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Immunobiology Courses

Training students to excel in a cutting edge research environment is the singular goal of the Combined Program in the Biological and Biomedical Sciences (BBS). To meet this challenge, BBS has been designed as a novel and continually evolving graduate educational system. BBS has dissolved departmental boundaries to provide students with access to rigorous training throughout the entire Yale University campus. Courses, seminars, departmental retreats, and most importantly, more than 280 faculty labs are all open to students in the BBS Program. A graduate degree from Yale will represent a thorough, interdisciplinary, cutting edge education that will open doors in academia, industry, business, and the numerous other career paths that our graduates pursue.

First year students will typically take two to three courses per semester and will conduct three lab rotations over the course of the year. Courses and rotations are available throughout the University, both on "Science Hill" on the main campus and at the School of Medicine. At the end of the first year, students select a thesis adviser in whose lab they will conduct their doctoral research.

In most cases, the choice of a thesis laboratory will determine which Graduate Program a student enters. Hence, it is possible for a student in any Track of BBS in the first year to become a member of any of the departmentally based Graduate Programs in the second (and subsequent) years. For the Immunobiology Graduate Program, the typical route of entry is via the Immunology Track of BBS. But students from other tracks occasionally choose a thesis supervisor in Immunobiology and enter the Immunobiology Graduate Program. The total time-to-degree averages 5.5 years.

For a complete list of all BBS courses, please visit and click on courses.

Required Immunobiology Courses Include:

Immunobiology 530a: Biology of the Immune System. The development of the immune system. Cellular and molecular mechanisms of immune recognition. Effector responses against pathogens; autoimmunity.

Immunobiology 531b: Advanced Immunology. Exploring the historical development and central paradigms of key areas in Immunology. Prerequisite: IBIO 530a or equivalent.

Immunobiology 600a: Introduction to Research. Introduction to the research interests of the faculty. Required for all first year students.

Immunobiology 601b: Fundamentals of Research. Seminar discussing proper conduct of research. Required for first and second year students.

Immunobiology 611a, 612b, 613b: Intensive experience in the design and execution of experiments in immunology or other areas of biology. Students design a focused research project in consultation with a faculty mentor and execute the designed experiments in the mentor's laboratory. Students are expected to read relevant background papers from the literature, design and perform experiments, interpret the resulting data, and propose follow up experiments. Students are also expected to attend the mentor's weekly lab meeting(s) as well as weekly Immunobiology departmental seminars and Research in Progress seminars. The course concludes with the student giving a brief presentation of the work performed at Rotation Talks, attended by other first year Immunology Track graduate students. Evaluation is by the mentor; students also evaluate the rotation experience.

Immunobiology 536, 537, 538, 539: Special Topics in Immunology. These seminar courses cover a different topic of particular interest in Immunology each semester and emphasize the methods and logic of research, how to read and critically evaluate the literature, and how to write a research proposal.