Rational Vaccine Design

Course Number: 
Course Type: 
Currently Offered: 
Meeting Time: 
Mon/Wed, 4:00 – 5:20 PM
Instructor (non-MCB Faculty): 
Nicole Frahm
Class Size: 
Course Description: 

This course will covervaccine design for pathogens of global importance, and is appropriate for MPH, MS, and PhD students in biomedical sciences and public health.  Students will learn the difference between rational and empirical vaccine design, the underlying basic science that is required for the rational development of vaccines, and the iterative nature of evolving vaccine strategies.  

Learning Objectives: 

After completing this course, the student will be able to

  • discuss the differences between most licensed vaccines and current vaccine candidates
  • describe the underlying immunological principles for vaccine efficacy and differentiate between potential correlates of protection in natural infection vs. vaccination
  • discuss which vaccine strategies are most likely to show efficacy for different pathogens
Graduate students in Global Health, Pathobiology, MCB, Micro, and others in public health or biomedical research departments with a basic understanding of immunology.
Course requirements, examinations and grading: 

Students can choose to take this class for Credit/ No Credit or for a grade

Presentation of a relevant paper                50%

Class participation                                      50%

Lecture topic


Humoral HIV Vaccines

Generation of neutralizing vs. non-neutralizing antibodies

Breadth of responses and implications for efficacy

Monomeric vs. trimeric Env immunogens and implications for immunogenicity

Influence of scheduling, dosing and adjuvanting

Cellular HIV Vaccines

Vectored vs. non-vectored (protein, DNA) vaccines

Homologous vs. heterologous regimens

Influence of innate immune responses

TB Vaccines

Efficacy of BCG as a benchmark

Subunit vs. recombinant TB vaccines

Influence of non-tuberculous mycobacteria

Malaria Vaccines

Humoral vs. cellular vaccines

Influence of age on efficacy

Pneumococcus Vaccines

Correlates of protection in natural infection

Influenza Vaccines

DNA vs. protein based vaccines

Universal Flu vaccines

Elective Area: 
Microbiology, Infection & Immunity