Departments: Microbiology and Immunology

Osteopathic Medicine in Downers Grove

Chair: Kyle H. Ramsey, Ph.D.

More than one-third of the cases seen by family practice physicians involve infectious disease or immunologically related disorders. Medical students complete a required two-quarter sequence in the Fundamental Principles of Microbiology, Immunology, and Medical Microbiology. The goals of this sequence are to provide students with the fundamental information necessary for the diagnosis, rational management, and control of infectious disease, as well as immunologic disorders. These goals are achieved through problem-based interactive clinical case studies, computer-based case modules, and lectures. The material presented in lecture is reinforced in the mandatory laboratory sessions that help students develop the skills they will find necessary to perform the most commonly used microbiologic techniques. The laboratory also allows students to become familiar with the general operations of a clinical microbiology laboratory.

In addition to the required courses, the Microbiology faculty offer an elective on the impact of social and geographic factors on infectious diseases. Faculty also accept students into a research elective program. Areas of ongoing research include molecular and immunologic aspects of host-parasite interaction; studies on the impairment of immune function and antimicrobial treatment associated with type I and type II diabetes; molecular mechanisms of mercury resistance; and sexually transmitted diseases.

1501 Immunology
This didactic course covers basic morphologic, cultural, physiologic, and antigenic characteristics of microorganisms with special emphasis on factors pertinent to clinical medicine; principles of microbial genetics and chemotherapy; fundamental principles of immunology; the cells and cell products involved in host defense mechanisms, their origin, function, role in health, in infectious processes and in immunologic disorders and deficiencies; an organ system approach to the common viral, bacterial, fungal, and parasitic agents of disease, their biologic characteristics, natural history, public health importance, course of infection, and host interaction; and the methods of laboratory diagnosis, treatment, and control for each infectious agent. Laboratory exercises and demonstrations help students develop the microbiologic skills applicable for clinical practice, acquaint students with available diagnostic laboratory tests and their interpretation, and augment selected lecture presentations.

1601, 1602 Microbiology I and II
Lectures and laboratories use the organ systems approach to examine the etiologic agents of infectious disease. Clinical correlations are featured for each organ system and are applied to the laboratory portion of the course.

Elective: Impact of Social and Geographic Factors on Selected Models of Infectious Diseases

This interactive course addresses the impact of infectious diseases on the socioeconomic infrastructure and the effect governmental policy and public opinion can have on medical management and health care delivery.