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5 Best Immunology Courses & Classes Online [Updated 2020]

 

Our immune system is our first line of defence that wards off and fights against different bacteria, viruses, and pathogens. Though we have come a long way in the biomedical science since the first time Dr. Edward Jenner pioneered the vaccine for smallpox, the field of immunology is still evolving to incorporate modern antibody therapies, vaccines, and therapeutic biomolecules.

 

According to a 2012 study, around three to four new species of the human virus are still being identified per year and two-thirds of these new human pathogens are viruses. To be able to combat these new pathogens, and treat infectious diseases, one needs to understand how the immune system works and responds to the foreign entities. This has created a need to study and apply the concepts of immunology in various fields such as medical research, organ transplantation, oncology, virology, psychiatry, and dermatology.

 

Understanding of the human immune system is the forerunner for understanding the development of common disorders, the treatment of chronic diseases, and for the pharmaceutical industry to develop vaccines and antibodies.There has been a surge in the numbers of biology students, academicians, pharmaceutical professionals, researchers, clinicians, and nurses searching for an immunology class online to obtain an immunology certificate. People are contemplating taking immunology courses online either to pursue a career in immunology, for complementary medicine, or simply out of curiosity to understand the human body better.

 

If you too fall under any of the above categories and have done your fair bit of research on the best immunology courses online, you must have come across many immunology training courses. We at TrumpLearning are here to assist you with the best immunology courses online that we have selected after consulting 10 immunology experts working in different domains of biomedical science.

 

Go through each of these five immunology courses online and choose the most suitable one for you to obtain your immunology certificate online.

 

5 Best Immunology Courses Online:

  1. Fundamentals of Immunology Specialization By RICE University [Coursera]
  2. HMX Immunology [Harvard.edu]
  3. Introduction to Immunology – Revised [Alison]
  4. Applied Immunology [UCSD Extension]
  5. 3128 – Principles of Immunology [utoronto.ca]

 

1. Fundamentals of Immunology Specialization By RICE University [Coursera]

 

About this course

Before you begin working for any immunology related profession, it is essential to be well-versed with the medical vocabulary and the basics of immunology. Only then can you proceed to understand the clinical and commercial application for new diagnostics and treatment of diseases. To begin with, the first course in our list of top immunology courses online is, in fact, a three-course Coursera immunology specialization series.

 

The three immunology courses online in this specialization aim at teaching you the basics of immunology to build a concrete foundation which will in turn equip you to critically analyze the newly developed and evolving therapies to treat different diseases.

 

The three immunology training courses included in this Coursera immunology specialization are:

Course 1: Fundamentals of Immunology: Innate Immunity and B-Cell Function

Course 2: Fundamentals of Immunology: T Cells and Signaling

Course 3: Fundamentals of Immunology: Death by Friendly Fire

 

These immunology training courses are being offered by Rice University. The instructor of this immunology class online is Alma Moon Novotny, Ph. D., a biochemistry and cell biology lecturer at Rice University.

 

The duration of these Coursera immunology courses is approx. five months, that is, if you commit two hours per week for the immunology class online. These immunology training courses are 100 percent online and also provide you the flexibility to select your own deadlines. Besides the self-paced video classes, this Coursera immunology specialization also consists of practice quizzes, graded assignments, and quizzes, peers and mentor feedback.

 

Since this is a specialization course, you can either study the entire Coursera immunology specialization or select the best online immunology course amongst the three that you wish to pursue. Each course provides a course-specific immunology certificate online. However, subscribing to any of the courses in the series will automatically subscribe you to the entire specialization. Also, you will need to complete all three courses to be eligible for the specialization immunology certificate online. This one also provides you the option offinancial aid.

 

This immunology courses online series has been rated a 4.7 and has already been enrolled by 14,294 students. Almost 50% of the students were able to start new careers by completing this Coursera immunology specialization and 20% of them got professional benefits such as a pay hike or a promotion.

 

What will you learn?

To give you a quick introduction to the immunology class online, we have mentioned below the topics that will be covered in the three immunology courses online in this Coursera immunology specialization.

 

Course 1: Fundamentals of Immunology: Innate Immunity and B-Cell Function

 

  • The vocabulary and concepts of immunology that you will need to interact with the medical community
  • Difference between adaptive and innate immune systems
  • The characteristics of different pathogens that the immune system protects you from and the strategies it employs for this protection
  • What are antibodies, their detailed structure, and the related immunoglobulin receptors
  • The characteristics and function of different antibody classes and the mechanism that produces the recognition regions and stem regions
  • How the antibody structures are coded for in the DNA and expressed in the B cells.

