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 Cellular and Molecular Immunology  posted by  duggu   on 11/23/2007  Add Courseware to favorites Add To Favorites  
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Pillai, Shiv, HST.176 Cellular and Molecular Immunology, Fall 2005. (Massachusetts Institute of Technology: MIT OpenCourseWare), (Accessed 09 Jul, 2010). License: Creative Commons BY-NC-SA

During apoptosis, white blood cells consume cell debris.

When a cell undergoes apoptosis, white blood cells called macrophages consume cell debris. (Image from U.S. National Library of Medicine.)

Course Highlights

This course features downloadable lecture notes and exams.

Course Description

This course covers cells and tissues of the immune system, lymphocyte development, the structure and function of antigen receptors, the cell biology of antigen processing and presentation, including molecular structure and assembly of MHC molecules, the biology of cytokines, leukocyte-endothelial interactions, and the pathogenesis of immunologically mediated diseases. The course is structured as a series of lectures and tutorials in which clinical cases are discussed with faculty tutors.




Although this is an introductory immunology course, we will deal with the subject in quite some detail which will build as the course progresses. Immunological aspects of disease will be covered in the classroom as well as in case-based tutorial sessions, and in evening clinical discussions at selected teaching hospitals.


Apart from the lectures there will be seven tutorial sessions at which attendance is required. At these sessions immunologically relevant clinical cases will be discussed. The goal will be to use these sessions to review and revise basic immunological issues as well as to get a feel for disease processes. Please see the section in the camel regarding the clinical curriculum.

There will be five tutorial groups each of which will be led by a faculty tutor. Students and individual tutors will remain in the same tutorial group for the duration of the course.


A "basic" textbook and a clinical textbook are recommended. The recommended books are:

Abbas, Abul K., and Andrew Lichtman. Cellular and Molecular Immunology. 6th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Saunders, 2005. ISBN: 1416023895.

Rosen, Fred, and Raif Geha. Case Studies in Immunology: A Clinical Companion. 4th ed. New York, NY: Garland Pub., 2004. ISBN: 0815341024. (Paperback)

Reading of textbook chapters before the class is strongly recommended. For many of the lectures the contents of the slides are summarized in the course camel. The current edition of the following book may also be used:

Janeway, Charles A., et al. Immunobiology: The Immune System in Health and Disease. New York, NY: Garland Science, 2005. ISBN: 0443073104.

Exams and Grades

Two short quizzes are planned early in the course to facilitate acquisition of the "language of immunology." There will be a Mid-term as well as a Final examination (short answers and brief essays). Grades will be based primarily on performance in the quizzes and examinations.


1 Overview - Dr. Shiv Pillai  
2 Cells of the Immune System - Dr. Shiv Pillai  
3 Lymphocyte Homing - Dr. Ulrich von Andrian  
4 Case Presentations at MGH  
5 Antibodies and Antigens - Dr. Shiv Pillai

Analyzing a Clinical Case - Dr. Bobby Cherayil
6 Antigen Receptors and the Generation of Diversity - Dr. Shiv Pillai Quiz I
7 Case Presentations at MGH  
8 B Lymphocyte Development and Activation - Dr. Shiv Pillai  
9 Tutorial Session I

Antibody Dependent Protection - Dr. Shiv Pillai
10 Antigen Presentation - Dr. Hidde Ploegh  
11 Tutorial Session II

T Lymphocyte Development - Dr. Shiv Pillai
Quiz II
12 Tutorial Session III

Signal Transduction in Lymphocytes I - Dr. Shiv Pillai
13 Cell Mediated Immunity - Dr. Andrew Lichtman  
14 Tutorial Session IV

Signal Transduction in Lymphocytes II - Dr. Shiv Pillai
15 Paper Discussion 1  
  Midterm Exam  
16 Dendritic Cells - Dr. Shannon Turley

Frontiers: Costimulation - Dr. Arlene Sharpe
17 Paper Discussion 2  
18 Memory and Death - Dr. Shiv Pillai

Immunology of TB - Dr. Samuel M. Behar
19 Tutorial Session V

Immune Mediated Injury - Dr. Richard Mitchell
20 Asthma and Allergy - Dr. Dale T. Umetsu

Frontiers: DC and Innate Immunity - Dr. Nir Harcohen
21 Multiple Sclerosis - Dr. David Hafler

Frontiers: Autoimmune TCRs - Dr. Kai Wucherpfennig
22 Paper Discussion 3  
23 Leukemias and Lymphomas - Dr. Jon C. Aster

CD1 and Lipid Antigens - Dr. Richard S. Blumberg
24 Tutorial Session VI

Transplantation Immunology - Dr. Hugh Auchincloss
25 Immunology of HIV/AIDS - Dr. Bruce Walker

Frontiers: Genetic Instability and Cancer - Dr. Frederick W. Alt
26 Regulatory T Cells - Dr. Diane Mathis

Bone Marrow Transplant - Dr. Megan Sykes
27 Tutorial Session VII

Tumor Immunology - Dr. Andrew Lichtman
28 Paper Discussion 4  
29 Regulating Humoral Autoimmunity - Dr. Shiv Pillai

Inflammatory Bowel Disease - Dr. Ramnik Xavier
30 Immunodeficiency Disorders - Dr. Francisco Bonilla  
31 RA and Lupus - Dr. Paul Anderson  
32 Genetic Susceptibility to Disease - Dr. Shiv Pillai  
  Final Exam     Tell A Friend