260.611.01 | AY 2013-2014 - 1st Term | 4 Credit(s)
TTh 8:30:00 AM
  • Contact Information
    Alan Scott
    Dan Lagasse
    Matt Craig
  • Course Learning Objectives

    Upon successfully completing this course, students will be able to:

    • Define the tissue, cellular and molecular components that constitute the vertebrate innate and adaptive immune system
    • Explain the generation of lymphocyte antigen receptors and the molecular and cellular basis for diversity and specificity of receptors on immune cells
    • Define the basis for antigen presentation to T cells
    • Define the basis for recognition of self and non-self recognition
    • Define the development and survival of lymphocytes
    • Explain the major signaling pathways used by immune cells
    • Define T cell-mediated and B cell-mediated immunity
  • Course Description
    Introduces biological concepts of immunology; molecular nature of antigens; molecular basis for antibody and T-cell receptor structure and diversity; complement; hypersensitivity reactions; cellular basis for the immune response; cell-mediated immunity; adhesion molecules and coreceptors cell activation; cytokines and other soluble mediators; major histocompatibility complex (MHC) antigens; tumor immunology; transplantation immunobiology; mechanisms of resistance to microorganisms; tolerance; autoimmunity; and immuno-deficiency.

    Additional Faculty Notes:

     Overview of the course's purpose.

    Principles of Immunology is designed to provide a detailed and integrated overview of the molecular and cellular basis for the induction and regulation of the innate and adaptive immune responses.  While all perspectives of the immune response are covered, the course material is presented with an emphasis on the role the immune system plays in host-pathogen interactions.  The course content is designed to be optimally presented over two terms (16 weeks) with the first term (Principles of Immunology I; 260.611) emphasizing molecular and cellular principles and the second term (Principles of Immunology II; 260.612) applying these principles to understanding the pathogenesis of infectious and immunological diseases.  In cases where Principles of Immunology is not a program requirement, students have the option of taking only the first term course (260.611). 

  • Intended Audience

    Additional Faculty Notes:
    Students and Fellows of the SPH and SOM who wish to understand the molecular and cellular basis for immunity in vertebrates

  • Methods of Assessment
    Student evaluation based on mid-term and final exams.
  • Prerequisites
    A course in advanced biology

    Additional Faculty Notes:

     Prerequisites to the course.

    Although Principles of Immunology is an introductory course, the course content requires that students have gained a strong background in biochemistry, molecular biology and cell biology.  Background in these disciplines is important because it serves as the conceptual bases for understanding the language of immunology as well as providing the appropriate context to appreciate the nature of the molecular and cellular interaction networks that regulate the immune response.  Traditionally, students with a weak background in biochemistry/molecular biology/cell biology often have problems with the volume and pace of the course.

    If you feel that you may not have an adequate academic background but your goal is to obtain an introduction to the language and concepts of immunology, the second quarter course Immunology, Infection and Disease (260.631) may be appropriate for your needs.  

  • Required Text(s)

    Additional Faculty Notes:

    Immunobiology. 8th Ed Murphy 2012 Garland Publishing, New York, NY. pp 868.  ISBN 978-0-8153-4243-4

    [NOTE:  While the 7th edition is a suitable guide, in the 8th edition, the chapters on innate immunity, signal stransduction, b cells, mucosal immunity have been significanty expanded.]

  • Course Schedule

    Please see the course Session for a full list of dates and items for this course.

  • Academic Ethics Code

    Students enrolled in the Bloomberg School of Public Health of The Johns Hopkins University assume an obligation to conduct themselves in a manner appropriate to the University's mission as an institution of higher education. A student is obligated to refrain from acts which he or she knows, or under the circumstances has reason to know, impair the academic integrity of the University. Violations of academic integrity include, but are not limited to: cheating; plagiarism; knowingly furnishing false information to any agent of the University for inclusion in the academic record; violation of the rights and welfare of animal or human subjects in research; and misconduct as a member of either School or University committees or recognized groups or organizations.

