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A Short Course, Fourth Edition

Eli Benjamini, Richard Coico, and Geoffrey Sunshine

Paper • February 2000 • 500 pp. • 0-471-34890-2

From the Reviews:

"Immunology: A Short Course undertakes to cover all the important areas of contemporary immunological knowledge and simultaneously to provide a historical view of the discoveries that have built the groundwork of modern immunological thought. . . . Immunology: A Short Course performs this function admirably, taking advantage of the authors’ breadth of knowledge and a contemporary molecular and cellular view of immunology. . . . Immunology: A Short Course complements the broad coverage of immunology as a biological discipline with a full set of clear and attractive illustrations of cellular and molecular details of the immune system. [. . Immunology: A Short Course] offers a valuable balance between classic and contemporary, academic and clinical, and will serve many students, and their teachers well."

– David H. Margulies, M.D., Ph.D.


The Fourth Edition of Immunology: A Short Course, completely updated on a chapter-by-chapter basis, contains extensive revisions to reflect the many recent advances in our understanding of immunology. This text contains a thorough introduction to immunology and concludes each chapter with review questions. Among the numerous additional features are clinical case scenarios and new, full-color illustrations that have been specially designed for this edition.

Within this edition, particular emphasis is placed on T-and B-cell responses to antigen, antigen processing and presentation, vaccination technology, immunotherapy, and mechanisms responsible for immune disorders. Immunology: A Short Course, Fourth Edition proves itself to be an invaluable tool by offering the most coherent presentation of topics available. Included in this fully revised new edition:

  • Two new chapters on cytokines and immune responses to infection
  • Updated case scenarios and review questions
  • Accompanying Web site with downloadable illustrations and up-to-date CD and cytokine tables
  • Full-color interior with all new figures

Immunology: A Short Course, Fourth Edition is the clear choice when searching for a concise and accessible book in modern immunology.

About the Authors

Eli Benjamini is a professor emeritus of immunology in the Department of Medical Microbiology and Immunology at the School of Medicine of the University of California at Davis. Dr. Benjamini has taught immunology to undergraduate, graduate, and medical students, as well as having served for 10 years as Chairman of the Graduate Program of Immunology on the Davis campus-a program which he was instrumental in forming. His research interests include the immunobiology of protein antigens, mechanisms of immune regulation, and principles of synthetic vaccine.

Richard Coico [coico@med.cuny.edu] is a professor and chairman of the Department of Microbiology and Immunology at the City University of New York Medical School (http://med.cuny.edu). For the past six years, he has directed the Microbiology and Immunology course taught to medical students, and also participates in the teaching of immunology to graduate students and physician assistant students at CUNY. He is a member of the Education Committee of the Association of Medical School Microbiology and Immunology Chairs (AMSMIC) and currently serves as program chair of a biannual meeting sponsored by AMSMIC entitled, Educational Strategies Workshop for Microbiology and Immunology. His research interests include studies of the regulation of antibody responses and germinal center formation, mechanisms of T cell-mediated B cell activation, and the physiologic role of IgD in the immune system.

Geoffrey Sunshine [gsunshine@healtheffects.org] is a staff scientist at the Health Effects Institute in Cambridge, Massachusetts where he reviews research on the biological effects of air pollutants. He is also a lecturer in the Department of Pathology at Tufts University School of Medicine. For several years, he has directed a course in immunology for graduate dental students at Tufts University Dental School, and previously directed a course for veterinary students at Tufts University Veterinary School. He was also a member of the Sackler School of Graduate Biomedical Sciences at Tufts University, doing research in antigen presentation and teaching immunology to medical, graduate, and undergraduate students.

Preface from the Fourth Edition

Since the last edition, significant developments in biomedical research have helped to refine and, in some cases, redefine our understanding of many aspects of the immune system. As a result, every chapter published in the fourth edition has been either updated or rewritten to incorporate new findings and to delete information that no longer reflects current thinking. In addition, several new chapters have been added to the book, including one on cytokines and another on resistance and immunization to infectious diseases. Finally, a new section on experimental systems has been added to Chapter 5. Describing how and why biomedical scientists utilize various experimental tools to investigate the complexities of the immune system is essential to a student's understanding of the subject of immunology.

As in the first three editions, we remain committed to the motto ''less is more.'' Therefore, our objective in creating this edition has been to present what we consider to be the most pertinent material in a concise, palatable, and easily digestible fashion to the introductory student of immunology. Additional supportive material for students and course instructors can also now be found on a Web site.

We are deeply indebted to Dr. Susan Gottesman, who contributed the chapter entitled, ''Immunodeficiency and Other Disorders of the Immune System.'' We also thank Dr. Karen Yamaga, who updated the autoimmunity chapter. The important contributions of Dr. Patricia Giclas, who updated the complement chapter, and Dr. Arturo Casedeval, who added the new final chapter on resistance and immunization to infectious diseases, are also gratefully acknowledged.

Richard Coico would like to acknowledge the loving support of his family during the writing of this book. Their fortitude, inspiration, and enduring patience helped make the job an enjoyable adventure. Special thanks is extended to the following list of colleagues who generously provided their insightful scientific expertise and many helpful suggestions for the Fourth Edition: Drs. Ethan Shevach (NIH), David Margulies (NIH), Lloyd Mayer (Mount Sinai School of Medicine), Lakshmi Tamma (CUNY Medical School), Linda Spatz (CUNY Medical School), Laurel Eckhardt (Hunter College), Kathleen Barnes (Johns Hopkins School of Medicine), Soldano Ferrone (Roswell Park Memorial Institute), and Harriet Robinson (Emory University). Finally, he would like to thank his mentors, Drs. Ronald Curley, Susan Krown, Robert A. Good, and G. Jeanette Thorbecke, each of whom has greatly influenced his commitment and passion to the road taken.

Geoffrey Sunshine would like to thank Peter Brodeur (Tufts University Medical School) and Cindy Theodos (Tufts University Veterinary School) for their unstinting help during the preparation of his section of the current edition; they reviewed chapters in both the Third and Fourth Editions, and offered suggestions for making the material relevant and accessible to introductory readers. He is also grateful to the many friends and colleagues who answered questions about their areas of expertise, especially Mark Exley, Susan Kalled, and Paula Hochman. In addition, he would like to thank his family for their continued support and understanding during the writing.

The authors wish to express their appreciation to the staff members of John Wiley and Sons, Inc., who helped to bring the Fourth Edition to publication and did so with skill, patience, and good humor. Special thanks to our co-workers, including secretaries, office assistants, and other staff members, who helped with the preparation of the manuscript.

Finally, we wish to acknowledge the important contributions made by Dr. Sidney Leskowitz to the earlier editions of this book. The Hypersensitivity chapters are dedicated to his memory.

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