Fundamentals of Immunology: Death by Friendly Fire

This specialization is designed to equip students with the basic concepts and vocabulary of immunology. The goal is to provide students from different backgrounds with a fundamental understanding of immunology and the ability to appreciate and analyze new developments in immunological therapies designed for the treatment of disease.

Created by: Alma Moon Novotny

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Course Description

Course 3 of a three course specialization called Fundamentals of Immunology. Each course in the specialization presents material that builds on the previous course's material.This is the third leg of the journey through the defenses your body uses to keep you healthy. In the first course we learned about innate immunity and B cell function. In the second course we studied T cell function and coordination of the immune response.Fundamentals of Immunology: Death by Friendly Fire introduces students to the basic functions of the adaptive and innate immune systems. The early lectures survey cells, tissues and organs using metaphors, cartoons and models to improve understanding and retention. After describing the form, function, origin and varieties of antibodies, subsequent lectures provide details on the mechanism of the generation of variation. The course provides animations of gene rearrangement and class switching and descriptions of affinity maturation correlated with detailed physical models of antibody structure. The final lecture reviews these concepts in anatomical context. Testing employs multiple choice questions testing facts, concepts, and application of principles. Questions may refer to diagrams, drawing and photographs used in lecture and reproduced in the outline.What You'll Learn: A survey of immune cells and how they attack pathogens, with emphasis on the mechanism of inducing apoptosis and details of Antibody Directed Cell-mediated Cytotoxicity. The inflammatory response and mechanisms of generating tolerance, presented in sequence to emphasize the decision making involved in controlling attacks. A survey of autoimmune disease, their characteristics, cause and treatment. Survey of hypersensitivity reactions, including allergy, anaphylaxis, anemias, granulomas, and a variety of skin responses. This is accompanied by identification, prevention and treatment. The final discussion of preventing transplant rejection is preceded by a detailed unit on antibody technology and the methods of testing for incompatibility.

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Instructor Details

Alma Moon Novotny

Alma Novotny earned her PhD from Purdue University in Developmental logy under the direction of Michael Forman. She has taught college courses for over forty years in plant and animal sciences, genetics and introductory, cell and developmental biology. She has also written test question banks and contributed questions to both the MCAT and the GRE Advanced Exam in chemistry, Cell and Molecular logy. Since joining Rice University in 2000, she has taught immunology and is a three-time recipient of the George R. Brown Award for Superior Teaching.

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