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Instructor Class Description

Time Schedule:

Pamela J. Fink
IMMUN 537
Seattle Campus

Immunological Methods

Introduces whole animal, cellular, biochemical, and molecular techniques used in immunological research. Discusses strengths and limitations of each technique and emphasizes caveats in interpreting the resulting data. Offered: A.

Class description

The goal of this course is to introduce graduate students to experimental strategies and concepts for immunological research. We will examine this topic from both the perspective of cellular and molecular immunology research approaches, also highlighting the applicability of these strategies to biomedical research in general. Students will learn how to critically evaluate experiments and the thought process behind selecting the appropriate experimental strategies for a research question. We will then apply this knowledge to topics covering cellular immunology and the regulation of epigenetic and gene expression events in the immune system. The format of the course will be a highly interactive lecture that promotes an in depth discussion of the topics, while taking into account the current level of understanding for each student.

Student learning goals

The goal of this course is to provide a basic framework for conducting and interpreting cellular and molecular immunology research and this framework will also be applicable to biomedical research in general.

Real world examples will be used to examine experimental strategies, with an emphasis placed on developing an understanding that all approaches have advantages and disadvantages that need to be taken into account when interpreting data.

Emphasis will be placed on developing a practical understanding of these strategies.

General method of instruction

Lecture and discussion.

Recommended preparation

Graduate standing in Immunology.

Class assignments and grading

Basic reviews and primary research papers will be assigned throughout the course to provide background for the students.

Grading will be based upon two main criteria: 1. class participation (40%) and 2. take home assignments (60%).

Grading will be based upon two main criteria. The first component will be in class participation (40%). This component is weighted heavily to emphasize student participation in the lectures to create a learning environment that promotes gaining a comprehensive understanding of research strategies beyond traditional textbook type examples. The class lectures will be designed to encourage participation by all students and will provide ample opportunities for each student. Participation includes attendance, answering questions presented by the instructor, and asking questions about the material being presented. The second component for grading will be take home assignments (60%). This will consist of a graded assignment covering both the cellular and molecular techniques and strategies components of the course. Emphasis will be placed on evaluating examples of the experimental approaches discussed during the course.


The information above is intended to be helpful in choosing courses. Because the instructor may further develop his/her plans for this course, its characteristics are subject to change without notice. In most cases, the official course syllabus will be distributed on the first day of class.
Last Update by Peggy A. Mccune
Date: 07/02/2012