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Blood and Lymph Block

Blood and Lymph is a 10-week course in the Spring that covers the basic and clinical concepts underlying immunology, hematology, rheumatology, and malignancies of the blood. Histology, genetics, biochemistry, and ethical issues are integrated into the course concepts. Contact hours are divided equally between lecture and discussion groups.

Block Directors:
Jill Slansky, PhD
Tim Garrington, MD

Carolina Jensen (303-724-2070)

Course Goals (PDF with Objectives​)
  • Recognize and describe the different blood cell types, their structure and function, their production and turnover, and associated disease states.

  • Define anemia; list the major causes and describe their pathophysiology, epidemiology, genetics, typical clinical and laboratory findings, and a rational approach to treatment. Discuss the impact of a chronic disease such as sickle cell anemia on a patient and family.

  • Describe the process of hemostasis, including regulation by anticoagulant and fibrinolytic pathways; describe pathologic states involving inadequate hemostasis or thrombosis, describe typical clinical and laboratory findings with hemostatic disorders, and a rational approach to treatment, including use of anticoagulation and thrombolytic therapies.

  • List and describe available blood products for transfusion, how they are collected, tested, and stored, how blood typing and crossmatching occurs, and indications for transfusion; explain how ABO and Rh mismatch between mother and fetus can lead to hemolytic disease of the newborn.

  • Describe major features of the innate and adaptive immune systems; describe the anatomy and physiology of the immune system, and recognize major histologic features of the thymus and peripheral lymphoid organs.

  • Describe normal B and T cell function, the structure and function of the 5 classes of antibodies, genetic mechanisms leading to antibody and T cell receptor formation, and the role of MHC in T cell function and transplantation.

  • List and describe the major types of immunopathology (types 1-4), including their pathophysiology and some of the laboratory and clinical findings.

  • List and describe the major rheumatologic disorders, including their laboratory, radiologic, and clinical features, epidemiology, genetics, pathophysiology, and an approach to treatment; describe major classes of pharmacologic immunomodulators, their mechanism of action, and use in the treatment of rheumatic or autoimmune disease and in the setting of transplantation.

  • List and describe the major neoplastic diseases involving the hematopoietic system, recognize their histologic, cytogenetic, molecular features and epidemiology, and describe their typical prognosis and clinical course. Discuss the impact of a diagnosis of a hematologic malignancy on a patient and family and potential late effects of therapy.

  • Describe major defects of the innate and adaptive immune system leading to immunodeficiency, including characteristic clinical findings and types of infections, pathophysiology, and some of the known molecular defects.

  • Describe how vaccines work and discuss some of the barriers to vaccine use in Colorado; explain the role of the immune system in tumor surveillance and a rationale and approach to the development of tumor vaccines and other modulation of the immune system to treat cancer.