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If Immunology is a tough subject for you Follow these study tips-Part 2

If Immunology is a tough subject for you, follow these study tips – Part 2

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Here is part 2 of our Immunology study tips article. Read on…

  • Making charts of the topics used repeatedly in the study of Immunology–

Following are a few topics that are usually repeated, so making a chart will help you memorise those:

  • Types of cells in the immune system and their functions (T cells, B cells, Dendritic cells, Macrophages etc.)
  • Types of receptors and surface proteins present on immune cells and in the immune system with their functions (MHCI.MHCII, TCR, BCR, different types of antibodies etc).
  • Different cytokines, their receptors and functions as cytokines are major regulatory molecules in immunological networks.
  • Learning about proteins is very important-

Study in detail about

  • Amino acid sequence patterns
  • 3D structure of proteins
  • Protease enzymes

These things will help you understand the molecular aspects of Immunology like antigen interaction with MHC molecules, antigen-antibody interactions etc.

  • Study about the immune response based on the type of pathogen or antigens- Some suitable examples are:
  • Virus or viral antigens – CD4 Th1 cells which secrete IFN gamma to create an antiviral state.
  • Bacteria or bacterial antigens – Macrophages and CD4 Th2 cells which secrete IL4 and IL5.
  • Tumour cells and tumour antigens – CD8 cytotoxic T cells which secrete granzymes and CD4 Th1 cells.
  • Study the techniques related to Immunology-

Rather than theory Immunology is more of an experimental subject. Here’s a list of some important techniques and their suitable applications–

  • ELISA – To study antigen-antibody interactions, quantify secreted cytokines and chemokines, as well as to perform T cell assays.
  • ELISPOT and cytokine bead array – To analyse different cytokines and to quantify serum cytokine levels.
  • Flowcytometry – To do immunophenotyping of different cellular populations of immune system cells like Th17 cells, regulatory t cells, hematopoietic stem cells, different types of antigen-presenting cells etc.
  • Magnetic cell sorting – Used to purify cells from mixed populations.
  • HYBRIDOMA – To produce monoclonal antibodies against a given epitope or antigen.
  • Knockin, knock out and disease model mouse to do in vivo experiments of immunology.
  • Read review articles or research papers from good journals of immunology.

Immunology is a very dynamic and fast-evolving subject domain of biological sciences. And the latest research journals and articles can be of great help in keeping up to date. Following are some noted journals of immunology where you can get immunology specific research articles-

Also, you can take help from immunology courses of MIT Open courseware.

  1. https://ocw.mit.edu/courses/health-sciences-and-technology/hst-176-cellular-and-molecular-immunology-fall-2005/
  2. https://ocw.mit.edu/courses/biology/7-340-under-the-radar-screen-how-bugs-trick-our-immune-defenses-spring-2007/

By Dr. Nishant Vyas

(Ph. D, Onco-immunology, Post Doc, Stem Cell Research)

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