Spring 2021 - MBB 427 D100

Immune Responses in Health and Disease (3)

Class Number: 2564

Delivery Method: In Person


  • Course Times + Location:

    Jan 11 – Apr 16, 2021: Wed, Fri, 2:30–4:20 p.m.

  • Prerequisites:

    One of MBB 326, HSCI 326, MBB 426 or HSCI 426, with a minimum grade of C, or permission of the instructor.



Defects in the immunologic response to bacterial, viral and parasitic infections. The mechanisms of action of vaccines. The causes of immune-mediated diseases, such as autoimmune diseases, hypersensitivity reactions (including asthma and allergy) and organ transplant rejection. The reaction of the immune system to cancer and immunotherapy for cancer. Students with credit for HSCI 427 cannot take MBB 427 for credit.


Course Description

Many diseases are caused by dysregulation of the immune system. This course will examine the immunological mechanisms underlying human immunopathologies with emphasis on diagnostics and therapies, especially emerging immunotherapies (therapeutic antibodies, CAR-T cells, cellular engineering), as well as vaccination.

Lecture Topics

  1. Review of innate and adaptive immunity
  2. Autoimmunity
  3. Immunity to microbes
  4. HIV
  5. Vaccines and their mechanisms of action
  6. Transplantation immunology
  7. Immunity to tumors
  8. Hypersensitivity disorders
  9. Allergy
  10. Congenital immunodeficiencies


Understand the physiological, cellular, molecular and genetic bases of a range of immunopathologies. Develop insights into immunosurveillance and how cancer and organ transplantation overcome immune responses. Gain depth in the use of current technologies, including immunotherapies. Improve skills developed in MBB/HSCI 426/726 to review and critique papers in the primary literature, in both oral and written formats.


  • 3 non-cumulative exams (20% each) 60%
  • Class participation 10%
  • 1 in-class presentation with written summary and critique. 30%


Lectures: asynchronous (pre-recorded, available online)
Tutorials: students will be required to participate in synchronous learning every Friday at 2:30-3:30 pm.
Assessments: asynchronous (take-home exams/papers/assignments)
Final exam:  No
Remote invigilation:  No



  • access to high-speed internet
  • computer


Original research articles and review articles

The Immune System, 4th Ed., Peter Parham, 2015.  Garland Science.
ISBN: 978-0-8153-4466-7

Department Undergraduate Notes:

  • For help with writing, learning and study strategies please contact the Student Learning Commons at
  • Students requiring accommodations as a result of a disability, must contact the Centre for Accessible Learning (778-782-3112 or e-mail:  caladmin@sfu.ca)

Registrar Notes:


SFU’s Academic Integrity web site http://www.sfu.ca/students/academicintegrity.html is filled with information on what is meant by academic dishonesty, where you can find resources to help with your studies and the consequences of cheating.  Check out the site for more information and videos that help explain the issues in plain English.

Each student is responsible for his or her conduct as it affects the University community.  Academic dishonesty, in whatever form, is ultimately destructive of the values of the University. Furthermore, it is unfair and discouraging to the majority of students who pursue their studies honestly. Scholarly integrity is required of all members of the University. http://www.sfu.ca/policies/gazette/student/s10-01.html


Teaching at SFU in spring 2021 will be conducted primarily through remote methods. There will be in-person course components in a few exceptional cases where this is fundamental to the educational goals of the course. Such course components will be clearly identified at registration, as will course components that will be “live” (synchronous) vs. at your own pace (asynchronous). Enrollment acknowledges that remote study may entail different modes of learning, interaction with your instructor, and ways of getting feedback on your work than may be the case for in-person classes. To ensure you can access all course materials, we recommend you have access to a computer with a microphone and camera, and the internet. In some cases your instructor may use Zoom or other means requiring a camera and microphone to invigilate exams. If proctoring software will be used, this will be confirmed in the first week of class.

Students with hidden or visible disabilities who believe they may need class or exam accommodations, including in the current context of remote learning, are encouraged to register with the SFU Centre for Accessible Learning (caladmin@sfu.ca or 778-782-3112).