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This subject provides an overview of:
(i) methods used to dissect and characterise the complex immune defences against microbial infections
(ii) methods used to analyse the development and function of the immune system in health and disease
(ii) strategies used to construct and present scientific oral and written reports.
This subject introduces techniques used in research and diagnostic immunology laboratories. The practical exercises will illustrate the theoretical principles that govern the function of the immune system. The immunological techniques covered are used to analyse the complexities of innate and adaptive immune responses, such as preparation of cell suspensions, flow cytometry, enzyme immunoassays, molecular methods to analyse immune function, in vitro assays to analyse immune function. Non-Laboratory sessions will be used to introduce and discuss the theoretical aspects of the practical topics, analyse data, critically discuss scientific research publications, source relevant scientific literature and to discuss strategies used to construct, prepare and present oral and written scientific reports.
Upon completion of the subject students will:
- have experience in the preparation and quantification of cell suspensions for immune assays
- be familiar with a range of molecular and cellular techniques used to analyse functional characteristics of immune responses
- have experience in techniques used for the detection and analysis of cell associated molecules
- have developed safe scientific work practices
- have developed skills to accurately record experimental data and use this record to construct and present oral and written scientific reports.
- have participated in group work activities, both within and outside of the Laboratory.
Intended learning outcomes
Upon completion of this subject, students should be able to:
- Describe and apply the principles of flow cytometry;
- Describe and apply the principles and procedures involved in preparation and characterisation of immune cells, their products and their functions;
- Describe and apply the use of molecular and cellular techniques in addition to bioinformatics to identify and characterise immune responses;
- Describe and design an experimental approach, including appropriate controls, to test a hypothesis and interpret the resulting scientific data;
- Keep clear and accurate laboratory records to enable critical analysis of scientific data, formation of evidence‐based conclusions and effective communication of scientific ideas and findings, in both oral and written forms;
- Demonstrate the ability to perform practical techniques used in research laboratories in a safe, scientific work manner;
- Effectively participate in group work activities to generate and analyse scientific findings within and outside the Laboratory;
- Demonstrate a high level of professional integrity, and conform to ethical requirements regarding plagiarism and accurate data reporting.
On completion of this subject, students should have developed the following generic skills:
- the ability to interpret scientific literature and interpret data from electronic databases.
- the capacity to integrate knowledge across disciplines.
- the ability to comprehend a question, evaluate the relevant information and communicate an answer.
Last updated: 18 December 2020