Immunology (Bio 310) / Winter 2003

Debby Walser-Kuntz, Ph.D.

Phone: #5756 Office: Hulings 328 E-mail: dwalser

Office hours: Monday from 2:00 to 3:00 PM and Thursday from 10:00 to 11:00 AM (Or by appointment)

Text: Kuby Immunology, 5th edition, Goldsby, Kindt & Osborne. W. H. Freeman, 2003. Their web site ( has 3D images, study questions, and interesting links.

The immune system is complex and fascinating. The cells of our immune system are daily encountering and destroying various bacteria and viruses, most often without our even being aware of their presence. (Even if you felt like you were sick all during fall term!) You may, however, be very aware of the power of the immune system if you happen to have hayfever or some other common allergy. We will begin by covering the basic components of the vertebrate immune system and move on to look at how the cells interact with one another to produce an immune response. During the last few weeks of the term we will deal with the role of the immune system in autoimmunity, allergy, and HIV infection. Throughout the term we will also make comparisons to what is known about invertebrate immunity.

The second and third pages of the syllabus should be used as a guide for the term. Each section of the course builds on your previous knowledge and it is important that you keep up with the readings and lectures on a daily basis. There will be five quizzes throughout the term designed to check your understanding of the concepts that we have covered and to help you keep up with the readings. Each quiz will be worth 10% of your final grade. The final (and sixth) quiz taken during finals week will be cumulative and will be worth 15% of your final grade. No quiz grade will be dropped when determining your final course grade. To minimize time constraints for you when taking the quiz and to provide better use of class time, the quizzes will be scheduled for selected Tuesday evenings. Please let me know as soon as possible if you have a time conflict with an upcoming quiz.

Throughout the term we will discuss journal articles as a class and each of you will be assigned to one paper discussion group. The goals of these discussions are to gain a better understanding of immunological methods and to read about current, interesting topics not covered in detail by the text. Your group will be responsible for learning about one aspect of immunity in depth and then teaching the topic to the class, including explaining the techniques and experimental methods used. The class is expected to have read the articles on reserve and to come to class with questions. There will be a one or two question quiz at the beginning of class on the papers assigned for the day and these points will be added to the next class quiz. We need to meet at least once as a group as you plan for your presentation. Remember when you design your group presentation to not just formally present the paper, but rather encourage class discussion and input. Your grade will in part be determined by how well you generate questions and comments from the class. The class will also evaluate your presentations and I will pass a synopsis of their comments back to you. The journal articles are on closed reserve on the main floor of the library or may be available electronically. The dates for discussion are listed on the Assigned Readings. The paper discussions will count for 15% of your final grade.

And last (but not least!) you will write a short, 3-4 page research paper about a topic in immunology you find interesting. I will hand out a list of possible paper topics and guidelines for writing the paper in class and will be happy to discuss with you your choice of a topic, possibilities for narrowing your topic, and available resources. The research paper will determine 15% of your grade and is due March 10; grades on late papers will be reduced 10%.

5% of your final course grade is determined by attendance and participation.The grading scale used to determine your final grade for the course is the following: A 93-100; A- 90-92; B+ 88-89; B 83-87; B- 80-82; C+ 78-79; C 73-77; C- 70-72


Click on Syllabus for copy of topics and reading assignments.



Quiz Dates:

January 14

January 25

February 11

February 25

March 4

Paper Discussion Dates:

Group A

January 13

Group B

January 24

Group C

February 7

Group D

February 24

Group E

March 3

Articles on Reserve for Paper Discussion Groups




Interesting Links:

American Association of Immunologists 

Immunology Today

The Scientist

Mike Clark's Immunoglobulin Structure Home Page

Biology Links

Echinacea WellBeings

Annals of Improbable Research

Who's Who of Immunology:

Paul Ehrlich

Charles Richet

Niels Jerne

Cesar Milstein

Georges Kohler