AISC608.0

Immunology

Credits: 4 CREDITS (2P+2B)
Sites: HMS and Clinical Sites
Director(s): Michael Dougan, Stephanie Dougan
Offered: February
Location: HMS - Harvard Medical School (0)
Open to Exclerks: No (HMS only)
Description: Summary: The basic science of immunology has resulted in an impressive array of new therapies over the past decade that have dramatically changed clinical outcomes in a wide range of diseases. Using four fundamental concepts as a framework (B cell development and antibody function, antigen processing and presentation, activation and regulation of adaptive immunity, and cell-cell communication), this course will examine the immunologic foundations underpinning the rapid expansion of immune-modulating therapeutics in clinical use. We will illustrate these concepts using specific diseases, including primary immunodeficiency, allergy, rheumatoid arthritis, inflammatory bowel disease, and cancer, as well as through integrated immunology-focused clinical experiences across a range of specialties. Clinical experiences and classroom discussions will enable students to identify and explore questions that could lead to broadening of the repertoire of immune therapies in the future. Format of classroom-based sessions: This course largely comprises case-based collaborative and problem-based learning models, along with short class presentations and group literature discussions. Each class opens with a discussion of "homework" questions designed to provide a foundation for the subsequent class material. Students will be expected to complete substantial preparatory reading, with nearly all of a graduate level immunology textbook (Janeway's Immunobiology 9th ed.) over the four weeks, along with approximately one research article and one review for each in-class session. Format of clinical/field experiences: Clinic sessions will include a mixture of outpatient clinics, visiting clinical laboratory facilities, and inpatient consult experiences. Students will be assigned to one of four sites (BIDMC, BWH, CHB, or MGH) with each site focused on a subset of specific diseases, including inflammatory bowel disease, rheumatology, allergic diseases, immunodeficiency, and immuno-oncology. Students' preferences will be taken into account in hospital assignments. Anticipated schedule: All AISCs are full time courses. Students are expected to devote at least 40 hours per week to scheduled sessions and preparatory work. This course will meet for four-hour in-class sessions three afternoons per week (Monday, Wednesday and Friday; Tuesday will replace Monday if there is a holiday). Students will be giving presentations on the final two Fridays of the course and attendance on those dates is required. The clinical component, held predominantly on Tuesdays and Thursdays, will include two half-day sessions and a one-hour weekly site meeting. Clinic schedules will not be fixed week to week, requiring flexibility on students' part, in order to prioritize the quality of the clinical experience.