Degree course: 
Corso di Second cycle degree in BIOMEDICAL SCIENCES
Academic year when starting the degree: 
Academic year in which the course will be held: 
Course type: 
Compulsory subjects, characteristic of the class
First Semester
Standard lectures hours: 
Detail of lecture’s hours: 
Lesson (48 hours)

In order to attend fruitfully the class, the student should possess the basic notions in Immunology

Final Examination: 

The final exam consists of a written test characterized by eight multiple choice questions plus two open-ended questions chosen by the student from a list of three, thereafter the written test will be discussed in an oral exam. In this way the teacher will verify the preparation and presentation skills of students. Students are expected to have a comprehensive knowledge of current immunology and a basic understanding of some experimental methods. The final grade is evaluated as follow: 8 points for the eight multiple choice questions, 10 points for the first open-ended questions, 10 points for the second open-ended questions, 3 points for the oral discussion (the sum of these marks is 30+1, 30 cum laude).

Voto Finale

The principal goals of the course of immunopathology are to provide a) a comprehensive knowledge of immunopathology and the underlying immune regulatory circuits b) a basic knowledge of immunological techniques c)some notions about selected areas of current immune research, that is b1) immunity of infectious diseases, in particular covid-SARS2 b2) immunology of cancer, b3) neuroimmunology. The aim is to furnish a useful complement to other Classes of BMS dealing with Microbiology, Oncology and Neurobiology. Currently a knowledge of Immunopathology is mandatory for the training of the biologist aiming at studying Biomedicine.
After the Course the student will be able to explain the concepts underlying current immunology in health and disease and to describe some basic experimental strategies.

The first four lessons of the course will be used to refresh the basics of Immunology

Section A
Immune regulatory circuits
-innate receptors, pathogen associated molecular patterns PAMP and PRR
-conventional T helper cells, Th1, Th2 and Th17
-the thymus and central tolerance, an outline
-peripheral tolerance, second and third signals in priming of T cells
-regulatory T cells
-damage associated molecular patterns DAMPs and sterile inflammation

Atopic diseases
type I, II, III and IV Hypersensitivity

-epidemiology and classification of autoimmune disorders
-pathogenic mechanisms of autoimmune disorders
-selected example of autoimmune diseases
-therapy of autoimmune diseases, classical and current approaches

Immunological techniques
-immunophenotype and flow cytometry
-how to study cytokines: ELISA, intracellular fluorescence, ELISPOT and Th polarization
-inbred mice strains, use in biomedicine

Section B

Immunology of infectious diseases and the science of vaccines
-arms race between pathogens and their hosts, escape strategies from immune responses
-vaccines, epidemiology and herd immunity
-classical and novel approaches to vaccine design
-SARS-CoV2 vaccine
-pathogenesis of covid-19

Cancer Immunology and the new field of cancer immunotherapy
-cancer immune surveillance theory
-tumor antigens (tumor-specific or tumor-associated)
-immunotherapy of cancer, adoptive cell transfer and chimeric antigen receptors (CAR)
-immunotherapy of cancer, immune checkpoints inhibitors
-cancer cachexia

Selected topics in Neuroimmunology
-the complex bidirectional interaction between microbiota and nervous system, microbiota and autism
-brain immune privilege, classical and current view. Recent discoveries about meningeal lymphatic system and glymphatic system
-inflammatory reflex in health and disease, bioelectronic medicine

Tak W Mak et al Primer to Immune Response Academic Cell

Abul K Abbas et al Cellular and Molecular Immunology Elsevier

Reviews or original papers on the subject and lecture’s files provided by the teacher on the e-learning platform


The course consists of lectures supported by Power Point presentations (48 hours, 6 CFU). As a complement to the section B, the lecturer will discuss briefly some seminal papers (journal club)

The lecturer is available on appointment ( for meeting students to explain or further discuss the issues treated in the class.