Molecular Immunology
Reference DHBIOM00000049
Taught in Majors List Master of Biomedical Sciences
Theory (A) 25.0
Exercises (B) 0.0
Training and projects (C) 32.0
Studytime (D) 180.0
Studypoints (E) 6
Credit contract? Access is determined after successful competences assessment
Examination contract? This course can not be taken through this kind of contract
Credit contract mandatory if Exam contract? Separate credit contract mandatory
Retake possible in case of permanent evaluation? Yes
Teaching Language Dutch
Lecturer Georges Leclercq
Department GE06
Co-lecturers Jean Plum
Jan Tavernier
Tom Taghon
Key Words

Immunology, molecular biology, Toll-like receptors, natural killer cells, Notch, immune deficiencies

Position of the Course

Starting from the knowledge acquired from the basic immunology course (2th bachelor Biomedical Sciences), the differentiation and function of defined cell subpopulations from the innate and the acquired immune system will be addressed in detail. There will also be a focus on immune deficiencies and the generation of tumors from immune cells.


  • Toll-like receptors: expression, signaling, induction of TNFalpha and IFNgamma production. Role of Toll-like receptors in sepsis. TNFalpha and IFNgamma receptors and signaling.
  • Natural killer cells: differentiation, receptor repertoire and signaling, receptor ligands, cytokine requirements, function, tolerance mechanisms
  • Notch receptors: the role in different ontogenic processes with the emphasis on their crucial role in T cell differentiation. Signalling of Notch receptors. Role in lymphoid tumor cell generation.
  • Immune deficiencies: causes, diagnosis and treatment. Immunological mechanisms in cancer and leukaemia development. Perturbation of the immune system by cancer.

Starting Competences

Having successfully completed the courses Immunology, Molecular Biology I, Molecular Biology II and Human pathogenesis from the bachelor program biomedical sciences, or having acquired the relevant ending objectives by other means.

Final Competences

Advanced knowledge of molecular immunology. Be able to critically analyse scientific papers.

Teaching and Learning Material

Hand-outs of the classroom lectures. Selected scientific papers and websites for the group discussions.


Course Content-Related Study Coaching

Through e-mail.

Teaching Methods

Classroom lectures;

Evaluation Moments

Evaluation throughout semester as well as during examination period. Special conditions: Evaluation during examination period (75%); Evaluation throughout semester (25%)

Evaluation Methods

During examination period: written closed-book exam complemented with oral examination
During semester: Assessment of participation in and reporting of the group work. Second chance: Possible in adapted form
Frequency: During all group discussions.

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