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DRPS : Course Catalogue : School of Biological Sciences : Immunology

Undergraduate Course: Stem cells, haematopoiesis and immune therapy (IMMU10011)

Course Outline
SchoolSchool of Biological Sciences CollegeCollege of Science and Engineering
Course typeStandard AvailabilityAvailable to all students
Credit level (Normal year taken)SCQF Level 10 (Year 4 Undergraduate) Credits10
Home subject areaImmunology Other subject areaNone
Course website None Taught in Gaelic?No
Course descriptionThis course will provide a general introduction to stem cell biology, and will then cover in detail the biology of haematopoietic stem cells and their use in transplantation, with emphasis on the requirements for reconstitution of the immune system. We will start by considering the definition of a stem cell and discussing the different classes of stem cell (eg. pluripotent or adult). We will continue with discussion of how differentiation of stem cells is initiated, including the mechanisms such as short and long-term DNA modifications and re-programming of transcriptional machinery. Following on we will focus on the generation of leukocytes from stem cells:

! Haematopoiesis: what are the steps, in the bone marrow, that lead from the haematopoietic stem cell to the different cell lineages found in blood and lymphoid tissues, what are their functions and what are the relationships between these lineages?
! B cell differentiation: how is the antibody repertoire generated?
! T cell differentiation: what are the molecular events in the thymus that direct differentiation of a lymphocyte-committed progenitor to a naive T cells with a defined functional potential that is nevertheless tolerant of self.
! Therapeutic potential of immune reconstitution in the adult: what are the issues involved in reconstitution of the haematopoeitic system of adults after bone marrow or stem cell transplantation as therapy for diseases such as leukaemia or autoimmunity.

It is intended that by the end of the course the students will be familiar with key concepts in stem cell biology, and will have gained a good understanding of extrinsic and intrinsic regulation of the differentiation of specific haematopoietic lineages. The immune system serves as a useful paradigm to appreciate the complexities and pitfalls of cellular differentiation, and the course will act as a valuable introduction for students interested in the biology and therapeutic potential of stem cells
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Pre-requisites Students MUST have passed: Immunology 3 (BILG09007)
It is RECOMMENDED that students have passed Clinical Immunology & Haematology 3B (MSBM09004)
Prohibited Combinations Other requirements None
Additional Costs Possible 40 contribution to field trip to Firbush at start of course
Information for Visiting Students
Displayed in Visiting Students Prospectus?Yes
Course Delivery Information
Delivery period: 2013/14 Semester 1, Available to all students (SV1) Learn enabled:  No Quota:  None
Web Timetable Web Timetable
Course Start Date 16/09/2013
Breakdown of Learning and Teaching activities (Further Info) Total Hours: 100 ( Lecture Hours 27, Summative Assessment Hours 2, Programme Level Learning and Teaching Hours 2, Directed Learning and Independent Learning Hours 69 )
Additional Notes
Breakdown of Assessment Methods (Further Info) Written Exam 100 %, Coursework 0 %, Practical Exam 0 %
Exam Information
Exam Diet Paper Name Hours & Minutes
Main Exam Diet S1 (December)Stem cells, haematopoiesis and immune therapy2:00
Summary of Intended Learning Outcomes
Basic understanding of the current field of stem cell biology particularly in relation to the haematopoietic stem cells and differentiation of the haematopoietic system
An introduction to issues surrounding stem cell biology which impact on use of stem cells as therapeutic reagents
Understanding of the biological issues related to successful reconstitution of the lympho-haematopoietic system in bone marrow transplantation (BMT), and of the use of BMT in current and future therapies
Attainment of advanced skills in reading and understanding the primary literature
Development of scientific problem solving skills
Development of oral Presentation Skills

Assessment Information
By written Exam, 2 essay-type questions, Dec Weeks 12-13.
Special Arrangements
Additional Information
Academic description Not entered
Syllabus Not entered
Transferable skills Not entered
Reading list Not entered
Study Abroad Not entered
Study Pattern Not entered
Course organiserDr Clare Blackburn
Tel: (0131 6)50 5843
Course secretaryMiss Claire Fox
Tel: (0131 6)50 5454
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