Infection, Immunity & Transplantation (IIT)

The PhD program “Infection, Immunity & Transplantation” (IIT), previously termed “Infectious Diseases: Molecular Mechanisms”, compiles all doctoral (i.e. postgraduate) studies in the framework of infectious diseases, immunity and transplantation in a pre-clinical and clinical context. This program is part of a ‘Centre of Excellence‘ and involves a variety of institutes from the Medical University of Innsbruck which allows students to cover a wide range of timely subjects including medical microbiology, immunology and transplantation. A special emphasis is set on host-pathogen-interactions at the molecular level. This program is dedicated to the idea that medics should learn science & scientists should learn medicine!

The Core Courses of the program are taught on an annual basis which may be accomplished during the first year. The program requires 180 ECTS (European Credit Transfer and Accumulation System) to complete, of which 160 ECTS are achieved with the doctoral thesis. The flexibility of the program allows students to choose their own subjects and schedule as further elaborated below.

The IIT program is run in very close collaboration with a doctoral program of excellence (FWF-DK HOROS) funded by the Austrian Ministry of Science. New PhD studentships will be offered during Summer 2021.

Lectures and Courses

As for all other programs, lectures/courses from all categories, Core Courses, Journal Clubs & Seminars and General Subjects have to be attended.

The Core Courses (KF) of the program are taught on an annual basis (i.e. once a year, if these are lectures), starting with the Ring Lecture. The teaching program of HOROS is identical to the teaching program of Infection, Immunity & Transplantation (IIT). However, for the practical courses, HOROS students will have first choice, but as it is well organised, the IIT students will eventually also get a place there. If a student starts his/her doctoral work late during the winter semester, or at the beginning of the summer semester, he/she may however take other courses first, including IIT/HOROS Seminars, IIT/HOROS Progress Reports or other Core Courses, so that he/she will not lose any time. During the following year he/she will be able to attend the obligatory Ring Lecture.

The schedule is easy to follow. The student has enough choice but he/she will more or less automatically fulfill all necessary requirements for the program (e.g. the minimum hours in each category).

The student is free to choose specific subjects, i.e. concentrating on viral infections, or/and bacterial and fungal infections or/and tropical medicine. It is optional, although strongly recommended, to participate in practical workshops, which are offered each term.

The students are encouraged to attend courses of other programs (normally one or two), especially during his/her later semesters. As our program encourages international exchange, courses taken abroad may be accepted for the different categories, if the program coordinator agrees.

After a four week block of the ring lectures series some Core Courses will be taught during the mornings, and not much longer than for two hours, with a break in between. This ensures that the students can still do experiments that day. Other lectures will be taught in the afternoon.

Legends (numbers = ECTS- points = SWS):
RING LECT……..  Ring Lecture
PRS……………… IIT/HOROS Progress Report Seminars 
JC………………..  IIT/HOROS Journal Clubs  


IIT/HOROS CORE COURSES

Ring Lecture (RING LECT, 2.5 ECTS, obligatory, 45001)
Ring Lecture will give a broader overview on subjects related to infection, immunity and transplantation.

Other Core Courses 
Please see section IIT/HOROS Core Courses.

IIT/HOROS PROGRESS REPORT SEMINARS & JOURNAL CLUBS

IIT/HOROS Progress Report Seminars (PRS, 6 x 1 ECTS, 45008 / 45508)
These are “work progress seminars” which should enable the dissertation committee to assess the students’ progress, but are also important to ensure an inter-connection with all IIT and HOROS students. The discussion after each talk should be dominated by the other students. The dissertation committee and supervisor may also participate in the discussion and will meet afterwards to discuss the past and future progress in the presence of that student. A protocol must be compiled by the student summarizing the features discussed. All students have to present their data every year.

IIT/HOROS Journal Clubs (JC, 3 x 1 ECTS, 45509) 
IIT/HOROS Journal Clubs are seminars where each student will choose one important scientific paper not too close to her/his own project, but of general interest which she/he will present to the peers. Students have to actively participate in these talks by asking questions (minimum one question per semester) and each student also has to moderate one talk.

The Journal Club is optional, but it is strongly advised to take at least one Journal Club during the study to compensate for a missing Progress Report Seminar.       

GENERAL SUBJECTS 

General Subjects (4 – 6 ECTS)
General Subjects are open to all programs and provide general news and views common to all biomedical research areas. 

General Subjects (for all programs) are organised by Ao.Univ.-Prof.DDr. R. Würzner.

The core courses will enable the student to obtain a general knowledge in the area including most recent discoveries. This is ensured by the fact that all lecturers scientifically and/or clinically work in that particular area. Optional core courses providing a more detailed and thorough view of that particular field, including discussion of provocative and aberrant views, will supplement the obligatory introductory Ring lecture. The core courses are detailed below; ECTS=SWS, different SWS in ().

CORE COURSES

(Topic, lecturer, ECTS (SWS), winter (WS) or summer (SS) semester)

Host defence mechanisms | Wiegers | 1 | WS
General introduction into the immune system with particular respect to infectious diseases

Clin. Infect. Diseases, Trop. Medicine, Parasitology I & II | Theurl, Weiss | 0.5 + 0.5 | WS & SS Pathophysiology, diagnostics, clinical pictures and prevention of tropical diseases based on recent findings

Vaccination | Würzner | 0.5 | WS
History of vaccinations and recent developments, advantages and disadvantages of immunisations

Fungal infections | Haas, Speth, Würzner | 1 | SS
Fungal infections & their impact in intensive care medicine, Candida spp., Aspergillus spp., emerging fungi

Chemotherapy, Antibiotics and Resistance | Nagl, Würzner | 1 | SS
History, General aspects of treatment, bioavailability and drug metabolisation, resistance mechanisms

Viral Infections | Speth, Stoiber | 1 | SS
General aspects of viral infections, detailed and up-to-date examples

HOROS – Novel Methods | Wilflingseder et al. | 1 (1.5 SWS) | WS & SS
Practical course on novel biomedical techniques

Infectious disease diagnostics in daily routine | Würzner | 1 (1.5 SWS) | WS & SS
Demonstration of most recent developments in diagnostic routine

IIT/HOROS Progress Report Seminars
These are “work progress seminars” which should enable the dissertation committee to assess the students’ progress, but are also important to ensure an inter-connection with all IIT and HOROS students. The discussion after each talk should be dominated by the other students. The dissertation committee and supervisor may also participate in the discussion and will meet afterwards to discuss the past and future progress in the presence of that student. A protocol must be compiled by the student summarizing the features discussed. All students have to present their data every year. 

IIT/HOROS Journal Clubs

IIT/HOROS Journal Clubs are seminars where each student will choose one important scientific paper not too close to her/his own project, but of general interest which she/he will present to the peers. Students have to actively participate in these talks by asking questions (minimum one question per semester) and each student also has to moderate one talk. 

The Journal Club is optional, but it is strongly advised to take at least one Journal Club during the study to compensate for a missing Progress Report Seminar.

General Subjects are open to all programs and provide general news and views common to all biomedical research areas. 

General Subjects (for all programs) are organised by Ao.Univ.-Prof.DDr. R. Würzner.

IIT Students

HOROS Students

IIT Faculty