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Courses in Immunology & Microbiology

BBS 755: Infection and Immune Response (Course Director, Jon Goguen)

Infectious disease is among the strongest agents of natural selection, and adaptations constituting the armament of pathogens and the defense of the host involve many of the most fascinating mechanisms in biology. This course presents a modern view of the basic principles of immunology, bacterial pathogenesis, and virology, providing background for advanced course work in microbiology, microbial pathogenesis and immunology. We will focus on three themes; (1) basic properties of microbes and, the mammalian host defenses that have evolved to respond to them, (2) the interplay - in both dynamic and evolutionary sense - between host defenses and microbial virulence, and (3) the mechanisms of pathogenesis during infection. Comparative clinical and epidemiological pictures of selected diseases will be presented, and will serve as a framework for development of key molecular, cellular, and physiological concepts. Students taking this course will be eligible to continue advanced studies in the Immunology and Microbiology program. Spring. 3 credits. Prerequisites: BBS601 Foundations Course.

BBS 821 Advanced Molecular & Cellular Immunology (Course Director, Joonsoo Kang)

Some of the most active areas of current immunology are investigated through the reading and discussion of research papers.  Students further devbelope the ability to pose questions and design experiments to answer them through writing a research proposal.  Topics to be covered include:  regulation of lineage specification/committment and antigen receptor gene recombination; mechanisms of immunological tolerance and lymphocyte activation, cellular transactions and their consequences (e.g. APC:T cell); and immune responses in infectious diseases. Fall. 3 credits.  Prerequisites:  Foundations Course and BBS-755.

BBS 822 Advanced Animal Virology (Course Director, Abraham Brass)

This is a paper reading-based course discussing in depth new findings in animal virology, including viral biochemistry and molecular biology, genetics, oncogenesis, and pathogenesis. The course will be team-taught by UMass Chan faculty. The course will begin with introductory lectures to provide background for more advanced readings. Students will then cover different specific areas chosen by the professors in detail with paper readings. At the end of the course the students will write a research proposal and present it to the class and faculty. Fall. 3 credits. Prerequisite: Core Course and BBS 755.

BBS 823 Advanced Bacterial Pathogenesis (Course Director, Jon Goguen)

Spanning the eukaryotic and prokaryotic worlds and involving an array of disciplines -- from genetics, cell biology, and immunology, through epidemiology and evolutionary biology -- bacterial pathogenesis is a fascinating and dynamic area of study. In particular, exploring the intricate mechanisms that pathogenic bacteria have evolved for manipulating mammalian systems at the cellular and molecular levels is contributing much to our knowledge of cell biology and immune system function. Advances in microbial genomics and genomic level genetic approaches, coupled with excellent small animal infection models and sophisticated mouse genetics, hold the promise of continued rapid progress. This course, grounded in current literature, will introduce students to selected topics at the forefront of research in bacterial pathogenesis. Specific topics to be investigated will be based on interests of the class. Students will present reviews of selected research articles and develop and present brief research proposals addressing issues related to the articles under review. In addition to introducing the modern literature and experimental approaches to bacterial pathogenesis research, the format of this course is intended to assist students with preparation for qualifying examinations. The participating faculty will introduce topics, provide background information, and meet individually with students to provide constructive criticism of In-class presentations. The majority of class time will be devoted to open discussion. Fall. 2 credits. Prerequisites: Foundations Course, BBS 755 or special permission from the instructor.

BBS 833 Graduate Student Seminar In Immunology & Microbiology (Course Director, Eric Huseby)

Advanced IMP graduate students present seminars on their thesis research. E. Huseby. Fall. 1 credit. Prerequisites: One of the following advanced courses: BBS 821, BBS 822 or BBS 823.

BBS 834 lmmunobiology & Microbiology Seminar & Discussion (Course Director, Francis Chan)

Leading researchers from outside the institution present a weekly seminar on a basic or clinical immunology and microbiology topic. Prior to the seminar, students read papers suggested by the seminar speaker and discuss the papers in class. Following the seminar, graduate students meet with the speaker for a discussion of the formal seminar. This course surveys the most important areas of basic and clinical immunology or microbiology including, but not limited to, antigen presentation; gene rearrangements; and expression of the genes for antigen receptors, immune tolerance, cytokines, immune cell development, immunodeficiency diseases, autoimmune diseases, human immune system malignancies and immune response to infectious agents such as viruses, parasites and bacteria. This course must be taken twice. Best taken in second and third year. Spring. 2 credits. Prerequisite: One of the following advanced courses: BBS 821, BBS 822 or BBS 823.

BBS 846 Immunology/Virology/Bacteriology Tutorial (this course is student-led and informal)

Recommended for students between first and second year. Students in the class will read one primary and one review paper the week before each class. The topic, paper, and review will be chosen by two student mentors. In a brief presentation, the mentors describe the current state of the field and summarize the review. The class is split into two groups, pro and con. Each group presents arguments for their opinion. The purpose is to have more discussion of positives and negatives of technique, systems and conclusions while broadening knowledge of Immunology and Microbiology. This course is student led. Prerequisites: Foundations Course and BBS 755.

MS850 Laboratory Rotation in Immunology, Virology or Bacteriology

 Laboratory rotations are defined periods of research experience under the direction of a faculty member. They are intended to familiarize the student with concepts and techniques in several areas of research and to assist the student in evaluating research laboratories and projects that might be developed into a dissertation project. Student participate in an ongoing research project, gain familiarity with concepts underlying the research, acquire a working knowledge of techniques used in the research, and write a report and present an oral summary of the results of the research. IV Faculty. 3·4 credits each.

MS 860 Qualifying Examination

N. Silverman, T. Morrison, B. McCormick Fall, Spring, and Summer. Variable credits up to 4.


900 Thesis Research in Immunology or Microbiology

IMP Faculty. Variable credits.