Fundamentals of Immunology: Innate Immunity and B-Cell Function

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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Overall Score : 94 / 100

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Course Description

Course 1 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 first leg of a three-part journey through the defenses your body uses to keep you healthy. In this part we hope to give you the vocabulary and concepts you need to interact with the medical community and to provide them in a context that makes them memorable.Fundamentals of Immunology 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:The difference between adaptive and innate immune systems, the characteristics of various pathogens that they protect you from and the overall strategies employed in this protection. The detailed structure of antibodies and related immunoglobulin receptors, the characteristics and function of the different antibody classes and the mechanism for producing both the recognition regions and stem regions. Finally, how these structures are coded for in the DNA and expressed in the B cells.

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.



97 total reviews

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By Marvin B on 11-Feb-19

The course has good depth and is well presented. If you plan to take this class for academic credit at your academic institution later, this online course should be very helpful. The handout materials need some work to be practical, but I learned a great amount of basic knowledge. If you already know anything about genetic sequencing, it would be helpful. It is the only part of the course I felt very uncomfortable with. I would recommend this course to anyone serious about learning the immune system from the foundation. It is not a course for the casual learner. You will have to repeat view some lectures and do some side internet searches to understand all that is needed to finish, but I think you will find it time well invested.

By Momchil N on 6-Feb-19

The best course ever and the material provided during the course to illustrate the knowledge is amazing

By Akhil G on 13-Mar-19

this course only contains only theory and theory no practical animation which makes very easier to understand... so this course is not at all helpful for me... :(

By Emiel d J on 25-Feb-19

This was a great course. Immunology is my professional speciality and I still managed to learn new things. The lecturer is very knowledgeable and very engaging. All with all a great course.

By Jhone R d S C on 8-Mar-19

muito bom

By kristin v r on 5-Apr-19

Great Professor. Funny and explains material well. Gave me the real quirky science teacher experience that I loved in Undergrad.

By Vicencio D on 6-Apr-19

Excelente nivel, otorga una perspectiva biolgica muy interesante.

By Bo L on 18-Feb-19

Very good course for learning immunology!

By Fatma M E on 3-May-19

It was a great course with wonderful material and organizing very well

By Melanie W on 20-Apr-19

Professor Novotny provided relevant context that made a complex subject comprehensible for me. I really enjoyed her analogies. Her thinking questions in the tests required me to truly apply my knowledge to get them right. This could be the best course I have ever taken in my life. Thank you so much, Prof. Novotny!

By Pablo R F on 30-Jun-19


By Eduardo A J on 15-Jul-19