Liepkalns Lab

Vaccines and Immunotherapies Explained.As part of the Program for Research in Immunology and Microbiology Education (PRIME) group, the Liepkalns laboratory studies and develops tools to help faculty teach immunology more effectively. With exciting advances in immunotherapies (including novel vaccine designs), immunology has become a topic many want to learn more about. What should students learn by the time they graduate from college (scientific literacy) and how do students develop their understanding of these immunological concepts? We are interested in making students self-directed learners and developing tools for instructors. We are particularly interested in students that are underrepresented in the field of immunology and are working to make this field more inclusive to all learners.

Another project is publishing textbooks on immunology for undergraduate students with expert colleagues by integrating evidence-based approaches. The 1st edition of “Vaccines and Immunotherapies Explained” is now available!

research project

Undergraduate Immunology fundamental statements and skills

In collaboration with a team of immunology educators nationwide, referred to as ImmunoReach, we are developing undergraduate curriculum guidelines for teaching immunology. We are using the National Science Foundation’s report Vision and Change as a framework to align immunology undergraduate literacy with core biological concepts and skills.

research project

Conceptual Learning in Immunology & Microbiology (CLIMb)

We are developing a conceptual framework outlining how novice students develop expertise in immunology. This tool can reveal the roadmap students usually take when deepening their understanding of a core immunological concept and instructors can design their assessments and curriculum accordingly.


Vaccines and Immunotherapies Explained.
Justine Liepkalns
Kendall Hunt Publishing. ISBN 9781792498725.

Impact of automated response systems on in-class cell phone use.
Moorleghen DM, Oli N, Crowe AJ, Liepkalns JS, Self CJ, Doherty JH.
Biochem Mol Biol Educ. 2019 Sep;47(5):538-546. doi: 10.1002/bmb.21257. Epub 2019 May 30. PMID: 31145544

Making evolution stick: using sticky notes to teach the mechanisms of evolutionary change.
K. Grogan, T. Lee, and J. Liepkalns.
Evolution: Education and Outreach. 10:11. 2017
Thomas Henry Huxley Award.

Virus-Detection Kits and Methods of Making and Using the Same.
R. Zafari, B. Goldstone, J. Liepkalns
United States Patent and Trademark Office. Publication # US-2016-0131650-A1
An Undergraduate Authentic Research Experience

Rapamycin does not Impede Survival or Induction of Antibody Responses to Primary and Heterosubtypic Influenza Infections in Mice.
Liepkalns J, Pandey A, Hofstetter A, Jones E, Cao W, Liu F, Levine M, Sambhara S, Gangappa S.
Viral Immunology. (2016) 29(8):487-493.

more publications


Justine Liepkalns, Ph.D.

Associate Professor

Tyler Sherman, Ph.D.

Research Associate III

Hana Gatlawi

Graduate Research Assistant

Ryan Alajoki

Research Assistant

Emma Bovaird

Student Researcher

Lauren Wolff

Lab Assistant

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