University of Pittsburgh


Foundations of Medicine

Immunology in Health and Disease

January 28, 2019-February 18, 2019
16 half days

Course Director
Christine Milcarek, PhD
Department of Immunology

Course Director
Chester Oddis, MD
Department of Medicine

Course Director
Lisa Borghesi, PhD
Associate Professor
Department of Immunology


Course Description

Healthy immune responses to biological challenges and pathology resulting from diseased immune systems are presented in this course.

The goals of the course are for students to gain a basic knowledge and understanding of:

  1. fundamental concepts of the immune system and its role in protecting us from infection.
  2. rheumatic diseases that have an immunologic basis.
  3. innate and adaptive immunity specifically focusing on cell-mediated and humoral immune responses as well as effector mechanisms in both of these processes.
  4. concepts of immunologic tolerance.
  5. autoimmune disease and immunodeficiency syndromes.
  6. pharmacologic concepts as they relate to the management of patients with immunologic and rheumatic diseases.

The 37 faculty are from 5 departments: Immunology, Medicine (Division of Rheumatology and Clinical Immunology), Otolaryngology, Pathology, and Surgery.

Educational Methods


Lectures Self-study materials on the web Optional self-study practice exams on the web    
Small-group problem-based learning sessions Patient workshops In-class practice exams    



Evaluation for this course is based on attendance at small-group sessions (10%) and a final exam that consists of multiple-choice questions written by the National Board of Medical Examiners (NBME) (90%).

Grading: This course comprises 40% of the grade for the Foundations of Medicine Block, Sectio 3. Grading for the block is Satisfactory or Unsatisfactory.

Faculty Note

Penelope Morel, MD is the recipient of the Sheldon Adler Award for Innovation. In addition, Course Director Christine Milcarek, PhD is a member of the UPSOM Academy of Master Educators.