Course catalogue doctoral education - HT21

  • Ansökan kan ske mellan 2021-04-15 och 2021-05-17
Application closed
Title Psychoneuroimmunology
Course number 5252
Programme 1-Ingår i flera program
Language English
Credits 4.5
Date 2021-03-15 -- 2021-04-01
Responsible KI department Institutionen för klinisk neurovetenskap
Specific entry requirements
Purpose of the course Psychoneuroimmunology is the study of the functional and bidirectional relationships between the nervous system, the endocrine system, the immune system and behavior. The main purpose of the course is to provide the student with an overview of present knowledge in this field and to offer an opportunity to apply a crossdisciplinary mechanistic perspective across physiological and pathological conditions. The students are given good opportunities to network and to interact with leading national and international researchers in a quickly developing area. We also wish this course to be an opportunity to interact with other PhD students with overlapping research interests.
Intended learning outcomes At the end of the course, the doctoral student will be able to:
- Describe the essential concepts in psychoneuroimmunology, the basic mechanisms by which the nervous, the endocrine, and the immune system communicate, and why behavior is relevant in this communication.
- Critically comment on the literature in the field of psychoneuroimmunology.
- Choose an adequate design for research in psychoneuroimmunology.
Contents of the course An overview of the essential concepts and the research in the different areas of psychoneuroimmunology will be provided. The adaptive and pathological consequences of immune activation on brain functions and behavior, including fatigue, pain, mood regulation, social behavior, and neuropsychiatric symptoms as well as how the immune system is modulated by brain inputs, such as during stress, will be described. In addition, the course will give an opportunity to understand how behaviors can be proactively activated to improve overall defense against microbes. Models/tasks used in psychoneuroimmunology research will also be the subject of a lecture.

The course will additionally include journal clubs where specific papers will be discussed, and time to prepare the written and oral presentations of a mock research project.

Teaching and learning activities - Lectures, which will provide an overview of the essential concepts and the research in the different areas of psychoneuroimmunology for the use of the doctoral student in the preparation of the examination assignment (written and oral presentations).
- Journal clubs.
- Meet-the-experts session, where the students will have the opportunity to meet and interact with leading national and international researchers in psychoneuroimmunology.
- The doctoral student has access to supervision in the preparation of the written examination.
- The oral presentations will take place during a seminar in the end of the course.
Compulsory elements - Participation in the lectures. Absence of max 25 % can be compensated for by additional tasks in agreement with the course leader.
- Written and oral examination
- Participation in the examination seminar. In case of absence from the scheduled examination seminar, another occasion for examination can be arranged as agreed upon with the course leader.
Examination The examinations will consist in a written (2-3 pages) and oral presentation of a mock research project that is well motivated in background of the current state of knowledge/lack of knowledge in psychoneuroimmunology. Each student need to show that all intended learning outcomes have been reached in order to pass the course.
Literature and other teaching material Relevant scientific publications will be provided during the course.
Number of students 8 - 40
Selection of students Selection will be based on 1) the relevance of the course syllabus for the applicant’s doctoral project (according to written motivation), 2) start date of doctoral studies (priority given to earlier start date)
More information The course will include lectures, journal clubs, and discussions that will be held between 08:30-17:00 (+/- 1h). Several international lecturers expert in Psychoneuroimmunology will be invited. There will be a "meet-the-PNI-expert" session where the students can meet "face-to-face" with some of the lecturers from the course. The students will have several days dedicated to prepare for the final examination, when the course organizers will also be available. Whether the course will be provided physically or online will depend on the pandemic situation, and of the recommendations from the Public Health Agency and Karolinska Institutet. This course is given jointly by the doctoral programmes Allergy, immunology and inflamation (Aii) and Neuroscience (Neuro). See:
This course has previously been given with course number 2571.
Additional course leader Additional course leader is Julie Lasselin
Latest course evaluation Course evaluation report
Course responsible Mats Lekander
Institutionen för klinisk neurovetenskap
Contact person Mats Lekander
Institutionen för klinisk neurovetenskap

Julie Lasselin
Institutionen för klinisk neurovetenskap