Since the COVID-19 pandemic, it has become very important to teach undergraduate students at all levels, about disease transmission and vaccine biology. Just using lectures and reading assignments on these topics often will not be very effective for the student learning. In resource limited undergraduate teaching environment, it is often not possible to use advanced immunology lab techniques. To combat this problem, a lab-module was incorporated into the undergraduate immunology course. In this module, students will follow the process of vaccine development from the identification of a novel disease through the creation and clinical testing of a vaccine This hands-on module was run over the course of three-week lab period, including important concepts of disease transmission, disease diagnosis, mRNA vaccine development, vaccine efficacy and herd immunity. All the exercises included paper-simulations and simulated samples using sodium hydroxide pellets. Overall concepts of innate and adaptive immunity, and detailed concepts like antigenic epitopes, primary and secondary immune responses, and booster doses are emphasized. Students also learn to design mRNA vaccines using gene sequences of Coronavirus spike protein. They also learn principles of ELISA and phases of clinical trial of a novel vaccine. A survey was conducted at the end of the module to evaluate the student learning and student responses to this module. 90% of the students in class were very pleased with this module and stated that this module helped them consolidate their understanding of vaccines. This module can also be modified to be used in a molecular biology or upper-level microbiology courses, with minimum resources.


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