MEDSCI 314 : Immunology

Medical and Health Sciences

2021 Semester Two (15 POINTS)

Course Prescription

The biology, cellular and molecular events underlying the immune response. The nature and characteristics of antibody-mediated and cell-mediated immunity including antigen recognition and presentation, antibody and T cell receptor structure, immune regulation and cytokines, immunogenetics and histocompatibility. The relationships of the immune system to the activities of pathogenic organisms. Applied immunology including biotechnology, infection, autoimmunity, tumour immunology, transplantation and immunodeficiency.

Course Overview

This course is broadly divided into 6 parts:
Part 1-Introduction/evolution of the immune system (2 lectures) (A/Prof. Chris Hall)
  • Covers some historic landmark discoveries that helped establish immunology as an independent field of research before describing the evolutionary origins of innate and adaptive immunity. 

Part 2-Architecture of the immune system (2 lectures) (A/Prof. Chris Hall)
  •  Describes the architecture of the integrated biological systems that make up the immune system, from its cellular components to its organs. 
 
Part 3-The innate immune response (3 lectures) (A/Prof. Chris Hall)
  •  Covers the innate arm of the immune system, from complement and phagocytosis to pattern recognition and the acute inflammatory response. 

Part 4-The adaptive immune response (9 lectures) (Prof. John Fraser; Dr Chris Hall; Dr Fiona Radcliff; Dr Nikki Moreland)
  •  Concerns the cellular and molecular events underlying the adaptive immune response, from humoral immunity and the diversity of antigen receptors to antigen processing, T cell activation and peripheral tolerance mechanisms. 

Part 5-The immune system in health and disease (11 lectures) (Prof. Larry Chamley; Prof. Rod Dunbar, A/Prof. Thomas Proft; Dr Fiona Radcliff; Dr Nikki Moreland)
  •  Describes the role of the immune system in health and disease, including immunity to bacterial and viral infections, vaccines, immunodeficiency, allergies and hypersensitivity, autoimmunity and tumour immunology. 

Part 6-Emerging areas in immunology (3 lectures) (A/Prof. Chris Hall, Dr Fiona Radcliff)
  •  Introduces some contemporary topics in immunology including the emerging connection between the historically distinct fields of metabolism and immunology, a memory function for innate immune cells and the influence of the gut microbiome on the immune system. 

Course Requirements

Prerequisite: MEDSCI 202 or BIOSCI 201

Course Contacts

Course Director
Associate Professor Chris Hall
Department of Molecular Medicine and Pathology
Email: c.hall@auckland.ac.nz
Phone: 923 2910
Room: 504-322

Course Coordinator
Dr. Ho Joon Lee
Department of Molecular Medicine and Pathology
Email: hj.lee@auckland.ac.nz
Phone: 923 1988
Room: 505-102

Capabilities Developed in this Course

Capability 1: Disciplinary Knowledge and Practice
Capability 2: Critical Thinking
Capability 3: Solution Seeking
Capability 4: Communication and Engagement
Capability 5: Independence and Integrity
Capability 6: Social and Environmental Responsibilities
Graduate Profile: Bachelor of Science

Learning Outcomes

By the end of this course, students will be able to:
  1. Understand important historic landmark discoveries that helped establish immunology as an independent field of research and describe the evolutionary origins of innate and adaptive immunity. (Capability 1, 2 and 3)
  2. Describe the architecture of the integrated biological systems that make up the immune system and have an understanding of the innate arm of the immune system, from complement and phagocytosis to pattern recognition and the acute inflammatory response. (Capability 1, 2 and 3)
  3. Have knowledge of the cellular and molecular events underlying the adaptive immune response, from humoral immunity and the diversity of antigen receptors to antigen processing, T cell activation and peripheral tolerance mechanisms. (Capability 1, 2 and 3)
  4. Describe the role of the immune system in health and disease, including immunity to bacterial and viral infections, vaccines, immunodeficiency, allergies and hypersensivity, autoimmunity and tumour immunology. (Capability 1, 2 and 3)
  5. Have a basic understanding of some more contemporary topics in immunology. (Capability 1, 2 and 3)
  6. Perform important experimental techniques to isolate and quantify specific subsets of immune cells and biochemical assays to measure immune responses. (Capability 4 and 6)
  7. Develop their intellectual and cognitive skills to complete 'on-task' activities to evaluate their own progress towards achieving personal and professional goals. (Capability 2, 4 and 5)
  8. Communicate their knowledge and understanding as a future healthcare and/or scientific professional with fellow students, the academic faculty and the community. (Capability 4)

Assessments

Assessment Type Percentage Classification
Laboratories 20% Group & Individual Coursework
Essay 10% Individual Coursework
Test 15% Individual Test
Final Exam 55% Individual Examination
Assessment Type Learning Outcome Addressed
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8
Laboratories
Essay
Test
Final Exam

Workload Expectations

This course is a standard 15 point course and students are expected to spend 10 hours per week involved in each 15 point course that they are enrolled in (inclusive of revision and examination time).

