Molecular Microbiology & Immunology

Courses and descriptions

MBIM 601 Research

Terms: Any


MBIM 605 Journal Club

Terms: One journal club is required every term.

MBIM 607A Departmental Seminar Series

Course Director: TBA as appropriate for topic
Terms: Required every fall, winter and spring term


MBIM 608 Advanced Virology

Course Directors: David Johsnon, Ashlee Moses                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Term: Spring, alternate years -    5 credits                                                                                                                        

This course covers molecular biology and immunology of eukaryotic viruses. Particular emphasis is placed on structure, transcription and replication, entry, assembly and egress, latency, and oncogenesis.

MBIM 610 Introduction to Immunology

Course Director: David Parker
Term: Winter - 2 credits

This introductory course will provide students with an overview of how the immune system works and the special vocabulary and experimental systems that describe it. Reading and discussion of the textbook (first 10 chapters of Janeway's Immunobiology, 7th Edition) with study questions and occasional experimental papers. The course is designed for two kinds of students: those specializing in other areas who want to learn enough immunology to gain access to the experimental literature and those with a particular interest in immunology as preparation for the Immunology course (MBIM 612).


MBIM 612 Advanced Immunology

Course Director: Mark Silfka
Term: Spring, alternate years - 4 credits

The intention is to cover in some depth important concepts and some current issues in basic molecular and cellular immunology. The course will be primarily literature based, supplemented as necessary with lectures, review articles and textbook material. Students are expected to read the assigned material and to discuss questions in class. The course is taught by a small number of faculty, each of whom covers one area. Because the areas covered are chosen to reflect the areas of major active research in immunology, the actual topics may vary from year to year. Recent areas covered included: T cell activation and the immune synapse, NK receptors and related molecules and the expanding family of MHC class I like ligands; T and B cell development; T and B cell memory; toll-like receptors; T cell trafficking.


MVIM 615 Dynamic Interface Between Pathogen and Host

Course Director: Eric Cambronne, Georgianna Purdy                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 Spring, alternate years - 4 credits 

This course will explore strategies by which microorganisms avoid and subvert host defenses to cause disease. Emphasis is on the molecular basis of microbial pathogenesis. We will cover several mechanism shared by bacteria, viruses and parasites. Topics in the first half of the course include intracellular and extracellular infection strategies, microbial exploitation of the host vacuolar trafficking system, bacterial virulence gene regulation, secretion of effector molecules and toxins. The second part of the course will delve into host innate immune defenses, microbial avoidance and manipulation of immune signaling pathways, features of latent and persistent infections, and how commensal organisms interact with the host immune system. Finally, we will look into the future of microbial pathogenesis and discuss the role of "omics" in understanding pathogens and the potential of mathematical modeling of infections. This course will consist of both lectures and critical analysis of primary research literature. There will be two exams of equal weight, with the final examination being comprehensive.

MMI Requirements