Departments: Microbiology and Immunology

Osteopathic Medicine in Downers Grove

Chair: Michael V. Volin, 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 also accept students into a research elective program. Areas of ongoing research include microbial communication, viral infection and entry, viral impact on immune system function, immune mechanisms of protection and pathology in microbial infections, and autoimmunity.

1651 Infectious Diseases and Their Etiologic Agents and the Immune Response

This course covers both the etiologic agents of infectious diseases and the host immune responses to those agents. This course begins by focusing on fundamental principles of immunology, antigenic characteristics of microorganisms, the cells and mediators involved in host defense mechanisms against pathogens and tumor antigens, lymphatic recirculation and lymphatic flow. Next, the course delves into the basic classification, structure, metabolism and genetics of bacteria, viruses, protozoa, helminthes, and fungi. From that point on, lectures and laboratories use the organ systems approach to examine the etiologic agents of infectious disease and the associated immunopathology including immune-mediated hypersensitivities. Clinical correlations and case presentations are featured for each organ system. This course is taught over multiple quarters with a single grade given at the completion of the course.