Immunology Program Guide
The faculty of the Immunology Program is drawn from multiple departments, including Integrative Physiology & Pathobiology, Developmental, Molecular & Chemical Biology, Medicine, and Molecular Biology & Microbiology. This diversity is a distinct strength of the Program as it assures the student broad exposure to research topics and approaches. It also maximizes opportunities for a student to find a research faculty adviser to serve as thesis mentor.
Our program is specifically designed to provide strong training in basic inflammation and the immunology of chronic diseases, as well as in-depth knowledge of the pathogenesis, diagnosis, prevention and treatment of inflammatory diseases. We integrate clinical studies and patient contact throughout the training period.
Students are involved in research immediately. During the first year each student completes four laboratory rotations. These introduce the student to hands on experience in a variety of techniques and research problems. Because of the flexibility designed into the program, a student may alter career objectives after admission.
First year students become thoroughly immersed in Immunology, foundation and advanced courses in the discipline. They also participate in journal club, seminars and research workshops.
At the end of the first year, students take a qualifying examination that consists of a written research proposal and an oral defense. The purpose of this examination is to test the ability of the student to create and critically test hypotheses. Upon successful completion of the first year courses and the qualifying examination, students select a research mentor and begin their thesis work.
The thesis research experience is considered the core of a student's training. Typically, graduates of the Program generate at least two first author papers based on their research. The student is guided by the mentor with additional advice from a thesis advisory committee composed of three faculty members. Progress is also monitored by the committee and by a faculty member who serves as student adviser. The adviser acts as an ombudsperson and student advocate.