University of Pittsburgh


Fundamentals of Basic Science

Immunology in Health and Disease

January 26, 2018-February 19, 2018
20 half days

Course Director
Christine Milcarek, PhD
Department of Immunology
Christine Milcarek, PhD
Course Director
Chester Oddis, MD
Department of Medicine
Chester Oddis, MD

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 48% of the grade for the Fundamentals of Basic Science Block, Section 3. Grading for the block section is Satisfactory, Unsatisfactory.

Faculty Note

Course Director Christine Milcarek, PhD, and Georgia Duker, PhD, are members of the UPSOM Academy of Master Educators. In addition, Dr. Duker is a recipient of the Kenneth E. Schuit Master Educator Award.