  • Course topics
    o Tissues and Cells of the Immune Response o Innate Immune Responses o Immunoglobulin - Structure, Function, Antigen Recognition o T Cell Receptor - Structure, Function, Antigen Recognition o Molecular Basis of Antibody and TCR Diversity o Major Histocompatibility Antigens o Antigen Processing/Presentation o Cytokines and Chemokines o Transmembrane Signaling o B Cells - Development and Selection o T Cells - Development and Selection o T Cell-Mediated Immunity o B Cell-Mediated Immunity o Regulation of Adaptive Immune Responses
  • Course Organization

     Conceptual Structure and Organization of the Course. 

    Two of the major challenges of teaching immunology are that (1) immunologists communicate using a very specific and complicated language and (2) the immune response is an interacting system where the nature and magnitude of change in any one component influences, and is influenced by, multiple additional elements of the response.  These two factors not only make it difficult to identify an uncomplicated entry point to begin discussions; it influences, especially during the first few lectures, how the course material is presented.  The initial lectures will focus on building up the student’s vocabulary and cataloging the major receptor systems used by immune cells.  During these presentations, cellular elements will be introduced in a way that will facilitate discussions during subsequent lectures on the cell biology of receptors and how receptors orchestrate the activation and regulation of the immune response.  The overall goal will be to present a comprehensive and integrated account of the fundamental aspects of the immune system in a manner that will facilitate understanding the cellular and molecular basis for host-pathogen interactions and the pathogenesis of immunological disease (covered in Principles of Immunology II; 260.612).

  • Student's Responsibilities

    Students' responsibilities in the learning process

    As a graduate student you now play a dominant role in your education.  An important outcome of graduate education is the development of the capacity to efficiently self educate. It is the student’s responsibility to spend the time and effort necessary to gain an understanding of the immune system. Students are expected to read assignments prior to the lecture period so that they become familiar with the terms to be used in the lecture and arrive with an entry-level understanding of each topic. This may also require students to seek out additional reading and/or assistance for areas that prove difficult.  Seeking assistance includes asking questions in class, contacting the instructor or TA for suggestions on additional material, tutoring, working in small peer groups, etc.    

  • Lecture Format

    Lecture Format

    Principles of Immunology is primarily a lecture based course.  Each 8:30 to 10:20 period is structured into two, 45-minute lectures with a 10-minute break in between. Each lecture will underscore the basic tenets in the readings and use this material to expand and update understanding specific areas and explore cutting edge issues.  Discussion and questions are encouraged.

    Lecture material will be posted for down load on CoursePlus as a PDF.  BE GREEN.  If you feel compelled to print out the lecture material, please print multiple slides per page to conserve paper. 

    In addition, each session will be recorded and an mp3 file will be posted on the CoursePlus site for that lecture.  Typically there is a 2-3 day delay before the mp3 file is posted to allow for editing.  

  • Textbook and Readings

     Textbook and Readings

    The recommended text is Janway’s Immunobiology. 8th Ed.  Murphy. 2012 Garland Publishing, New York, NY. pp 868. ISBN 978-0-8153-4243-4.   This text is highly readable, well-organized and reasonably priced.  The text is considered a supplement to the lectures.  Although the arrangement of chapters in Janway’s Immunobiology largely follows the lecture material, some of the assigned readings will be taken out of order.  Information in the textbook that is not also covered in the lectures will not be covered on the exams.  Students are expected to read the assigned chapters prior to the corresponding lecture.

    In some cases, students will be provided with recent review article that covers a certain cutting edge issue that is not covered by the textbook.  Again, students will only be responsible for that content of the review that is also covered in lecture.  As with the textbook readings, students are expected to have read the review prior to the lecture period.

    While the 7th edition of Janway’s Immunobiology is the recommended text, students may find other textbooks more to their liking.  Listed below are a number of excellent alternatives in terms of content and presentation style (but with a wide range of prices).

    ·       Fundamental Immunology.  7th ed.  W.E. Paul Ed.  2013.  Lippincott Williams & Wilkins.  1283 pages. ISBN: 13: 9781451117837 (~$200.00)

    ·       Cellular and Molecular Immunology, Updated 7th ed. Abbas, Lichtman and Pillai.  2011.  W.B. Saunders, Philadelphia, PA. 566p. ISBN-10: 978-1437715286 ($80.00)

    ·       Roitt's Essential Immunology, 11th Edition, 2006. Peter Delves, Seamus Matrin, Dennis Burton, Ivan Roitt.  496 pages. Wiley-Blackwell ISBN: 978-1-4051-3603-7 ($79.00).

