Graduate courses

MIRC faculty are involved in a number of graduate courses. The goal of our educators is to give students the fundamental knowledge they need to understand the role of the immune system in health and disease and to share the exciting research in immunology  that is being carried out at our centre. A variety of graduate immunology and related courses are offered by MIRC Faculty under the Medical Sciences Graduate Program

Immunology Courses include:

Fall Semester:

  • MS715 Advanced Immunobiology I - This course examines the current research development in immunology through the discussion of research papers around selected specific topics with an emphasis on the acquisition of research skills via the critical analysis of contemporary immunologic concepts and information. The course is offered yearly or once each 2 years in the Fall semester, coordinated by Dr. Xing and co-instructed by Drs. Wan and Xing, along with Drs. Ashkar, Bowdish, Kaushic, Stampfli and Yang.
  • MS725 Current Topics in Mucosal Immunology - This course is aimed at students who have a background in immunology and want to gain in depth understanding about current topics in mucosal immunology.  It is designed to encourage students to learn how to research, discuss and evaluate current information, in order to form cogent arguments and opinions about scientific topics.  Selected topics in mucosal immunology will be discussed in the form of themes.  Students will gain a clear and thorough understanding of each theme through literature research, discussion and debates, and will express part of their new understanding in an opinion paper.  The course will emphasize research advancements in the areas of immune mechanisms within mucosal tissues, resistance and pathogenesis of microbial infection, and microbial flora and immune regulation in mucosal tissue.  Empahsis will be placed on understanding the mechanisms and concepts that currently drive leading research in mucosal immunology. This course runs in the fall, course coordinator/instructor: D. Snider and C. Kaushic.
  • MS763 Medical Virology - In this course selected advanced topics will be covered using specific examples from the scientific literature. Students will take turns presenting papers for discussion. Topics will include molecular mechanisms used by viruses in their replication cycle, how viruses interact and manipulate the host cell, as well as aspects of pathogenicity and the use of viral vectors for gene therapy, the course runs in the Fall semester, Co-coordinated by Drs. Mahony and Mossman.
  • MS 770 Advanced Introductory Immunology-This graduate course is offered within the Infection and Immunity Division of the Medical Sciences Graduate Program and is taught by This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. MS770 is designed to bring students who have never studied the subject to a level in the fall term such that they will be fully qualified to enroll in any of our other graduate immunology courses. The course, which spans about 36h, includes the principal aspects of innate and adaptive immunity, mucosal immunity, delayed-type hypersensitivities, allergy and immunochemistry.  Enrollment is limited to about 10 students for academic credit and permission of the instructor is required. Other members of the McMaster community, such as post-doctoral research fellows, technologists, and senior undergraduate students are welcome on a non-credit, course audit basis. These individuals are also asked to contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. so an appropriate classroom can be secured. The course is includes about 20-25h of PowerPoint-supported lectures. An opportunity to prepare a written report exploring an immunological  topic of interest and to present this orally will take place in the latter portion of the course. Dr. McDermott will provide close guidance/mentoring in respect to the essay preparation and oral presentation. A working undergraduate level knowledge cell biology is desirable.

Winter Semester:

  • MS716 Advanced Immunobiology II - This 2 module course will examine important current research issues in immunology through the discussion of research papers concerning specific topics and problems. The emphasis will be on the immune response in disease including issues of: immune-mediated pathology; infection with different types of organisms; issues of regional immunity. This course is Coordinated by Dr. Richards.
  • MS717 Vaccines and Vaccine Immunology -This course is to provide students from both the Medical Sciences and Global Health programs with the basic concepts and challenges of current human vaccination programs, and the consideration of social, economic, cultural and ethical issues for vaccination programs. The course is offered yearly in the Winter semester, coordinated by Dr. Xing and co-instructed by Drs. Wan, Bramson and Xing.
  • MS751Topics in Tumourigenesis - This course is an introduction to the major elements in the multi-step development of a malignant tumour. The student will be introduced to a range of concepts including; oncogenes, tumour suppressor genes, epigenetic alterations, the multistep nature of tumourigenesis, angiogenesis, metastasis and immune evasion. The course will utilize seminal scientific publications from the field to exemplify these various aspects of tumourigenesis. Students will be evaluated on the basis of participation in and contribution to class discussions, presentation of assigned publications and preparation of a written report. This course runs in the winter and is Coordinated by Dr. Lichty.




Related Courses include:


  •  721 / Community-based Physiotherapy - Problem-based V
    This Unit V tutorial course will provide an opportunity for students to explore the physiotherapeutic management of chronic conditions in established and emergent community roles in the context of various practice/health care environments. Students will learn skills that require them to diverge from a therapeutic role to that of a consultant and educator. Epidemiologic concepts such as natural history, risk assessment and causality will be a focus for this course. This course runs in the winter. Dr. Martin Stämpfli gave a lecture in this course.
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