Image of a cell, appearing as a blue sphere with many points protruding.

A scanning electron micrograph of a human T lymphocyte (also known as a T cell). Image courtesy of NIAID on Flickr.

With the recent U.S. measles outbreak, and some politicians piling on with “I’m not a scientist, but…” pronouncements, vaccines are riding high in the current news cycle.

The public health and policy aspects of vaccines are indeed quite important. Meanwhile fueled by new scientific insights and engineering methods, there’s also plenty happening in research labs. If you’ve studied some college biology, OCW’s recently published 7.341 Designer Immunity: Lessons in Engineering the Immune System can help you keep current.

This course was taught in Spring 2014 by MIT postdocs Gregory Szeto and Talar Tokatlian. With summaries of each topic and extensive links to primary research literature, you can survey leading-edge strategies for battling influenza, hepatitis B, HIV/AIDS, malaria, cancer, and autoimmune disorders.