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Doody's Review ServiceReviewer: Marion C. Cohen, PhD (SUNY Downstate Medical Center)
Description: This is the third edition of a classical type of immunology textbook that focuses primarily on the human immune system. It is adapted Janeway's Immunobiology, 7th edition, Murphy et al. (informa Healthcare, 2008) but is heavily weighted towards clinical information. The previous edition was published in 2005.
Purpose: Written for first time students of immunology, the book's potential audience includes undergraduate, medical, dental, and pharmacy students. Its stated goal is to be comprehensible, up-to-date, and reader-friendly and to achieve this it uses medical examples extensively.
Audience: Beginning students of immunology will enjoy using this textbook because it is written with them in mind. Moreover, because it correlates basic science with clinical issues, it anchors theory to reality and thus will provide a way to better understand the immune system. The author is a well known immunologist who has enlisted help from others who are highly knowledgeable.
Features: The book covers all the subjects one would expect to find in a textbook of immunology. The first 10 chapters provide a view of the normal immune response and its components. This is followed by three chapters that discuss diseases resulting from an inadequate or inappropriate immune response. The final chapters focus on how the immune system is being manipulated to improve human health. Throughout the book, the relationship of the immune system to human diseases is well documented. Study questions at the end of each chapter include essay, multiple-choice, and case study formats. Answers are provided. The book also includes a glossary. The illustrations are in full color and are available on a web site (Garland Science Classwire) for use by instructors. There will be a separate book of case studies available that is coordinated with this textbook. A minor peculiarity is that the contents of the book appears twice: first as a list of chapter titles that is not always helpful in identifying where specific topics may be found, which is then followed by the detailed contents in each chapter.
Assessment: There are a number of immunology textbooks available that appeal to instructors for different reasons. Because immunology is an ever-changing field, new editions generally appear at 3- to 4-year intervals and a particular text is often chosen because it is the most up to date. However, there is a tendency to stick with one text out of habit. A book like this, which focuses on the human immune system with less emphasis on the experimental data that led up to the science, would be appropriate for medical or dental students, many of whom complain whenever mice or rats are mentioned. Moreover, it relates disease to basic principles very well which appeals to these students. The availability of the figures for PowerPoint presentations is also a plus.