For this course, you can expect 33 hours of lectures (including 3 one-hour laboratory introduction lectures), 2 one-hour tutorials, 3 three-hour laboratory sessions and 3 one-hour laboratory tutorials, 16 hours of work on assignments, 35 hours of reading and thinking about the content and 48 hours of work on test and exam preparation.

Delivery Mode

Campus Experience

Attendance is required at scheduled activities including labs to receive credit for components of the course.
Lectures will be available as recordings. Other learning activities including tutorials will be available as recordings.
Attendance on campus is required for the test/exam.
The activities for the course are scheduled as a standard weekly timetable.

Learning Resources

Course textbook and highly recommended textbooks

Course textbook
  • Murphy et al. Janeway's Immunobiology, 9th Edition, Garland Science, 2017.
High recommended textbooks
  • Delves et al. Roitt's Essential Immunology, 13th Edition, Wiley-Blackwell, 2017.
  • Abbas et al. Cellular and Molecular Immunology, 9th Edition, Elsevier, 2017.
  • Tak et al. Primer to the Immune Response, 2nd Edition, AP Cell Press, 2014.

Student Feedback

At the end of every semester students will be invited to give feedback on the course and teaching through a tool called SET or Qualtrics. The lecturers and course co-ordinators will consider all feedback and respond with summaries and actions.

Your feedback helps teachers to improve the course and its delivery for future students.

Class Representatives in each class can take feedback to the department and faculty staff-student consultative committees.

Digital Resources

Course materials are made available in a learning and collaboration tool called Canvas which also includes reading lists and lecture recordings (where available).

Please remember that the recording of any class on a personal device requires the permission of the instructor.

Academic Integrity

The University of Auckland will not tolerate cheating, or assisting others to cheat, and views cheating in coursework as a serious academic offence. The work that a student submits for grading must be the student's own work, reflecting their learning. Where work from other sources is used, it must be properly acknowledged and referenced. This requirement also applies to sources on the internet. A student's assessed work may be reviewed against online source material using computerised detection mechanisms.

Inclusive Learning

All students are asked to discuss any impairment related requirements privately, face to face and/or in written form with the course coordinator, lecturer or tutor.

Student Disability Services also provides support for students with a wide range of impairments, both visible and invisible, to succeed and excel at the University. For more information and contact details, please visit the Student Disability Services’ website http://disability.auckland.ac.nz

Special Circumstances

If your ability to complete assessed coursework is affected by illness or other personal circumstances outside of your control, contact a member of teaching staff as soon as possible before the assessment is due.

If your personal circumstances significantly affect your performance, or preparation, for an exam or eligible written test, refer to the University’s aegrotat or compassionate consideration page https://www.auckland.ac.nz/en/students/academic-information/exams-and-final-results/during-exams/aegrotat-and-compassionate-consideration.html.

This should be done as soon as possible and no later than seven days after the affected test or exam date.

Learning Continuity

In the event of an unexpected disruption we undertake to maintain the continuity and standard of teaching and learning in all your courses throughout the year. If there are unexpected disruptions the University has contingency plans to ensure that access to your course continues and your assessment is fair, and not compromised. Some adjustments may need to be made in emergencies. You will be kept fully informed by your course co-ordinator, and if disruption occurs you should refer to the University Website for information about how to proceed.

Student Charter and Responsibilities

The Student Charter assumes and acknowledges that students are active participants in the learning process and that they have responsibilities to the institution and the international community of scholars. The University expects that students will act at all times in a way that demonstrates respect for the rights of other students and staff so that the learning environment is both safe and productive. For further information visit Student Charter https://www.auckland.ac.nz/en/students/forms-policies-and-guidelines/student-policies-and-guidelines/student-charter.html.

Disclaimer

Elements of this outline may be subject to change. The latest information about the course will be available for enrolled students in Canvas.

In this course you may be asked to submit your coursework assessments digitally. The University reserves the right to conduct scheduled tests and examinations for this course online or through the use of computers or other electronic devices. Where tests or examinations are conducted online remote invigilation arrangements may be used. The final decision on the completion mode for a test or examination, and remote invigilation arrangements where applicable, will be advised to students at least 10 days prior to the scheduled date of the assessment, or in the case of an examination when the examination timetable is published.