript from the immunology literature. These materials will be sent to students a week in advance of the lecture. Students should come to class prepared to discuss relevant materials.

Course Description:
View on GSBS website

Advanced Immunology is designed to provide the basic scientist with an enhanced understanding of immunological concepts and techniques applicable to research in immunology and related fields. Specifically, the goal is to familiarize students with the current immunological concepts, paradigms, and techniques that are applicable not only to research in immunology but are also increasingly necessary for an enhanced understanding of all biological disciplines.

The course will be offered in the spring semester and taught by a number of expert lecturers. Advanced Immunology will be taught in lecture format (2 hr/lecture; 2 lectures/week), which will include classical didactic experiences, instructor-guided discussions of relevant scientific literature, and student-led discussions of cutting-edge topics in immunology. Additionally, students will give oral presentations, approximately 30 minutes in length, on selected topics in Immunology. A list of topics appropriate for presentations will be provided by the Course Directors at the beginning of the course.

Course Objectives

The Advanced Immunology course is intended for graduate-level students to build upon a basic level of understanding of the immune system. The topics that will be covered include: innate and acquired immune responses; cellular and molecular mechanisms of immunity; antigen processing and presentation; tissue-specific immune responses; immune-mediated pathologies; and vaccination. The primary objective is to provide the basic scientist with an enhanced understanding of immunological concepts that are relevant to a wide range of biological fields. Additional exercises that are structured to promote self-learning and critical evaluation skills include:

  1. Student-lead mini-lectures on immunological tools and techniques will enhance student understanding of basic concepts in immunology, the experimental approaches that can be taken to address immunological problems, and an improved ability to understand and critically evaluate immunological literature.
  2. Instructor-guided, student-lead discussions of relevant scientific literature will promote the students’ ability to critically evaluate scientific literature and their ability to design meaningful experiments.
  3. Student familiarity with the immunological literature and self-learning are enhanced through inclusion of student-selected and student-lead discussions of “cutting edge” topics in immunology and through a more extended and thorough oral presentation of selected topics in Immunology. Student presentation skills and critical evaluation skills are enhanced in these exercises through evaluations provided by both course directors and student peers.


Three exams will be given over the duration of the course on the dates indicated on the course schedule. All exams will be of the essay type and will be taken in class. The exams will comprise 75% of the final grade (25% each). Oral presentations and class participation will comprise 25% of the final grade.

Make-up tests will only be allowed in emergency situations which would preclude the student from physically being present. Emergency situations are defined as incapacitating illnesses or family emergencies. There will be no deviation from this policy.

Any appeals for grading changes must be submitted to the lecturers responsible for the writing and grading of the questions within 5 business days after the return of the graded examination to the student. The lecturers must report changes in grades to course co-Directors.

Final course letter grades will be determined using the following grading scale:

  • 90-100 = A
  • 80-89 = B
  • 70-79 = C
  • 69 or below = F

Course Evaluation

*Students are strongly encouraged to complete an overall course evaluation form at the end of the term. The constructive comments and critiques will remain anonymous and will be released to the course directors after all the grades are finalized.

Professional Etiquette

Courtesy should be extended to both the lecturers and students to ensure an optimal learning atmosphere. Please come to class prepared, ready to participate, and on time. Students will not be allowed to enter the room once the lecture has begun. To ensure an environment for constructive academic dialogue, the use of electronic devices (e.g. laptops, cell phones, MP3 players, etc.) is not allowed during class time. Please acquire permission from each lecturer prior to electronic recording of lectures.

Excused Absences

The GSBS policy states that students taking a full-term graduate course offering are allowed up to three (3) excused absences from any required activity and is determined at the discretion of the course directors. If a student is absent during a session that contributes to the final grade (for example, during a quiz), it will be up to the Course Directors to determine if the student can perform a 'make-up' activity, provided that the reason for the absence is a legitimate one. Once a student exceeds and misses more than allowed for the length of the course, the course directors must notify the GSBS Student Affairs Dean, who will then contact the appropriate Program Director.