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iBsc Immunology, Infection & Cell Pathology

This iBSc programme focuses on in‑depth understanding of the role of the immune system, infectious agents and cellular processes in the pathogenesis of diseases and of how this can be modified by treatment. We seek excellent students who wish to study the mechanisms of infectious and immunological diseases and engage with current issues faced in this area at the leading edge of medicine. We will encourage you to exploit and develop your analytical and critical abilities, to increase your scientific maturity and self-confidence, and help you build an intellectual framework for rapidly assimilating new subject areas and evaluating the claims made in contemporary medical research.

The curriculum provides a broad and comprehensive foundation in three compulsory modules on “Immunology in Health and Disease”, “Infectious Agents” and “Cellular Pathology” in term one. These are followed by a choice of two from five optional modules that allow students to extend their study of immunology, infectious diseases and/or neoplastic diseases in term two. The teaching is based on contemporary research‑led knowledge at the interface of basic and clinical science and is delivered by research-active experts in each field. Open discussion between lecturers and students is encouraged as a way of addressing important or unresolved scientific questions. Specific modules incorporate laboratory practicals to introduce key research methods in the field and small group tutorials will run through terms one and two to discuss seminal discoveries and provide experience in critical appraisal of research literature.

The taught components of this programme are complemented by a substantial laboratory research project based on the student’s interests, which spans four months of the course. This highly popular component has long been the lynchpin of this iBSc. It offers students an invaluable opportunity to experience original scientific research by becoming an integral part of leading UCL biomedical research groups. Frequently, this leads to original research publications, and provides an excellent platform for those with aspirations for careers in clinical academic research.

Each taught module represents 0.5 course units and the laboratory project represents 1.5 course units. Therefore, students will complete 4 course units, comprising the laboratory project and five taught modules, summarised in the following matrix:

INIM3002 Immunology in Health & Disease (Term 1)
This module will extend your understanding of immunology from (1) cellular and molecular anatomy of the immune system and (2) the principles of immune responses, through to (3) advanced contemporary understanding of role of immunology in health and the mechanisms of immunopathogenesis in disease. This module will incorporate 6 practical sessions encompassing important laboratory and bioinformatic methods

INIM3003 Infectious Agents (Term 1)
This module will provide a balanced overview of the infections of man, to include bacteria, viruses, fungi, and parasites. The content will encompass (1) the basic biology of the infectious agents; (2) the factors that they must overcome to establish and persist in a host; (3) approaches to treatment, prevention and control.

INIM3004 Cellular Pathology (Term 1)
Cellular pathology encompasses the mechanisms by which dysfunction of cellular processes contributes to the pathogenesis of disease. In this module, we aim (1) to give you an in‑depth understanding of key cellular processes, (2) to highlight the mechanisms by which their dysfunction can cause disease, and (3) to introduce the contemporary experimental approaches that are used to study these.

INIM3001 Laboratory-Based Research Project (Term 1 & 2)
This module aims to give you firsthand experience of original laboratory research under direct supervision of principle investigators at UCL. We assess the aspirations of each student individually to identify their preferences for potential types of project that are relevant to the broad scope of the iBSc. Together with their supervisor, students will then formulate a specific project, design and undertake experiments, and interpret /communicate their work in oral presentations and a written report. This module provides invaluable teaching in scientific methodology, laboratory techniques, critical appraisal of original experimental data, and unique insight into the potential of new discoveries. The skills acquired here provide a competitive platform for students who may wish to pursue a future clinical academic career.

INIM3005 Immunodeficiency & Therapeutics (Term 2)
Both genetic (primary immunodeficiency) and environmental (secondary immunodeficiency) causes of impaired immunity will be discussed, together with the consequences for the patient of such deficiencies. The insights provided into the functioning of the normal immune system will be explored, as will the reasons why certain pathogens reveal themselves in the form of opportunistic infection. The treatment options that are available for these will be discussed, including research which aims to transform gene therapy into a ‘routine’ procedure.

INIM3006  Allergy, Autoimmunity & Transplantation (Term 2)
This module focuses on the mechanisms by which the immune system can cause diseases by inappropriate immune responses against self or transplanted tissues. We aim (1) to describe the contemporary understanding of allergic and hypersensitivity disorders; (2) to describe the spectrum of pathogenetic mechanisms involved in antibody and cell mediated autoimmunity; (3) to give a broad understanding of the principles of transplantation, transplant rejection and graft versus host disease.

INIM3008 Microbial Pathogenesis (Term 2)
This module builds on the foundations of the compulsory module on “Infectious Agents”, with a particular focus on bacterial, fungal and parasitic pathogens that cause human disease. The course will cover the role of microbial virulence factors and the host‑pathogen interactions that mediate disease, and hence inform our clinical management strategies.

INIM3007 Viruses & Disease (Term 2)
This module is based on a major strength in experimental and clinical virology at UCL, with the aim to provide advanced understanding of (1) the principles of virus replication (2) the remarkable interaction between a virus and its host and (3) broad knowledge of individual virus infections, their treatment and prevention.

INIM3009 Neoplasia & its Treatment (Term 2)
This module explores the processes and molecular mechanisms that underpin neoplastic transformation, tumour invasion and metastasis, with reference to specific haematological and solid tumours. The module complements the other themes in the programme from the role of viruses in oncogenesis, to the mechanisms of immunological tolerance to tumours and research‑led approaches to immunotherapy of cancer.

iBSc in Immunology, Infection and Cell Pathology/BSc in Immunology and Infection
Common Timetable Block Allocations

Each module will be assessed by course work (20%) and end of year examination (80%). Assessment of the laboratory project will be based on a written project report, feedback from each student’s supervisor and an end of year oral examination by an internal and external examiner.

Further information about this programme can be obtained from:
Divisional Teaching Administrator: Ms Biljana Nikolic
Programme Director: Dr Mahdad Noursadeghi (SLMS Profile

Page last modified on 24 jun 11 09:30 by Isabel Lubeiro