Clinical Immunology


Course Objective

• To understand immunopathogenic processes that play a role in the onset
and chronicity of three immunological diseases, that cover allergy,
auto-immunity and infection diseases, such as celiac disease, multiple
sclerosis and AIDS.
• To acquire insight in both clinical parameters as well as basic
scientific principles that play a role in these diseases.
• To acquire insights in the currently used treatments to reduce disease
• To understand the mechanism by which the immune system regulates these
diseases, and how one could modify immune response to the benefit of the
• To apply the acquired knowledge of scientific literature and
scientific hypotheses of each of the topics described above in debating
clubs where disease-related statements will be defended.

Course Content

During the course, three immunological diseases will be discussed
one-by-one: celiac disease, multiple sclerosis and AIDS.

Each theme will start with a clinical introduction into the features of
the disease by a practicing clinician at the VUmc, who illustrates the
symptoms in patients that have these diseases.
During each period a certain number of lectures will be given on the
immunological mechanisms that play a role during these complex diseases.
These lectures highlight molecular immunological tools used, as well as
novel strategies such as genomics-proteomics profiling of the disease,
the use of animal models that mimic disease, as well as vaccine
development and treatment methodology of the diseases.
In turn, the students are able to apply the obtained knowledge in
debating clubs, where disease-related statements have to be defended.
These debating clubs are scheduled at the end of each theme.

Teaching Methods

The course covers immunological processes as well as clinical parameters
both at the molecular as well as the cellular level and will discuss
both innate and adaptive immune responses. The course consists of
lectures, self-study and debating clubs. Diseases are discussed
one-by-one and the final part of the course mainly covers self-study and
the exam.

Contact hours:
19 hours lectures
appr. 6 hours debating clubs

Method of Assessment

Both lectures and debating clubs are compulsory, and form part of the
material that covers the exam. Active participation in debating clubs is
part of the appraisal. Written exam at the end of week 8 includes 10
‘assay ‘questions.A minimum of 5.50 for both the exam and the debating
clubs is required in order to pass.

Entry Requirements

Bachelor’s course Immunology. A solid base on knowledge on immunology is
compulsory before start of the course.


Immunobiology by Janeway 8th edition or Parham 3rd/4th edition,
including a handout which contains recent reviews specialized on the
immunological diseases discussed. Next to that, self-study and
literature search is required to be prepared for debating clubs.

Target Audience

Students with a keen interest to study immunological processes within
the complexity of diseases such as allergy, multiple sclerosis and AIDS.
Given the broad relevance of immunology in life sciences this course
also provides excellent opportunities for other differentiations and
Master programs.

Compulsory course for MSc Biomedical Sciences students with
specialization Immunology.

Additional Information

Dr. E.J.G. Peters, dr. B.W. van Oosten, dr. B.
de Jong, dr. G. Kooij, prof. dr. J. van Horssen, prof. dr. P.
van der Valk, dr. H. Bontkes, prof. dr. T.D. de Gruijl,
prof. dr. Y. van Kooyk

External lecturers:
Dr. J. Borghans (UMCU)
Prof. dr. F. Koning (LUMC)
Dr. J. Samsom (ErasmusMC)
Dr. W.A. Paxton (AMC)
Prof. dr. T.B.H. Geijtenbeek (AMC)
Prof. dr. B 't Hart (UMCG)

General Information

Course Code AM_470655
Credits 6 EC
Period P2
Course Level 500
Language of Tuition English
Faculty Faculty of Science
Course Coordinator drs. K. Brouwer
Examiner dr. G. Kooij
Teaching Staff dr. C.J.J. Mulder
dr. B.W. van Oosten
prof. dr. P. van der Valk
dr. E.J.G. Peters

Practical Information

You need to register for this course yourself

Last-minute registration is available for this course.

Teaching Methods Lecture
Target audiences

This course is also available as: