Experimental immunology and immunobiotechnology

A.Y. 2020/2021
Overall hours
MED/04 MED/16 MED/46 VET/05
Learning objectives
The course aims at providing a general understanding of potentials and limitations of experimental immunology approaches to the understanding on molecular and cellular mechanisms underlying human immunopathology, here developed approaching a selection of immunological diseases as cases of study.
Expected learning outcomes
The students will learn how to investigate on the pathogenesis of models of human diseases starting from the unanswered clinical and biological questions. The knowledge of the advanced biotechnologies and of animal models will make it possible to understand what technical tools and approaches are currently available to disclose the cellular and molecular mechanisms of human diseases.
Course syllabus and organization

Single session

Lesson period
Third trimester
All classes planned during the third trimester of the first year of the Master Degree Medical Biotechnology and Molecular Medicine, will be given as frontal teaching and distance synchronous learning. In case of a new suspension of frontal lectures, all students will be asked to move to distance synchronous learning.
Each hour of lesson will be divided into 45' of formal teaching followed by 15' of discussion/interaction/question time. All lessons will be recorded and made available for students on the indicated platforms (i.e. Ariel, TEAMS, etc).
Unless otherwise specified, exams will be organized in classroom but if the student is unable to reach the building for COVID-related issues, other forms will be considered (this apply for exams scheduled until the 31st July - 2021).
Course syllabus
General pathology and immunology:
Potential and Limitations of modern biotechnologies to be used to investigate on the pathogenesis of the above-mentioned autoimmune diseases (Flow Cytometry - Omics - Gene Therapies - Approaches of Translational Medicine).
Lessons introducing the current knowledge in regard to the physiopathology of the following auto-immune diseases:
a) Systemic Lupus Erythematosus (SLE);
b) Antiphospholipid Syndrome (APS);
c) Systemic Sclerosis (SSc);
d) Vasculitis. (Cellular and molecular mechanisms - Biomarkers and autoantibodies - Novel therapeutic approaches - Transplant in autoimmunity - Biological Therapies).
Laboratory medicine:
Each student will be asked to focus on a specific aspect related to experimental immunology and immunobiotechnology implications for each defined theme working on a selection of research articles indicated by the Faculty. This step will be developed in a series of meetings with the tutor.
Domestic animal infectious diseases:
Potential and Limitations of the murine models associated to the above-mentioned autoimmune disorders (Production and analysis of transgenic animals - Gene targeting technologies - Production and analysis of knock out animals - Conditional gene targeting - In vivo experiment planning - Legislation - Models of experimental pathology in autoimmunity and transplantation - Production and analysis of
bone marrow chimeras - Xenografts and humanized mice).
Prerequisites for admission
Students must carry a bachelor degree in Biomedical Technologies allowing them to have a basic knowledge in general pathology and immunology.
Teaching methods
The integrated course of "Experimental Immunology and Biotechnology" will have frontal lessons without laboratories. In each one of the 4 integrated modules of the course, the frontal lessons will be highly interactive for the students that will have the opportunity to download before all the presentations and associated material from the Ariel platform of UNIMI, within a special session referred to this integrated course. Doing so, the lesson will have a high level of synergy so the students can actively participate to the lessons. In particular, the student will have an active role in developing with the professors of each models of the integrated course all those skills required to prepare a formal presentation that will be part of the first step of examination as explained in details in the previous session of Assessment methods and criteria. Attending the lessons is mandatory.
Teaching Resources
Slides produced during the course.
Material provided or suggested by the teachers.
Gene Targeting: a practical approach, ed. A.I. Joyner Oxford University Press - Benessere e Animal Care dell'Animale da Laboratorio, ed Point Veterinaire Italie
Assessment methods and Criteria
The examination of the integrated course of "Experimental Immunology and Biotechnology" will consist in two steps.
The first step is a formal presentation "in itinere" at the end of the frontal lessons in which every student will present a model of human immunological disease discussed during the course. In particular, the student must discuss the open and unmet clinical needs of the assigned immunological disease as well as the associated methodologies/technologies currently being implemented to develop alternative therapeutic and curative approaches. To this end, all professors of this integrated course will share with the students through the ARIEL platform of UNIMI materials that will introduce models of human diseases, the experimental approach (including animal models) to better understand their pathophysiology and the modern biotechnologies adopted to improve the clinical outcomes of such diseases. Professors will deliver also dedicated lessons to help student building the presentation, to look for bibliography and to discuss all the open questions and doubts that will be raised during the class. Each student will be assigned with a different model of human disease and they will work in a team of 2/3 people. The student will then present their work to all professors and to the entire class his/her presentation that will be scored from 1 to 15.

The second step of the examination will consist in a written test with 3 open questions in which the students will be evaluated on all the program of the course and also on the other presentation given by their colleagues. This second written test will be scored from 1 to 15. The "laude" will be granted only to those students that will show the best skills to work in team and to deliver a scientific presentation in English.

The student cannot carry any paper or electronic support material during the written examination test that will last 60 minutes.
The final results of the written examination test will be added with the scores of presentations to reach a final score that will be delivered electronically via the official online platform of UNIMI. Students will have the option to either accept or reject the final score of the test. We will schedule e minimum of 6 written examination tests for every academic year.
Domestic animal infectious diseases
Lessons: 14 hours
Professor: Riva Federica
General pathology and immunology
Lessons: 7 hours
Professor: Locati Massimo
Laboratory medicine
Lessons: 14 hours
Professor: Mavilio Domenico
MED/16 - RHEUMATOLOGY - University credits: 1
Lessons: 7 hours
On Appointment
Istituto Clinico Humanitas, Via A. ;anzoni 113, Rozzano, Milano