LIVE_Innov in Spain Semester 1


First Semester in Spain

First Semester

For a specialisation in immunology and immunopathology, the LIVE students will learn in Spain with students enrolled in the “Màster en Immunologia Avançada” co-accredited by Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona (UAB) & Universitat de Barcelona (UB).

The complexity of the immune system involves many molecules and, therefore, genes with important variations in their regulation, expression and response to different stimuli. The main objective of the course is the acquisition by the student of the molecular knowledge of the immune system key genes and molecules. Murine and human Major Histocompatibility Complex molecules, Natural Killer cell receptors, and diversity, genetics and functions of adaptive immunity receptors: immunoglobulins and T cell receptors. Students will understand how generation of antigen receptor diversity, clonality, polymorphism, and antigen processing and presentation molecules influence the immune response and their applications to the diagnostic and specific therapies. He will also learn how to use relevant bioinformatics to study the genes of the immune system.

This module provides an overview of the mechanisms that regulate the activity of the immune system. Students understand the essentials of innate and adaptive immune responses and their regulation from recognition to the effective destruction of pathogens or management of other injury to the body. They learn various molecules and their receptors involved in regulation and communication that characterize the different types of immune response. As immune responses are generally very short duration it is necessary to know the mechanisms that inhibit such responses. This includes a number of regulatory cells and molecules with suppressive or tolerogenic effects. Finally, students will discover the immuno-metabolism and neuro-immunology interfaces.

Students of the LIVE Master need to understand that one of the main features of the immune system, compared to most of the physiological systems existing in living beings, is its diverse nature and its structure. Students learn the location and topology of the different anatomical components of the immune system and understand their interconnection with the rest of the body. They come to a comprehensive understanding of the location, distribution and structure of the different components of the immune system and how they interact. After the course students will understand the anatomy of the immune system and its normal functioning as a global system, understand the concept of haematopoiesis as a generator of immune cell diversity, understand the specific characteristics of the immune response at different locations and explain the mechanisms driving cell traffic and their relationship with the immune response.

This course allows students to achieve a full understanding of the relationship between the type of immune response and characteristics of each pathogen, including the way and the anatomical site of entry, the effector mechanisms of response and evasion. Experts cover innate and adaptive immune response to extracellular and intracellular bacteria, viruses, unicellular (Plasmodium) and multicellular (helminth) parasites. Students understand the relationships between opportunistic pathogens and its host and also how genetic defects of specific immune genes lead to pathogen-specific infections.

After the course students can use immunopathology concepts for reasoning to understand clinical cases. They know which immunology tests can help in the diagnosis of the main immune-mediated diseases. They  know the basis of immunotherapies and their potential in human disease. They have the capability to discuss the relevant research results at a journal club or at a research meeting. They know the basis of the applied therapies to counteract hypersensitivities, autoimmune and auto-inflammatory diseases, cancers, immunodeficiencies. They investigate cellular therapies, biotherapies and know the pro and con of transfusion and transplantation.

Students acquire basic practices for using laboratory instruments, understanding antibody-antigen interactions, preparing and culturing mammalian cells, performing flow cytometry immunophenotyping and functional analysis of T and mononuclear cells. With the immunoinformatics theory and practices, the students become able to (i) describe the fundamental concepts of Immunoinformatics, (ii) know the major publicly available data sources for immunology research, (iii) gain confidence in using software and tools to perform reverse vaccinology and gene-pathway analysis and (iv) identify and evaluate the potential of different bioinformatics methodologies to their own research.

The goal of this teaching unit is to improve the student’s proficiency level, taking into account his or her previous knowledge of the language. The student is asked to take a placement test on arrival at the Language Service so as to be placed in the adequate course, according to his or her level. Spanish and French will be taught in person. Students who know Spanish and French can follow online courses of any of the following European Languages: German, Italian or Portuguese.

The Receptor Signalling course focuses on cell signalling architecture and major signalling pathways in innate and adaptive immunity. Specific examples of signalling pathways associated with pathology or mediating therapeutic processes are presented. The students analyse and comment on recent relevant scientific literature concerning a signalling process. Teamwork is promoted. Students delve into a dozen signalling pathways to understand cell signalling as an integrative process underlying the modulation of immune cell activities.

After the course students are able to apply immunopathology concepts to understand clinical cases of autoimmunity and immunodeficiencies. They know the immunology tests that help diagnosis of autoimmune diseases. They are able to design a strategy to approach research in autoimmune diseases. They know the immunology tests that help diagnosis of immunodeficiency diseases. They have the capability to discuss research results at a journal club or at a research meeting. They know the basis of the applied therapies. They understand the known mechanisms that lead to develop organ and non-organ specific autoimmune diseases. They have understood and can illustrate the differences between primary and secondary immuno-deficiencies. They become able to design a strategy to approach research in autoimmune or immunodeficiency diseases.

The course content change in each edition depending on the courses offered by the ECIU university, the European Consortium of Innovative Universities (ECIU Erasmus+ project), composed by the UAB and 11 universities each from different countries. The ECIU University teaching projects are linked to Sustainable Development Goal 11 established by the United Nations General Assembly to develop sustainable cities and communities. The course will cover one challenge among a (non-exhaustive) list: Big data & climate change; make cities and human settlements inclusive, safe, resilient, and sustainable; promote the application and advancement of the principles of ecological, social and economic sustainability through citizen participation mechanisms. The course prepare the students to grasp the changing world and help them to adapt future vaccines to the Anthropocene.

Last updated : June 15, 2024