 

Course 2: Fundamentals of Immunology: T Cells and Signaling

 

  • How the complement system or the complement cascade uses adaptive and innate triggers to target pathogens in the body
  • The detailed structure and coding of Major Histocompatibility Complex (MHC proteins), alpha-beta, and gamma delta receptors
  • How these proteins interact with the adaptive immune system to initiate a response
  • The basics of signaling
  • The varieties of external receipt and internal activation pathways
  • How signals and crosstalk control the activity of the immune system

 

Course 3: Fundamentals of Immunology: Death by Friendly Fire

 

  • How the immune cells attack pathogens and the mechanism of inducing apoptosis
  • What is Antibody Directed Cell-mediated Cytotoxicity
  • The inflammatory response and mechanisms of generating tolerance; the decision making involved in controlling attacks
  • What are autoimmune diseases, their characteristics, cause and treatment
  • What are hypersensitivity reactions, including allergy, anaphylaxis, anemia, granulomas, and other skin responses; their identification, prevention, and treatment
  • Antibody technology and the methods of testing for incompatibility to prevent transplant rejection

 

Pre-requisites for this course

This is an intermediate Coursera immunology specialization that requires related experience or biology background to undertake this immunology class online.

 

Reviews by Praveen K.S.

My courses taught me to pick up new ideas quickly and apply them to real-world problems. Today, my certificates make me stand out from the crowd.

 

2. HMX Immunology [Harvard.edu]

 

About this course

Next in line of the immunology courses online is an immunology class online offered by the Harvard Medical School on its online learning platform. If you wish to study immunology in a clinically-relevant context, then this is the best online immunology course to go for. This course will take you through the different processes between different entities in our body that enable and empower our immune system to respond to and counter the evolving threats from bacteria, viruses, and other pathogens. This is also one of the best immunology courses online to learn about the new immune-related diseases and their treatments.

 

This course consists of 10 sections and will take ten weeks to complete all the immunology class online. This course will require 3 to 6 hours of dedicated study per week to complete the immunology certificate online. The instructors of this course are Dr. Andrew Lichtman and Dr. Shiv Pillai, professors at Harvard Medical School. The immunology class online in this course is self-paced and all the lectures are in English.  The date of commencement of Harvard’s immunology courses online has been mentioned on the website along with the last date for registration. You can apply for immunology courses online on their official website by paying an online fee. There is also an option of free trial to get a preview of what the courseentails.  The immunology training coursesat Harvard will also provide you an immunology certificate online on completion.

 

What will you learn?

The topics covered in this immunity class online are:

 

  • Innate immunity, the guard cells, and circulating leukocytes, the Inflammatory events and signaling, and the formation of pus
  • How the innate immune system recognizes microbes and creates response; the antiviral state and complement system
  • Antibodies structure and function; B lymphocytes, and how antibodies can cause diseases
  • Lymphocyte development and diversity – the difference between B and T lymphocytes
  • T-cell activation by antigens and delivery of antigen to the lymph nodes
  • T-cell-dependent B- cell responses, helper T-cells, and cytotoxic T-cells
  • Failure of the immune system leading to immunodeficiency and autoimmunity
  • Immunology-based therapies – Transplantation and transfusion and neoantigen discovery

 

Pre-requisites for this course

This course also comes under intermediate learning; hence, students need to have a background inbioinformatics, botany, zoology, genetics, microbiology, or biochemistryto undertake this immunology class online to procure a Harvard’s immunology certificate online.

 

3. Introduction to Immunology – Revised [Alison]

 

About this course

Students and aspiring medical professionals wanting to study immune systems of different organisms, with a focus on human’s built-in defense system, should ideally begin with afree course online. People looking for the best online immunology course for free can opt for this Alison’s immunology class online. This course will help you understand how our immune system equips the body to defend itself by eliminating the pathogens. You will also learn what happens when the immune system goes haywire and fails to protect our body and even attacks it leading to autoimmune diseases.

 

This course is one of the short immunology training courses that will take 1 to 2 hours to complete. This course has been published by Khan Academy. It has a rating of 4 and has been enrolled by 4678 students. Though this immunology class online can be attended for free, in order to receive an immunology certificate online, you will have to score more than 80% in the course assessment. Alison provides the option of acquiring three types of immunology certificate online by paying an additional fee. You can either opt for a downloadable digital certificate in PDF format, a physical security-marked certificate, or a framed verified certificate. All three options can be purchased from the Alison shop mentioned on their website.

 

What will you learn?

The key takeaways of this immunology class online are:

 

  • Role of the immune system in eliminating pathogens from the body
  • Role of phagocytes in engulfing pathogens and their role in the non-specific immune system
  • Role of B-lymphocytes in the humoral response
  • Professional antigen-presenting cells and their purpose
  • Major Histocompatibility Complexes (MHCs), types of MHCs and their function
  • Helper T-cells and how they work to eliminate pathogens from the body
  • Symptoms of an inflammatory response and their cause

 

Pre-requisites for this course

This course has been marked as Level 1 of the Academic Third Level on Alison which means it is an advanced academic level course that will require prior knowledge in biology and/or related fields.

