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Regulation of the Immune Response in Human Disease


Admission requirements

  • Successful completion of How To Write A Research Proposal is strongly recommended.

  • Lab work experience is required.

  • The course will be given at level 500 (Biomedical Sciences, LUMC), expanding on knowledge acquired in the second-year Bachelor's course Immunology.


Period: 6 February 2023 - 3 March 2023

The main theme of this advanced course in immunology is a detailed understanding of the complex interactions between antigen presenting cells and immune effector cells that regulate the immune response. Furthermore, it is expected that biomedical research into the interactions between these cells will lead to new therapies against infectious and immune-mediated diseases. This course will provide detailed insights into the latest developments in fundamental biological research aiming at understanding mechanisms of the immune system as well as into the role of the immune system in today‘s clinical practice.


The first week will consist of a refreshment of immunology, journal clubs, extensive literature study (complex reviews) on the roles of different components of the immune system in four main topics: infectious disease, immunotherapy, transplantation, and chronic inflammation.

In the second week students will choose between two topics, i.e. “infectious diseases” and “chronic inflammation”, and in the third week each student will choose between “transplantation” and “immunotherapy”. During these two weeks the students will closely collaborate with an experienced technician and/or PhD student involved in the research lines of choice of the student. This in-lab training period consists of both theoretical and practical work, and the students will become familiar with the various aspects of the scientific research of the postdoc/PhD student. Besides a wet-lab project, it also may be possible in some cases to choose a dry-lab project that is oriented on data science analysis.

During this period the student will have familiarized her/himself with the various topics allowing to prepare a research proposal in the field of the topic of choice in the last week. As this assignment is rather intensive, student will start with their research proposal in week 2 of this course. In week 4 of the course, students will present their proposal both orally and in writing.

Course objectives

1. can explain the various roles that immunological processes play in health and disease
2. can perform experiments and analyse and report the results of such experiments
3. can identify current problems in the field of the topics of choice. Moreover, she/he can: formulate new hypotheses regarding these problems and prepare a research proposal including a limited experimental design to address such a hypothesis
4. can identify targets for therapy of infectious and immunological diseases using their knowledge of the various topics
5. will become familiar with the different activities of the researchers in the various institutions within the LUMC that are involved in immunological research.
6. actively participate in scientific discussions.


All course and group schedules are published on our LUMC scheduling website and/or on the LUMC scheduling app.

Mode of instruction

Plenary seminars provided by experts in the field, self study assignments and interactive discussions between tutors and trainees as detailed in the course book, practical work during the lab-projects and workgroup discussions by postdoc/PhD students and tutors. Guidance in preparing the research proposal (both in writing and presentation).

Assessment method

Summative assessment:

  • Written research proposal (20% final mark)

  • Oral presentation research proposal (20% final mark)

  • Practical work and oral report (2x25% final mark)

  • Participation in discussions and journal club (10% final mark)

To pass this course the marks for lab projects, the research proposal and participation in the discussions and journal club groups should all be at least sufficient (each ≥5.5 on the scale from 1 to 10).

Reading list

Will be distributed during the course.


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