Today's Immunology a highly interdisciplinary area, with investigations that go from isolating a gene that modifies the immune response to making or using knockout and transgenic mice, identifying specific antigenic peptides to defining the phenotype using current approaches in cell and molecular biology. Therefore, to conduct cutting-edge and top-quality research in immunology, the students needs to prepared in general cell and molecular biology, as well as some genetics. The Immunology Training Program emphasizes course work that gives in-depth exposure to contemporary topics in immunology, along with a general cell and molecular biology training.
Fundamental Immunology - this course is designed to provide the beginning students with a firm grasp of molecular and cellular immunology, with emphasis on the activation and regulation of the immune response.
Current Topics in Immunology - this course is an advanced course that gives more focused and more in-depth analyses of the primary literature. Four topic areas and accompanying papers are selected each year by faculty with expertise in each. Students present and discuss the papers with faculty and with one another.
Immunology Colloquium - this is designed to give first and second year students experience in reading, analysis, and critical oral presentation of primary literature in Immunology. Papers are chosen by faculty members who introduce the topic, with alternating faculty and student presentations. Paper choices are designed to introduce students to classic, seminal discoveries in Immunology, with a follow-up paper drawn from more contemporary literature.
Cell Structure and Function, Gene Structure and Expression, and Macromolecular Structure and Function are general courses taken by all students in the various Biomedical Science Programs at the University of Virginia . They provide a broad-based introduction to modern cellular and molecular biology and a strong basis for investigation and understanding of Immunology. Students may also take 1-2 other courses drawn from a wide range of topics, including Cell Signaling, Protein Structure, Physiology, Pharmacology, Cancer, Genetics, Biophysics, Molecular Medicine, and others. Total course work is usually five to seven courses, and is generally completed by the middle of the second year.