 

Reviews by Alexander B.

Very informative course which is ideal as an introduction to the topic or as a refresher course.

 

4. Applied Immunology [UCSD Extension]

 

About this course

We are living in unprecedented times where diseases from mutant viruses pose a greater threat to humans than a nuclear war. Every year we hear about new pathogens, transferred to humans from other mammals, and the chaos they create globally by affecting the lives of millions. As they say, necessity is the mother of all inventions; even the field of biomedical science needs constant innovation in immunological approaches to improve and adapt our immune response to counter such challenges.

 

This particular immunology class onlineis different from the rest of the immunology courses online in our list as this course aims at discussing the new technologies in the field of biotechnology and the diagnostics and applications in immunology.

 

This course has been offered on the online learning platform of the University of California and it also provides three CE credits. The course is offered on specific dates that are mentioned on the website. However, currently, no scheduled dates have been put up for the sections of this course. Students willing to take immunology training courses here can check with the university’s Science and Technology department for the next available dates.

 

What will you learn?

As mentioned earlier, this is the best online immunology course to study about the new techniques and approaches being used in immunology. Besides the new approaches, this immunology class onlinewill also touch upon the fundamentals that include:

 

  • Antibodies – their structure and functions
  • Innate and adaptive immunity and the difference between the two
  • Different cells involved in the immune response
  • Complement cascade also known as the complement system
  • Antigen and antibody reactions
  • Which antibodies are typically detected for the diagnosis of infectious disease

 

5. 3128- Principles of Immunology [utoronto.ca]

 

About this course

The last best online immunology course in our selected immunology training courses is being offered online by the University of Toronto. The aim of this course is to introduce students to the molecular and cellular components of the immune system. Besides covering the basics of the immune system and its role in health and disease, this immunology class onlinewill also explain in detail what happens when the immune system fails to function properly that leads to immune-mediated diseases such as allergy and autoimmunity. It also explains how the failure of immune system response can lead to cancerous growths, can cause transplant rejection, and give way to different diseases such as multiple sclerosis, rheumatoid arthritis, and diabetes.

 

This course has been divided into six units and consists of 24 video classes each of which will take approximately an hour; hence this course will take a total of 24 hours to complete. Each lecture here has been divided into several sections. What makes this course one of the best immunology training courses is that the lectures are embedded with short live-action animations to explain the concepts in an engaging manner.  Also, each section in every lecture is followed by a multiple-choice question to test your understanding at every step.

 

This course has been taught by the faculty of the Department of Immunology at the University of Toronto. Currently, two sections are available for Toronto University’s online immunology coursesonline– one for thefall semester and the other for the winter semester. You can enroll for the University’s immunology courses online by selecting any of these two sections and paying a one-time fee.

 

What will you learn?

The topics covered under the six sections of this immunology course online are:

  • Basics
    • History of immunology
    • Innate and adaptive immune systems
    • Role of different cells and tissues of the immune system
    • Leukocyte communication and movement

 

  • Innate Immunity
    • Immune barriers
    • Pattern recognition receptors
    • Mechanisms of defense
    • Innate immune responses and disease

 

  • B-cells
    • Immunoglobulin proteins and genes
    • B-cell development and activation
    • Antibody effector function

 

  • T-cells
    • Receptor proteins and genes
    • MHC structure and function
    • Antigen processing and presentation
    • T-cell development and innate lymphoid cells

 

  • The Adaptive Immune Response
    • T-cell activation, differentiation and effector responses
    • Adaptive responses to ‘Self’ – autoimmunity

 

  • Immunity to Infection
    • Immune responses to pathogens
    • Vaccination and immunotherapeutics
    • Immunity to influenza and influenza vaccines

 

Pre-requisites for these immunology courses online

  • Required textbook – Primer to the Immune Response, 2014, (2NDEdition), Tak W. Mak, Mary, E. Saunders, and Bradley D. Jett. Elsevier Inc., Amsterdam.
  • Access to a reliable high–speed internet connection

 

Conclusion

With that, we come to the end of our online immunology training courses. Immunology is one of the most exciting subjects to study and the onset of several life-threatening infectious diseases has made the field all the more important. Whether you want to pursue research, work for the pharmaceutical industry, or understand the immune system better to help others while working in the medical field, acquiring an immunology certificate online will give you a good grip on the fundamentals and improve your credentials for employability.

 

` Best Immunology Courses Online with Classes Reviewed by 10 Immunology Experts 4.7
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