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October - November 2021 (Online)
Live online sessions on 3 & 16-18 November 2021

Course details

  • Duration: live online sessions plus 8 weeks access to course materials
  • Fees:
    - £790 
    - 10% discount for ICHNT staff
  • Venue: Online
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Due to the COVID-19 pandemic this course will be delivered remotely. 

In this short course you will study the scientific basis of allergy, focussing on the immune mechanisms underlying allergic diseases and how this relates to the origins, pathophysiology,  clinical presentation, diagnostic approach and potential prevention and therapeutic targets such as biologics and immunotherapy. 

This will be done through lectures, interactive sessions, group work and oral presentations. The course is led by Prof Adnan Custovic and Dr Mohamed Shamji and you will be taught by world leading internal and international experts in the field. You will gain an in-depth understanding of the immunology underpinning allergy and how this relates to the latest research in the specialty.

This course forms part of a range of short courses in Allergy which are available both to students who are enrolled on the MSc in allergy programme, and as stand-alone CPD programmes for basic scientists, professionals working in industry in the field of asthma and allergy, as well as healthcare professionals who deal with patients with asthma and allergic conditions, including doctors (GPs, Paediatricians, Specialists in Allergy, Dermatology, Respiratory Medicine or ENT) as well as specialist nurses, dietitians and nutritionists.

More information

Course aims

By the end of this short course you will be better able to:

  • Demonstrate a systematic understanding of how the immune system works in relation to allergy, including the immune response to pathogens, and key processes such as antigen presentation, allergen sensitization and effector cell mechanisms.
  • Appreciate the complexity of the biological mechanisms, risk and protective factors contributing to allergy, and particularly to allergy multimorbidity.
  • Critically compare the immune mechanisms underlying the spectrum of allergic diseases and relate them to clinical symptoms in children and adults.
  • Differentiate the early and late phase of the allergic immune response, as well as IgE mediated versus cell-mediated mechanisms, and apply the implications to practical situations such as diagnosis and therapy.
  • Critically appraise the usefulness of available diagnostic tests and candidate treatments for allergic diseases in view of the underlying immune mechanism.

Course structure & delivery

Teaching delivery format
The course has been designed in an innovative format combining asynchronous materials (e.g. pre-recorded sessions, reading lists and web-based resources) to revise in your own time, and live interactive online sessions which will include meet the expert sessions, focused discussions and practical sessions. A range of formats will be used to encourage active learning, including expert panel question & answer sessions, group work, presentations, debates and scenario-based sessions.

The live online sessions will take place in October/November, predominantly in the week of 15 – 19 November 2021. We encourage participants to book leave that week to be able to follow the teaching. Asynchronous materials will be made available in early October and a ‘course launch webinar’ will be held for registered participants to introduce the course and help you get organised to maximize your learning experience.

Going through the asynchronous materials should take around 25-30 hours of study, and the live online sessions will take around 15-18 hours.

Key Dates:

  • 13 October 2021: Launch Webinar (30 mins)
  • 3 November 2021: Immunology Warm Up (2 hours)
  • 16, 17 and 18 November 2021: live online teaching (3 - 5 hours per day)

If feasible, short course delegates will be offered the option to attend on-campus teaching on 19 November 2021 at St Mary's Campus.

Topics

Planned topics

1. Immunological basis of allergy: 

  • Immunology and allergy mechanisms for beginners
  • Overview of the immune system
  • Innate immunity and adaptive immunity
  • Immune mechanisms of antibody responses
  • Immunologic Tolerance - natural and acquired
  • What is an allergen?
  • How do allergen sensitise?
  • IgE – structure and function
  • Parasites and allergy
  • The role of microbiome in Asthma
  • The hygiene hypothesis revisited: Gene environment interaction in Allergy
  • 'The role of epithelial barrier dysfunction in the pathogenesis of asthma and allergic diseases'

 2. Epidemiology, pathophysiology and clinical aspects of allergic disease:

  • Epidemiology of asthma
  • Epidemiology and pathophysiology of Anaphylaxis
  • Pathophysiology and clinical presentation of Allergic Rhinitis
  • Pathophysiology and clinical presentation of Asthma
  • Pathophysiology and clinical presentation of Atopic dermatitis
  • Pathophysiology and clinical presentation of Food Allergy
  • Allergy to Alpha-Gal
  • Beta agonists and asthma deaths

3. Diagnosis and immune monitoring in allergy and clinical immunology:

  • Lab tour (virtual) -Diagnostic tests, Cellular and molecular methods in Immunology and Allergy

4. Therapeutics

  • Personalised medicine in asthma
  • Biologicals for atopic dermatitis
  • Immunotherapy for food allergy - focus on mechanisms
  • Mechanisms immune tolerance and biomarkers of allergen-specific immunotherapy
  • Novel approaches of Allergen Immunotherapy for aeroallergens Lecture

 5. Big Data and Artificial Inteligence in Allergy and Immunology:

  • Utility of Computational Biology and Allergy
  • Trajectory of allergic disease – new insights by Machine learning and Artificial Intelligence

Please note there may be minor changes to the planned topics above.

Who should attend?

The course is suitable for basic scientists, professionals working in industry in the field of asthma and allergy, as well as healthcare professionals who deal with patients with asthma and allergic conditions, including doctors (GPs, Paediatricians, Specialists in Allergy, Dermatology, Respiratory Medicine or ENT) as well as specialist nurses, dietitians and nutritionists.

Optional assessment

Participants have the option of completing an assessment component and on completion will be provided with an official Imperial College London transcript of results. Details of the assessment and deadline for submission will be given during the course. Please note that there is an additional assessment fee payable in full prior to submission date. Please contact us for further information.