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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.

  • The course will be given at level 500, expanding on knowledge acquired in the second-year Bachelor-s course Immunology.


Period: Feb 3 – Feb 28, 2014

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 the complex interactions between antigen presenting cells and immune effector cells as well as into some aspects of today-s clinical practice.


The first week will consist of a refreshment of immunology, immunological debate, journal club, extensive literature study (complex reviews) on the roles of antigen presenting cells and immune effector cells in the four topics (infectious disease, tumour immunology, transplantation, and chronic inflammation), and lectures by an international expert in the field.

In the second week students will choose between two topics, i.e. “infectious diseases” and “tumour immunology”, and in the third week each student will choose between “transplantation” and “allergy/autoimmunity”. During these 2 weeks the students will closely collaborate with postdocs or PhD students involved in the research lines of choice of the student. This intensive 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.

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

This course will particularly work on:

Research competences:
In-lab training related to a research project, defining a research question, writing a research proposal, analyzing data with tutors, choosing appropriate techniques, integrate different biomedical disciplines in the design of a research question, design methods, and implement these new research tools.

Professional competences:
Collaborating with peers, digesting of other people’s opinions, reflecting on personal actions.

Course objectives

The student will obtain a broader and deeper insight into:

  • the interactions between antigen presenting cells and immune effector cells;

  • the involvement of these cell types in the control of immune responses;

  • the current challenges in the field within the topics of choice;

  • the different activities of the researchers in the various institutions within the LUMC that are involved in immunological research, by following lectures given by these researchers.

The students needs to be able to:

  • formulate hypotheses regarding these problems, but also prepare an essay including a (small) experimental design to address such a hypothesis;

  • assess targets for therapy of infectious and immunological diseases using their knowledge of the various topics;

  • write a research proposal.

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 in the form of mini-projects and workgroup discussions by postdoc/PhD students and tutors.

Assessment method

Overall assessment is based on the quality of the oral report of in-lab trainings; the writing, oral presentation and defense of a research proposal and the overall student behaviour during the course (motivation, independency, oral reporting, participation in lab-project and scientific discussions).