• Semester Offered: Spring
  • Credits: 3
  • Course URL: Canvas


Genetics 01:447:380 or 01:447:384

Recommended: General Microbiology 01:447:390

Must be participating in the CBN Honors, SAS Honors, or Honors College Program.

Course Description 

This course will serve as an introduction to the immune system, with a focus on mammalian organisms (particularly humans). In general terms, we will uncover how the cells and organs of the immune system orchestrate protective responses to pathogen infection across distance and time in the body. While immunology encompasses a vast body of facts and terminologies, we will deemphasize rote memorization and classification. Instead, a primary goal of this honors 400-level course is to engage your critical thinking and problem-solving abilities, as well as to introduce you to primary research addressing contemporary immunological questions. This course will differ from the non-honors version of the course by focusing on interactive lectures and creative assignments using active learning strategies and a much smaller group of advanced students. During this course, we will undertake our studies guided by two principal understandings about the immune system in particular. These “enduring understandings” are the big picture ideas that tie together all the information in the course. They will inform the essential questions we explore in our studies and the learning objectives we will attempt to achieve by the end of the semester.

Course Syllabus

Spring 2024 Syllabus

Course URL 


Course Satisfies Learning Goals 

1) Master factual and conceptual knowledge in cell biology and neuroscience that will provide a solid foundation for success in advanced training and professional careers.

  • We will cover a broad range of material in this course, including the foundational cell types, tissues, and molecular pathways that are central to immunological function.
  • Lecture modules and practice quizzes will be organized in ways that illuminate the common themes and concepts that underlie the complexities of the immune system. These organizing concepts include innate vs. adaptive immunity, cellular vs. humoral immunity, tolerance vs. autoimmunity, etc.

2) Develop an ability to summarize, integrate and organize information.

  • Practice quizzes, review sessions, and other exercises will focus on the application of learning towards problem solving, identifying patterns in complex information, and designing experiments capable of creating new knowledge.

3) Use scientific reasoning to evaluate the potential for current research and new discoveries to improve our understanding of cell biology and neuroscience and its relevance to human health and to our society.

  • After building foundational knowledge in the first two sections of the course, modules 11-14 will focus on heavily on the relevance of our learning to human diseases, including topics such as vaccination, HIV/AIDS, and cancer immunotherapy.
  • We will make frequent reference to the experiments and techniques used by scientists working at the forefront of immunological research, including flow cytometry, antibody-based molecular biology, etc.
  • When possible, we will explore the foundational experiments and primary data that support our modern understanding of immunological processes.

Assessments and Course Activities

Lecture Modules: Lectures in this course will be organized into weekly modules on Canvas. Lectures are IN-PERSON. Slides and other supplemental content will be posted to Canvas. The instructor may post lecture recordings or other video content at their discretion, but in no case should you expect to rely exclusively on online/remote content. Each weekly module will cover about 1 chapter in the textbook. You are expected to attend all lectures and read the associated chapter before the end of each week.  

Exams: There will be 3 in-class exams. Exams will consist of multiple-choice questions that require critical thinking and problem solving in order to select the most appropriate answer. Questions will be based entirely on course lectures and activities. Students may bring 1 page of handwritten or computer-printed notes (1 side of one page – the other side must be blank) to consult during the exam. Use of electronic devices of any kind during exams is strictly prohibited, with the exception of devices used for disability accommodations (such devices must be approved in advance through an appropriate university office).

In-Class Activities: This course will emphasize active learning. Because of this, we will use a variety of in-class activities to guide and enrich our learning. These will take a variety of forms, including practice quizzes, group discussion, problem solving challenges, games, etc. As these activities will represent a significant portion of our time together, your active participation will be required. Points will be awarded for activities based primarily on attendance and active completion, with some variation based on the nature of the activity. The lowest 3 in-class activity scores will be dropped from the final grade, including days for which you are absent.

Assignments: We will have several activities in the course that will extend beyond a single class session, involving work at home or across multiple class days. These will include virtual laboratory exercises that demonstrate major concepts we cover in lecture and case studies that require you to apply your knowledge to solve scientific or medical challenges related to immunology. These assignments may be completed in groups, but each will require a unique submission on Canvas that will be graded individually. Specific instructions and grading criteria for individual assignments will be provided.

 Grading: Final course grades will be assigned according to the total points accumulated from scores in each category indicated below. Neither individual assignments nor final course grades will be “curved” in any way. Your final grade in the course will be determined by the weighted average of your scores using the following distribution:


Final Grade

Final Average






Exam 1





Exam 2





Exam 3





In-class activities













Course Materials 

Janeway’s Immunobiology, 10th Edition. (ISBN: 978-0393884890)

Course Closed? 

If this course is closed, please use the following link to add your name to the wait list at: Wait List Sign Ups.  If you have any questions, please contact the Division of Life Sciences - Office of Undergraduate Instruction at 848-445-2075 or visit our office at Nelson Biological Laboratories B112, Busch Campus.


Course Coordinator/Instructor:

Dr. Brian Daniels

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** All information is subject to change at the discretion of the course coordinator.