Molecular and Cellular Methods in Immunology

Postgraduate course

Course description

Objectives and Content


The course aims to introduce methods used in immunological research.

The course is taught over a 4-week period, which is followed by a written report.

The 4-week period includes independent study of the provided course material including protocols and

background material required to understand each method (40hrs, week 1). This is followed by a seminar

by the course leaders introducing the core methods, and an open discussion of the material. The second

and third week is dedicated to practical laboratory work (80hrs, week 2 and 3) where students will gain

hands-on experience of the methods studied in week 1 (see "content- practical"). The practical part of the

course will give students a deeper understanding of the methods introduced in the theoretical part of the

course. In the final week (40hrs, week 4) students will process their research results from week 2-3.

Additionally, each student will be given a published research paper by the course coordinator,

encompassing the topics covered during the course. At the end of week 4, students will attend a student

colloquium where they will present and discuss their results and conclusions from week 2-3. Further,

students will give a presentation on the assigned research paper.

Final assessment of the course requires the submission of an in-depth report (summarizing 4 weeks of

material) in a scientific format of the research conducted during the course. This report requires student to

demonstrate a deep understanding of the methods utilized and results generated and put them in context

with previous work.

Content (theoretical part): Course material will be provided.

The course leaders will give a theoretical introduction into some of the commonly used immunological methods. - Student colloquium: The students present and critically evaluate theirs and each-others results and present and evaluate 1 research paper each.

Content (practical part):

- Calculation of molarities, preparation of buffers.

- Isolation of leukocytes from blood using density gradient centrifugation. Isolation and cultivation of monocytes (cell culture), in vitro generation of macrophages.

- Western blot analysis of signaling pathways using stimulated cells.

- ELISAQuantification of cytokines produced by the cells.

- Immunostaining

- Visualization using fluorescently labeled secondary antibody.

- Quantification of copy number using PCR: Comparison of standard PCR with quantitative real time PCR.

Learning Outcomes

On completion of the course the student is able to/has:

Knowledge: Upon completing the course, the participants should understand the aim and theory behind

commonly used immunological methods.

Skills: Upon completing the course, the participants should be able to plan and perform experiments

taught within the course.

Competence: Upon completing the course, the participants should be able to apply their knowledge and

skills to engage in further tasks related to research.

ECTS Credits


Level of Study


Semester of Instruction


Place of Instruction

Lab.building/BB-building & Haukeland University Hospital.
Required Previous Knowledge

Some background in cellular and molecular biology. Experience with basic laboratory techniques such as pipetting and centrifugation.

Recommended Previous Knowledge
Priority will be given to students having taken the related course Human Immunology (HUIMM903/HUIMM303).
Credit Reduction due to Course Overlap
BMED320 (-4 ECTS)
Access to the Course
There is no direct registration for this course. Each person that would like to attend has to contact as there is a limited number of spaces.
Teaching and learning methods

- Articles, textbook (40 h).

- Theoretical introduction to the lab (8 h).

- 10 days in the lab (60 h) and colloquium (8 h).

- Preparation for colloquium (40 h)

- Preparation of reports (3 weeks ¿ 120h)

Compulsory Assignments and Attendance
Compulsory participation in all experiments.
Forms of Assessment
Oral presentation of given articles and results, in addition to the written lab report (composed of Introduction, Materials and Methods, Results, Discussion). Both oral presentations and written lab report must be approved by the course leader.
Grading Scale


Assessment Semester
Reading List
To be announced (tba)
Course Evaluation
After every course