260.854.01 | AY 2013-2014 - 2nd Term | 1 Credit(s)
W 1:30:00 PM
  • Contact Information
    Jay Bream
    Fidel Zavala
    Alan Scott
    Sabra Klein
  • Course Learning Objectives

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

    • Critically evaluate instructor selected scientific literature in microbial immunity, vaccine immunology, and regulation of the immune response with a primary focus on contemporary literature
    • Assess a wide variety of experimental methods and approaches used to measure cellular and humoral immunity to microbial challenge
    • Develop skills and strategies to critically evaluate the primary literature in terms of hypothesis testing, the suitability of experimental approach, and conclusions as they relate to established immunological paradigms
    • Develop student oral presentation skills
  • Course Description

    Reviews and discusses, in depth, current publications in the field of microbial immunity, with emphasis on the areas of innate/adaptive immunity, pathogenesis, and vaccination.

    Additional Faculty Notes:

     Current Literature in Microbial Immunity (260.854)

    Course Guidelines and Syllabus
    Location: Wolfe W4007
    Time: Wednesdays 1:30 PM - 2:50 PM
    • Current Literature in Microbial Immunity is designed for Master’s level students to provide a detailed introduction to current principles and outstanding questions in how microbial pathogens interface with the vertebrate immune system. This will be accomplished through student-lead discussions of review articles from the current literature. The student(s) discussion leader will summarize the key points presented in a current review article that discusses the principles and issues associated with immunity to a selected pathogen. The review article will be assigned.    
    • Be prepared for class! It is expected that everyone in the class will have read the review paper thoroughly and reviewed the experimental results prior to the class period so that all students can participate in meaningful discussions.     


    • Student discussion leaders are strongly encouraged to meet with the faculty to discuss the assigned review well in advance to discuss the background (including why this is an important topic for public health), primary concepts and themes of the subject matter that should be covered, and to obtain suggestions for questions that can be used to stimulate discussion.


    • Grades are based on the level of participation in class discussions (when not the discussion leader) and the student’s presentation.

    Course evaluation criteria:
    Student Discussion Leader:
    1.     Preparedness for class (including pre-meeting with faculty mentor).
    2.     Provides a clear introduction of the background and importance of the topic (5-10 min) that covers key biological, clinical and epidemiological information on the review topic.
    3.     Presents a clear outline of the major points regarding the immunobiology of the host-pathogen interface (15-20 minutes).  
    4.     Provides a clear and concise overview of key findings that have driven the field (3-5 minutes). Overall, experimental methods generally are not the emphasis of discussion but rather the importance of the findings.
    5.     Presents a concise description of the limitations that may be limiting progress and areas of future research that are needed to address unanswered questions in the field (10 minutes).
    6.     Facilitates and leads discussion by posing questions regarding key concepts. 
    7.     Demonstrates a solid grasp of the material; can usually answer questions knowledgeably.
    8.     Prepared thought/discussion questions after the data have been presented, including questions about the implications of the findings being reported, additional limitations holding the field back, future directions, and outstanding questions.
    9.     Grades will be determined based on the above criteria for individual presentations as well as participation in discussions when the student is the presenter.
    Student participants:
    1.     Reads the review article thoroughly in advance and demonstrates this by both by answering questions posed by the discussion leader as well as by asking questions about details that you either found interesting or did not understand.
    2.  Attends all classes and actively participates in each class session.


  • Intended Audience
    PhD, ScM, MHS and MPH (ID concentration programs) students whose primary affiliation is MMI
  • Methods of Assessment
    Students will be evaluated on their preparation and presentation of reading assignments and participation in discussion. Every student will participate in both a presentation and class discussions.

    Additional Faculty Notes:

    See course guidelines

  • Prerequisites
    Principles of Immunology I
  • Required Text(s)

    Additional Faculty Notes:


  • 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

    Current Topics in Microbial Immunity

    Course No. PH.260.854 (1 credit hour)

    Term 2 (October 28 – December 18, 2013)

    Wednesdays 1:30 – 2:50pm, Room W4007 SPH

    Day                       Date                                           Facutly - Topic

    Wed                 October 30               Jay Bream – Bacterial subversion of immunity

    Wed                 November 6             Sabra Klein – T cell tolerance in pregnancy

    Wed                 November 13           Al Scott – Helminth Immunity

    Wed                 November 20           Sabra Klein – Microbiota and inflammation

    Wed                 November 27           Al Scott – Microbiome and Asthma

    Wed                 December 4             Fidel Zavala – Neutrophils in infection

    Wed                 December 11           Fidel Zavala – H. pylori pathogenesis and potential

    Wed                 December 18           Jay Bream – T follicular cells and disease

    Students will be assigned to individual class sessions.  In some cases, two students will be assigned to one class (depending on the number of students enrolled in the course) and will present the paper together.




  • Contact Information(from old syllabus)

    Jay Bream
    Office: E5624
    Tel: 410-502-2511

  • 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