The AAI Summer Courses in Immunology

Since 1966, AAI has been offering an annual Summer Courses in Immunology where investigators receive intensive training on both fundamental immunological concepts and the latest developments in the field. The earliest courses were designed when few universities offered full programs in immunology; today, they have adapted to a growing discipline. World-renowned immunologists give a fast-paced series of lectures to students drawn from academia and industry and hailing from all over the US and abroad.

Geographical Distribution of AAI Immunology Courses

AAI has held 71 immunology courses in cities across the United States since the first course in 1966 at Lake Forest College, Lake Forest, IL. Find out where on the interactive map.

Geographical Distribution of Attendees at the First AAI Immunology Course

Geographical distribution of attendees at the first AAI Summer Course in Immunology, c. 1966

Course Attendee Distribution

On Monday, July 25, 1966, the AAI-sponsored “Summer Course in Immunology” commenced at Lake Forest College, a small liberal arts college 30 miles north of Chicago on the banks of Lake Michigan. Over the next 13 days, 57 attendees listened to lectures from 18 eminent immunologists covering 12 topics of “basic immunology.”

Moving the Course from Colorado

The AAI Advanced Course in Immunology moved to Colorado Springs in 1991 with the expectation that it would be housed there for the next several years. Then in 1992, Colorado voters passed Amendment 2, which prohibited any jurisdiction in the state from recognizing homosexuality as the basis for a protected class or claim of discrimination. In response, the AAI Council issued a statement opposing the amendment and would “not consider making any future contractual commitments” in Colorado until the amendment was overturned. While it was already too late to relocate the 1993 Annual Meetingto be held in Denver from May 21–25, the Council decided to remove the Advanced Course from Colorado “pending no action on Amendment 2 by the state.” By fall of 1993, the Amendment still stood, so Council and the Education Committee began making alternate arrangements for the 1994 course, which ultimately was held in Bozeman, Montana. The United States Supreme Court found Amendment 2 unconstitutional in 1995, but by that time, the Advanced Course had settled in to California for a twelve-year run.

AAI Newsletter 1993


Starting the AAI Introductory Course

Ever since the beginning of the Advanced Course in Immunology, student feedback included requests for more time spent on the fundamentals of immunology. As the field matured, demand increased for instruction in translational research from scientists in the biotech industry as well. In 2000, the incoming Education Committee chair, Leslie J. Berg, proposed adding a second annual course that would fulfill both of these needs. The AAI Introductory Course in Immunology began in 2002 as a two-part course. The first three days comprised lectures in basic research taught by a small handful of “professional teachers,” professors at undergraduate institutions who were known for their teaching skills. The second half was devoted to applied research for the clinic and biotech industry. Another benefit of the Introductory Course was its location at Tufts University in the Boston suburb of Medford. The Advanced Course had been steadily moving west since 1983, so the new location would attract more students from the East Coast and Europe. The two-part model was met with immediate approval; this format has remain unchanged ever since.

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