Queen's University
BMED 386 Fundamentals of Immunology in Health and Disease

BMED 386 – Fundamentals of Immunology in Health and Disease is designed to integrate the key principles of immunology to facilitate learning of immunology as it relates to human health and disease. This course offers real-life case studies, problems encountered and solutions applied, immunology virtual laboratory simulation, and extensive coverage of the basic science underlying each topic in the module. The learning modules offer a mix of clinical examples, videos, and interactive learning activities to help students maximize their learning experience. These immersive trainings will be of value to students interested in the health professional fields as well as scientists in industry and academic research groups. Students who may want to enter new fields and to those working in supportive roles will benefit from an in-depth learning of the role of immunology in healthcare fields.

Minimum 3rd year (level 3) standing and one of (BCHM 218/3.0 or BCHM 270/3.0), and one of (MICR 270/3.0 or MICR 221/3.0), or equivalent courses with permission of the instructor.


Note: This course is not open to Arts and Science students.

Cannot be taken with or after MICR 360/BMED 877.

Online format with materials, communication, discussion boards, quizzes, and midterm tests completed all via Brightspace (onQ).

After completing BMED 386 Fundamentals of Immunology in Health and Disease, students will be able to:

  1. Explain the fundamentals of immunology and describe key principles of the immune system, mechanisms of immune reactions, aspects of antibody formation, and cell-mediated immunity in health and disease.
  2. Dissect a problem into its key features by thinking in an integrated manner and interpret immunological data from a virtual lab to identify consistent and inconsistent components.
  3. Advocate for ethical issues in the immunological approach to health and life sciences by effectively researching major issues at the forefront of the discipline.
  4. Assess immunology resources critically (e.g. videos, virtual lab, and clinical images) and use precise written responses to present the work to both a science literate and general audience.


As Communicators, health professionals form relationships with patients and their families* that facilitate the gathering and sharing of essential information for effective health care.


As Advocates, health professionals contribute their expertise and influence as they work with communities or patient populations to improve health. They work with those they serve to determine and understand needs, speak on behalf of others when required, and support the mobilization of resources to effect change.


As Leaders, health professionals engage with others to contribute to a vision of a high-quality health care system and take responsibility for the delivery of excellent patient care through their activities as clinicians, administrators, scholars, or teachers.


As Scholars, health professionals demonstrate a lifelong commitment to excellence in practice through continuous learning and by teaching others, evaluating evidence, and contributing to scholarship.


As Professionals, health professionals are committed to the health and well-being of individual patients and society through ethical practice, high personal standards of behaviour, accountability to the profession and society, physician-led regulation, and maintenance of personal health.

Assessment 1- Quizzes (10%)

The purpose of this assessment is to test student’s understanding of module content which has been strategically placed throughout the course (e.g, Quiz 1 includes module 1 and 2, Quiz 2 – module 3 and 4, Quiz 3 – modules 5, 6, and 7, Quiz 4 – module 8A, Quiz 5 – module 8B). Each quiz is worth 2% of the final mark. Quiz questions will be type 1 multiple choice questions (MCQ) and will include one or two examples from the design your own MCQ assessment based on quality of discriminator. Quizzes will have 8 questions and is timed at 16 minutes.

Assessment 2- Discussion Boards (15%)

Students will be able to apply what they are learning in modules to real life application-based or clinical cases through participation in 3 discussion board assignments. Using precision language (e.g. detailed markers on a cell, specific receptors, cytokines, protein structure etc.) within a 100-word limit, students will describe the details of the immune response presented in a specific scenario. Students will gain a profound understanding of the language of immunology and the implications of the field of immunology to health and disease. Students will discuss the scenarios and articles with peers in their groups to draw conclusions on the material and will be required to include a follow up post to a peer. Material covered in discussion boards will be included in either the midterm and/or final exams. Example topics covered in discussion boards will include vaccines, antibodies, adaptive and innate immune responses, T cell development and maturation, cytokines, cell-mediated immune responses, complement, hypersensitivity and inflammation.

