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Studium Biologie Master Studies

MSc Coordinator of the Master in Immunology

MSc Coordinator of the Immunology Master: 

Prof. Dr. Burkhard Becher & Prof. Dr. Christian Münz

Study Coordinator of the MSc in Biology: Dr. Karin Isler


The immune system is a complex network of cells, organs and tissues, dedicated to the defence of the host against pathogens, such as viruses, bacteria, parasites and fungi. The initial evolutionary function of immunity was to protect the host from pathogenic insults. The mammalian immune system is also involved in the fight against endogenous threats such as cancer and aids wound healing and tissue repair. The complexity of the immune system however is not fail-safe and erroneous self-attacks leading to autoimmune diseases are common. The vast majority of human diseases involve the integrated functions of our immune system and immunology is no longer a field which only studies host-pathogen interactions, but evolved into a central pillar of life science research. Immunologists study the role of individual cellular and humoral members of the immune system and their interplay during an immune response. In the Master's program in Immunology, students obtain detailed insight into state-of-the-art immunological methods combined with insights into fundamental questions of how the immune system works.


The central element of this program is a 4 week practical block course in immunology (BIO 430). The student learns how to analyse and isolate human blood cells and leukocytes from murine lymphoid tissues and studies their interactions in vitro and in vivo. The student will learn basic immunological technologies such a multiparameter flow cytometry, cytotoxicity and proliferation assays and the use of molecular analysis technologies. In research projects, students get to know the different research groups and the genetic methods they use. The students expand on this knowledge in additional, freely selectable modules (lectures and courses on subjects including cancer, microbiology, virology, autoimmunity). In their Master's thesis, students experimentally investigate a biological or medical question in one of the research groups involved in this Master's program. The student develops a solid foundation leading to a mechanistic understanding of immunity at the cellular and molecular level but also in animals and humans.


Mandatory courses

BIO 520 Integrated Knowledge in Biology (10 ECTS)
ETHZ_551-0317-00L Immunology I (3 ECTS, concept course)
ETHZ_551-0318-00L Immunology II (3 ECTS, concept course)
BIO 430 Immunology (6 ECTS, block course)
BIO 631 Current Immunological Research in Zürich (0 ECTS, monthly seminar series)
BIO 632 Introductory Course in Flow Cytometry ( 1 ECTS, 4 days)
BIO 338 Introduction to Scientific Writing (0 ECTS, one day in September or February). The module should be taken before writing the Master’s Thesis.

Recommended courses

BIO251 Cancer and the Immune System (1 ECTS)
BIO 372 Virology: Methods in Molecular Biology, Pathogenesis, and Control of Human Viruses (6 ECTS, block course)
BIO 412 Introductory Course in Laboratory Animal Science (LTK Module I) (2 ECTS)
BIO 431 Cell Death, Inflammation and Immunity (6 ECTS, block course)
BIO 439 Current Topics in Immunology (6 ECTS, block course)
BIO 615 Virology: Principles of Molecular Biology, Pathogenesis, and Control of Human Viruses (2 ECTS)
BIO 636 Cutting Edge Topics: Immunology and Infection Biology (2 ECTS)
ETHZ_551-1100-00L Infectious Agents: From Molecular Biology to Disease (4 ECTS)

Master’s thesis in Immunology: BIO 515.



Weiterführende Informationen