    ·       The Immune System.  3rd ed. 2009.  Peter Parham.  Taylor and Francis, Inc. 608 pages. ISBN-13: 9780815341468 ($95.00).

    ·       Immunity. The Immune Response in Infectious and Inflammatory Disease. 1st ed.  2007. Anthony DeFranco, Richard Locksley, and Miranda Robertson.  Oxford University Press.  350 p. ISBN-13: 978-0878931798

  • Exams


    The final grade will be based on the performance of two exams.  The first, midterm exam will be on September 23, 2010 and the second, final exam will be administered on October 19. 2010.  The exams will be taken during one of the class periods with appropriate provisions before or after the period so that each student has as much time as reasonably needed to finish the exam.  Midterm and final exams from the three previous years will be posed on CoursePlus to provide a guide for the format of the exams and the structure of the questions.

    Generally, the exams will consist of 6-8 short answer problems that will be based on the materials covered in the lectures and in the readings.  The student will be required to answer 5-6 of the questions.  Exams will be cumulative. 

    The results of the first exam will be reported as a percentage score with no grade.  Students will be provided with the mean and range of the midterm exam scores so that they can assess their relative performance.

    The final grade will be based on the overall performance on the midterm and final exams and take into consideration factors such as improved performance between the midterm and the final, distribution of the points over the answers, clear and organized articulation of concepts, etc. 

  • Course Policies

    Course Policies.

    Academic Ethics – All students are expected to strictly adhere to the JHU Academic Ethics Code  As stated in the Code, "violations of academic integrity include, but are not limited to: cheating; plagiarism; knowingly furnishing false information to any agent of the University for inclusion in the academic record; . . ."

    Class Attendance – The attendance at each lecture is highly encouraged.  However, if a student is not able to attend a lecture, it is the student’s responsibility to find out what was covered and collect any supplemental materials.  While there is no requirement to report that you have missed a lecture, it is recommended that the student contact the PI or TA if it becomes clear that they will miss multiple lectures due to illness, unexpected travel, etc. 

    Exams – The expectation is that all students will take the midterm and final exams during the designated times on Sept 23 and Oct 19, respectively.  However, it is appreciated that things happen and you may not be able to take the exam during the designated time.  If the exam conflicts with planned events, you have the obligation to let the instructor know as soon as possible so alternate arrangements can be made for you take the exam. 

    If you are ill on the day of the exam, let the instructor or TA know by email or by phone.  It is unacceptable to just not show for the exam.  It is the student’s responsibility to contact the instructor to make arrangements to take the exam as soon as possible.

    Extra Credit – There is no extra credit option for this course.

    Classroom Behavior – Food and drink are not allowed in Sheldon Hall.  Please silence your cell phones and refrain from talking, texting, tweeting, etc. during class.  Also, please refrain from checking and answering your email during class.

    Students with special needs - Students who need an accommodation for any type of physical or learning disability, should set up a time to meet with the instructor to discuss necessary actions.

    Important Drop Date – Wednesday, September 8, 2010, is the last day to drop Principles of Immunology I.

    Estimate of workload – It is anticipated that most students will to spend approximately two hours of work outside the class for every hour of lecture.  

  • Course Objectives(from old syllabus)

     Learning Objectives. 

    Upon completion of Principles of Immunology I, students are expected to have gained the ability to understand and explain the following elements regarding the generation, function and regulation of the immune system:

    ·       Define the cellular and molecular components that constitute the vertebrate innate and adaptive immune system.

    ·       Explain the generation, structure and function of innate and antigen-specific receptors and the molecular and cellular basis for diversity and specificity of receptors on immune cells.

    ·       Define the basis for antigen processing and presentation to T cells and B cells

    ·       Define the basis for self and non-self recognition.

    ·       Define the development, activation and function of the major lymphocyte subsets. 

    ·       Explain the major signaling pathways used by immune cells.

    ·       Define the elements of T cell-mediated and B cell-mediated immunity.

  • Disability Support Services
    If you are a student with a documented disability who requires an academic accommodation, please contact the Office of Student Life Services at 410-955-3034 or via email at