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Immunology (Geneeskunde)



Before you can appreciate how immune reactions, or the lack thereof, can cause disease, some basic understanding of how the immune system works is required. During the first week of this course, we will provide you with these basic insights and we will discuss examples of clinical settings where proper knowledge of the immune system makes the difference between life and death. During the final two weeks of the course, we will present and discuss a range of medical conditions involving immunology, including patient demonstrations.

Course objectives

This immunology course will teach you:

  1. How the human body protects itself against pathogenic micro organisms.
  2. The consequences of immune failure.
  3. How immune reactions prevent, but also cause illness.
  4. That many common diseases involve either excessive immune reactions or the lack of immunity.
  5. That understanding of the immune system is crucial for proper diagnosis and treatment of patients.

Mode of instruction

  • Introductory lectures

  • Caput Lectures

  • Clinical Conferences

  • Work group sessions

  • Self assessment questions

  • Questions hours

Assessment method

20 Multiple Choice questions
5 Open questions

Reading list

  • The Immune System, 3rd Ed Peter Parham

Information for exchange students

This module is part of English taught trimester of the bachelor’s programme in Medicine at Leiden University Medical Center. Combining medical modules with modules from other programmes in Leiden is difficult or impossible due to different scheduling schemes. Exchange students with sufficient relevant background knowledge in medicine/biology/biomedicine are therefore encouraged and advised to choose the entire module package indicated below. This semester starts in week 5 and finishes at the end of week 13. It is possible to continue with a research project after the courses end.

  • Immunology, 4 EC

  • General Pathology II, 4 EC

  • Infectious Diseases, 4 EC