Assessment 3- Design your own MCQ Type 1 and Short Answer Question (20%)

The purpose of this assessment is to accurately apply the precision language of immunology to design your own multiple choice questions, short answer questions and corresponding marking rubric. The breadth of this assignment is to identify an aspect of the associated modules (e.g. T-lymphocytes) and include precise details within their discriminators as answers to display full competency in students’ understanding of the content. Students must also create a thoughtful short answer question and corresponding rubric that they would recommend they use to mark it. Students will be required to assess the quality of their peers MCQs and associated discriminators. TA’s will use a rubric to identify these discriminators, short answer questions, and rubric; peer assessment marks will only be awarded if they match the TA’s assigned mark. Approved MCQs and short answer questions may be included in quizzes, the midterm, and the final exam.

Assessment 4 and 5- Midterm (20%) and Final Exam (35%)

The questions used in the midterm and final exam will reflect module topics, interactive learning exercises, and videos throughout the course. Students will have 1.5 minutes per multiple choice question, and 3 minutes for short answer and matching. Students will have 3 hours to finish the final exam. Examples of questions that could be asked on the midterm and final exam will be as follows:

  1. MCQ – Type 1
  2. Matching – definition based
  3. Short summary answer – precision language required
  4. Skin graft and MHC clinical application questions (Interactive learning exercise)
  • Tests on knowledge about MHC molecules expressed on different tissues for different individuals to test the learning outcome of immunological graft rejection (tissue transplantation- the clinical example)
  • Student must choose whether a tissue transplant would be accepted or rejected based on provided information and why
  1. Test on videos and key graphics via short answer/ fill in the image
  • Eg. (3 Pts) What specific process is this graphic illustrating with the arrows linking the Combined V-region genes for the heavy chain in the generation of antibody diversity?
  1. Test on Virtual Lab Interaction (e.g. antibody-titre) via short answer
  2. Describe the immune process taking place in a clinical image

Students will use course modules posted online. If students would like additional resources, recommended but optional textbooks are:

Janeway’s Immunobiology (eBook formats for iPod, iPad & iPhones ) (9th Edition)

GS Garland Publisher 2011

Kenneth Murphy (Editor)

Cost at VitalSource: $180


Kuby Immunology (eBook) (7th Edition)

Owen, Judy; Punt, Jenni; Stranford, Sharon

Publisher: W.H. Freeman & Company

Cost at VitalSource: $102

Queen’s students, faculty, administrators and staff all have responsibilities for supporting and upholding the fundamental values of academic integrity. Academic integrity is constituted by the five core fundamental values of honesty, trust, fairness, respect and responsibility (see http://www.academicintegrity.org) and by the quality of courage. These values and qualities are central to the building, nurturing and sustaining of an academic community in which all members of the community will thrive. Adherence to the values expressed through academic integrity forms a foundation for the "freedom of inquiry and exchange of ideas" essential to the intellectual life of the University.

Students are responsible for familiarizing themselves with and adhering to the regulations concerning academic integrity. General information on academic integrity is available at Integrity@Queen's University, along with Faculty or School specific information. Departures from academic integrity include, but are not limited to, plagiarism, use of unauthorized materials, facilitation, forgery and falsification. Actions which contravene the regulation on academic integrity carry sanctions that can range from a warning, to loss of grades on an assignment, to failure of a course, to requirement to withdraw from the university.

Specifically, for BMED 386 Fundamentals of Immunology in Health and Disease, students must express themselves in their own words, and cite sources when they use outside information. Verbatim copying of the module text or textbook is considered plagiarism and is a breach of academic integrity. Further, lying and misrepresentation are dishonest and violate the core values of academic integrity.

All components of this course will receive numerical percentage marks. The final grade received for the course will be derived by converting the student’s numerical course average to a letter grade according to Queen’s Official Grade Conversion Scale.