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Seminar-Based Courses

students attending a seminar

Seminar Series

Our invited seminar program brings speakers from laboratories around the world to interact with the students and other members of the Program. The seminars integrated with two other graduate programs, Genetics and Molecular Microbiology and the Geographic Medicine group.  Each speaker has an informal lunch with interested students (and no faculty). Frequently, students hold a journal club to discuss the recent work of the speaker. Each year students invite and host several guest speakers.

Of particular interest is the annual Sidney Leskowtiz Memorial Lecture. Given each spring, this Lecture honors the memory of Dr. Sidney Leskowitz, the founder of the Immunology Graduate Program and a consummate teacher. In addition to the featured lecture, the honoree moderates a minisymposium in which selected students and fellows present their current work. Past speakers include Emil Unanue, Susumu Tonegawa, Pippa Marrack, Charlie Janeway, Craig Thompson, Max Cooper, Paul Allen, Art Weiss, Richard Locksley, Michael Neuberger, Tasuku Honjo, and Harald von Boehmer.

Check the Sackler Calendar for the schedule

Student Research Workshop

Once a year each student engaged in thesis research is required to present a 40 - 50 minute seminar describing his/her current findings and plans for future work. These workshops are held weekly and are attended by all students and by faculty, postdoctoral fellows, research associates and technicians. The presentations provide the opportunity for research students to benefit from the experience of the members of the audience. The presentations are also used by the members of thesis advisory committees as a measure of the student's progress. These seminars also provide valuable training in presentation skills.  First year students also present, using work done for one rotation as the subject of the seminar.

Check the Sackler Calendar for the schedule.

First Year Journal Club

All students participate in a journal club. The club meets for several hours on one afternoon each week throughout the first semester. At these sessions each student presents a precis of a significant paper in the field, reviewing the question under study, the experimental approach, the significant findings and the implications of the observations. The papers are chosen by a faculty advisor such that topics are covered in parallel to material studied in IMM212 (Introduction to Immunology). The course aims to train all students in the critical reading of the scientific literature, to make the current literature available to the students and to provide significant opportunities for students to hone their presentation skills.

Advanced Journal Club

Students in the research portion of their training hold a weekly journal club in which they discuss a paper from the current literature. The emphasis is on critical analysis, identifying the reasons that the paper is significant, and understanding how the findings extend current knowledge.

Contact Information

Alexander Poltorak, PhD
Program Director

Administrative Offices
Stearns 514
Phone: 617-636-6836
Fax: 617-636-2990

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Hirsh Library

Hirsh Library

The Hirsh Library provides access to a wide-range of journals and welcoming study spaces.