BME 315: Application of Genetic Engineering to Immunochemistry

Quarter Offered

Spring : TTH 8:00-9:30 ; Wu


Junior standing recommended


Genetic engineering has revolutionized biological and medical sciences. The first example was the manufacturing of human insulin in bacteria. In this course, genetic engineering is applied to understand the biological, medical and engineering aspects of immunology. Immunochemistry deals with biochemical molecules of antibodies, T cell receptors for antigens, major histocompatibility complex class I and II molecules, cluster of differentiation molecules, etc. Basic mechanisms of vaccination will be analyzed using detailed differential equations, with special emphasis on influenza, HIV, and cancer.

Who Takes It

Juniors and seniors in biomedical engineering take it. In addition, any student interested in quantitative analysis of genetics and immunology can take it. They include graduate students in biomedical engineering, other engineering students interested in modern biology and medicine, and students in biological and medical sciences with some knowledge of mathematics and physics. It is the only course on the Evanston campus dealing with immunochemistry.

What It Is About

Since the discovery of DNA as the genetic material for humans as well as most of other living organisms, many genomic sequences have been determined. Restriction enzymes provide a method of combining DNA segments from different organisms. This new engineering technique now plays a major role in biological and medical research. Some of the results have provided detailed explanations to the fundamental mechanisms of many important experimental observations as illustrated by the rapidly developing studies in immunochemistry. Quantitative engineering analysis becomes essential.


  • Cowpox used to vaccinate against smallpox infection by Jesty NOT Jenner
  • Many different cells in the immune system
  • Many biological macro-molecules in the immune system
  • Humoral and cellular immune responses
  • Simple model for active immunization
  • Cancer vaccines
  • Annual vaccination against influenza infection
  • Possible HIV vaccine against AIDS