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BSc Medical Biochemistry / Course details
Year of entry: 2023
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Course unit details:
|Unit level||Level 2|
|Teaching period(s)||Semester 2|
|Available as a free choice unit?||No|
Immunology is the study of the body’s immune system. This unit will introduce you to the main features of the immune system, the innate immune system and the specific immune system. You will learn about recognition of microbes by the specific immune system and how the immune system protects against different pathogens. You will also learn how the immune system can itself cause disease, for example in allergy or autoimmune diseases, and how its function can be compromised by AIDS or immunosuppressant drugs.
- To understand the components and functioning of the immune system
- Students should know the different components of the immune system – cells of the innate and the adaptive immune system and associated soluble proteins and factors and be able to apply this knowledge to understand how the immune system protects against different types of pathogen or tumour.
- Students should also be able to apply the fundamental knowledge of immune function and how we recognise pathogens and self to be able to appreciate how the immune response can cause immunopathology such as allergy, autoimmunity as well as the consequences of a lack of effective immune function as in immunodeficiency.
- Students should be able to reflect and apply how our knowledge of immunology is being applied in the laboratory and clinical settings to treat, diagnose and prevent disease for example via vaccination, antibody production and transplantation.
Lectures will cover the main role of the immune system in providing defence against infection caused by bacteria, viruses, yeasts and parasites. They will describe the two main arms of the immune system, the innate immune system and the specific immune system. The different anatomical, cellular and molecular components of the two systems will be covered and how these systems detect the presence of infectious pathogens will be an important part of the unit. How the immune system actually deals with infectious organisms will also be described as well as some of the challenges to the immune system such as in HIV/AIDS. Finally the unit will cover some of the problems that arise when the immune system ‘gets it wrong’; this will include allergy and autoimmune diseases such as type 1 diabetes, multiple sclerosis and rheumatoid arthritis.
Mini-exam (Contributing 10% of the final mark)
- Scope for students to read outside the core lectures and develop their knowledge.
- Additional text and resources is provided so that students can have the option of researching the topics in more detail.
The written exam consists of MCQ 30 questions and two longer questions.
|Scheduled activity hours|
|Assessment written exam||1.5|
|Independent study hours|
|Sheena Cruickshank||Unit coordinator|