Evolution of the Immune System

Figure showing the evolution of the immune system.

Phylogenetic tree figure showing the evolution of the immune system. (Image by Olsen, V. Beth Kuser. 1997. “Evolutionary Tree.” Retrieved in 2010 from V. Beth Kuser Olsen’s Homepage. Cecil College: Maryland.)


MIT Course Number


As Taught In

Spring 2005



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Course Description

Course Features

Course Description

In this course, evolutionary pathways that have led to the development of innate and adaptive immunity are analyzed, the conserved and unique features of the immune response from bacteria to higher vertebrates is traced, and factors, such as adaptive changes in pathogens that have shaped the evolution of immune system are identified.

This course is one of many Advanced Undergraduate Seminars offered by the Biology Department at MIT. These seminars are tailored for students with an interest in using primary research literature to discuss and learn about current biological research in a highly interactive setting.

Related Content

Nadia Danilova. 7.345 Evolution of the Immune System. Spring 2005. Massachusetts Institute of Technology: MIT OpenCourseWare, https://ocw.mit.edu. License: Creative Commons BY-NC-SA.

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