Course Title: Clinical and Transplantation Immunology

Part A: Course Overview

Course Title: Clinical and Transplantation Immunology

Credit Points: 12.00

Course Code




Learning Mode

Teaching Period(s)


Bundoora Campus


160H Medical Sciences


Sem 2 2006,
Sem 2 2007,
Sem 2 2008,
Sem 2 2009,
Sem 2 2010


Bundoora Campus


160H Medical Sciences


Sem 2 2006,
Sem 2 2007,
Sem 2 2008,
Sem 2 2009,
Sem 2 2010

Course Coordinator: Dr Steven Petratos

Course Coordinator Phone: +61 3 99257388

Course Coordinator Email:

Course Coordinator Location: 201.09.14D

Course Coordinator Availability: Appointment by email

Pre-requisite Courses and Assumed Knowledge and Capabilities

ONPS2300/ONPS2358 Blood Transfusion Science or MEDS1084 Haematology 1.
Students should have the following capabilities on commencing this course:
An understanding of blood transfusion practice
The practical ability to investigate blood group antigens, antibodies and reactions due to immune mediated destruction of red cells.

Course Description

This course will prepare students to work or undertake research in blood transfusion, transplantation and clinical immunology laboratories by developing knowledge of how the immune system functions in health and disease, particularly as it relates to transfusion, transplantation and clinical immunology. The course will involve a number of practical exercise that introduce students to many of the commonly employed techniques used in transplantation and clinical immunology eg. Flow cytometry, immunoassays, and functional assays etc.

Objectives/Learning Outcomes/Capability Development

Having studying this course it is expected that you will be able to demonstrate the following capabilities:
1. You will have knowledge about immune function, aberration in function and transplantation of haemopoietic stem cells and solid organs,
2. You will be critical in your analysis of clinical cases, of the laboratory investigations that you undertake and of the results and conclusions that you produce
3. You will be creative in your approach to problem solving as it relates to investigations of the immune system/function as well as being responsible in the implementation of your solutions to those problems
4. Through your response to questions and case studies, you will demonstrate empathy and compassion for the health and well being of the individuals upon whom you perform your investigations and provide results, and which may lead to further action in the treatment of the individual;
5. You will be aware of the environmental impact that your practices in the laboratory may have and conduct yourself in a manner designed to minimise that impact
6. You will be aware of international practices in transplantation science and clinical immunology and be able to place your current studies in a global context for standards of practice.
7. You will be able to research the literature in transplantation science and clinical immunology, extract relevant information and synthesis new communications which conform to the guidelines for submission or presentation
8. You will demonstrate a spirit of enquiry and enthusiasm to continue your learning beyond the bounds of the university
9. You will have acquired an understanding of a number of laboratory techniques relevant to diagnostic and research aspects of clinical and transplantation immunology which combined with your broad knowledge base in the discipline will contribute to your employability.

Having studied this course it is intended that you should be able to:
1 Discuss in the normal structure and function for the immune system
2. Discuss the aberrations of the immune system eg, immunodeficiency, autoimmunity and hypersensitivity
3. Problems solving from both a theoretical and practical perspective the investigation of patients with suspected abnormalities in their immune system/function
4. Perform a number of laboratory techniques to investigate immune function
5. Describe the genetics, biochemistry and function of the HLA,systems
6. Discuss the laboratory based investigation of the HLAsystem and of antibodies and reactive lymphocytes to antigens within that system and related antigens of relevance to transplanted organ survival.
7. Describe the procedures associated with the selection, testing, storage, preservation, transportation and transplantation of haemopoietic stem cells and solid organs
8. Discuss the role and advances being made in transplantation with artificial organs and organs of animal origin.
Learning outcomes will be provided for each of the topics to be covered in the course and can be accessed in the course site in the Learning Hub.

Overview of Learning Activities

The course includes theoretical and practical components designed to provide students with a comprehensive coverage of current and developing practices in transplantation and clinical immunology.

The learning activities in this course include lectures, tutorials, problem based practical sessions, visit to the Victorian Transplantation and Immunogenetics Service and independent learning activities sourced through the DLS. 

Throughout the semester you will receive FEEDBACK on your learning in various forms. Class and individual discussion on performance in tests, practicals and tutorials etc is one form of feedback that you should use to guide your learning. Self assessment tests and questions provided with practical exercises are designed to assist your learning and provide you with the opportunity to gauge your own learning of the course material. You are encouraged to ask questions of your lecturers, demonstrators and tutors on any aspect of the course content that you may find difficult to understand and you will be given feedback to assist your learning. Written and/or verbal comments on submitted work is a more formal way of providing feedback on the evidence you submit of your learning.

Overview of Learning Resources

Students must be able to access the DLS to source many of the learning resources provided in the course eg notes, audio files, conferences etc. Some textbooks and journals may be accessed through RMIT library.
Group and problem based practical sessions will be conducted throughout the semester

Overview of Assessment

To pass this course both the theory and practical components must be passed separately.
Assessment includes theory and practical tests, final theory examinations, seminars, an essay and practical reports.
The assessment activities in this course will allow students to demonstrate the acquisition of knowledge and understanding (exams, online conferences and practical exercises), technical skill (practical reports and test), critical and analytical thinking (problem based case studies in practical tests and theoretical examinations, literature reviews).