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Studium Biologie Masterstudium


MSc Coordinators of the Master in Immunology

Prof. Dr. Burkhard Becher (becher at

Prof. Dr. Christian Münz (muenzc at

Study Coordinator 

Dr. Karin Isler (studienkoordination at



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.



Compulsory courses

BIO 338 00 ECTS Introduction to Scientific Writing (one day in September or February). The module should be taken before writing the Master’s Thesis.
BIO 430 06 ECTS Immunology (block course)
BIO 520 10 ECTS Integrated Knowledge in Biology
BIO 631 00 ECTS Current Immunological Research in Zürich (monthly seminar series)
BIO 632 01 ECTS Introductory Course in Flow Cytometry (4 days)
ETHZ 03 ECTS Immunology I (ETHZ_551-0317-00L )
ETHZ 03 ECTS Immunology II (ETHZ_551-0318-00L )

Recommended courses

BIO 251

03 ECTS Cancer and the Immune System
BIO 327 06 ECTS Virology: Pathogenesis and Control of Human Viruses
BIO 412 02 ECTS Introductory Course in Laboratory Animal Science (LTK Module)
BIO 431 06 ECTS Cell Death, Inflammation and Immunity (block course)
BIO 615 03 ECTS Virology: Principles of Molecular Biology, Pathogenesis, and Control of Human Viruses
BIO 636 02 ECTS Cutting Edge Topics: Immunology and Infection Biology
BME 333 03 ECTS From Bench to Bedside – Examples from Immunology and Beyond
BME 349 06 ECTS Immune disorders and assessment
ETHZ 04 ECTS Infectious Agents: From Molecular Biology to Disease ETHZ 551-1100-00L
ETHZ 04 ECTS Immunology III ETHZ_551-0223-00L

Master’s thesis in Immunology: BIO 515



Prof. Dr. Cezmi Akdis (Immunology)
Prof. Dr. Isabelle Arnold (Mucosal Immunology)
Prof. Dr. Burkhard Becher (Inflammation research)
Prof. Dr. Richard Chahwan (Cancer Immunobiology)
Dr. Obinna Chijioke (Cellular Immunotherapy)
Prof. Dr. Melanie Greter (Myeloid Cell Immunology)
Prof. Dr. Nicole Joller (Immunology)
Prof. Dr. Salomé LeibundGut (Immunology)
Prof. Dr. Anne Müller (Immunobiology of bacterial infection and cancer)
Prof. Dr. Christian Münz (Viral Immunobiology)
Dr. Sarah Mundt (Neuroimmunology)
Dr. Nina Schmolka (Developmental Haematopoiesis)
Prof. Dr. Christoph Schneider (Immunophysiology)
Prof. Dr. Sonia Tugues (Innate Lymphoid Cells and cancer)
Prof. Dr. Maries Van den Broek (Tumorimmunology)
Prof. Dr. Wendy Wei-Lynn Wong (Inflammation and Cell Death Signaling)
Prof. Dr. Onur Boyman (Cytokines, immune system and immunotherapy)
Prof. Dr. sc. nat. Pal Johansen (Department of Dermatology)
Prof. Dr. César Nombela Arrieta (Microenvironmental regulation of hematopoiesis)
Prof. Dr. Roberto Speck (Forschungsgruppe Roberto Speck)