Students keep me thinking, and teaching is one of the best parts of immunology. I am directly involved in the hands-on technical and theoretical training of staff and students in my research group, and I am deliberate in using my laboratory as a means to foster and support the development of early career scientists, including undergraduates and high school students. My priority in teaching is to encourage students to think, and to think confidently, critically and independently.
Outreach events -
Some examples of our science conversations outside the classroom -
Teaching at the University of Glasgow -
I teach on the 2nd, 3rd and 4th year undergraduate Immunology courses, and am course co-ordinator for the Level 3A class. My topics include T cell activation, defense against infection, cross-presentation, and the importance of immune balance in infection and in allergy and asthma. I teach in our MSc course in Immunology and Inflammatory Diseases here at the University of Glasgow, focusing particularly on career advice sessions, and also serve as an external examiner for the MSc Immunology course at Imperial College, London.
Teaching at the University of British Columbia -
In Vancouver I taught MICB 202 (an entry level course that explored the arms race between the human immune system and the pathogens it tries to defeat, with ~800 students), MICB 402 (our core 4th year immunology lecture class, with ~85 students), and MICB 502 (a graduate seminar class with 8-12 students). My topics were dendritic cell, T cell and B cell biology, immune regulation, immune memory and vaccination. All concepts were placed in the context of infectious diseases, incorporating a global health perspective. In 2014, I was awarded a Skylight teaching development grant to facilitate a student-driven revision of the MICB 202 course texbook. Two students, one a skilled writer and the other a very talented cartoonist, took the current course notes and transformed their style and presentation, improving their organisation, simplifying the language, and illustrating key concepts with brilliant graphic design.