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Our research and educational programs incorporate cutting-edge multidisciplinary approaches to understand microbial pathogenesis and the host immune defenses that protect against these organisms.  Currently, MBI has three formal curriculum tracks, Immunology, Microbiology, and Virology, which encompass nine research interest areas.

Curriculum Tracks


ImmunologyPhotoThe field of Immunology brings together biochemists, molecular biologists and cell biologists to analyze a complex multi-cellular system that is exquisitely designed to defend against a myriad of
pathogenic agents. Our immunology faculty focus on basic research into immune mechanisms at the molecular, cellular and organismal level. Strengths include: T and B cell differentiation, dendritic cell biology, antigen processing, vaccine design and in vivo models of immunity to infectious agents, tumors, inflammation and autoimmune disease.

Microbiology & Microbial Pathogenesis

MicrobiologyPhotoThese laboratories investigate the molecular biological details of a wide variety of medically important microbial pathogens. Studies focus on understanding the physiology and pathogenicity of bacteria and fungi and the basic features of microbial replication and microbe-host interactions. Microbiology faculty include investigators with interests in bacterial genetics, genomics and metagenomics, biofilm formation, antimicrobial drug discovery, the interplay of pathogenic microorganisms with host cells and tissues, opportunistic pathogens, oral microbiology, infections of the respiratory tract, and more.


VirologyPhotoVirus infections are a major cause of mortality and morbidity worldwide, and are responsible for many of the important diseases of humankind, including AIDS and several types of cancer. These laboratories perform broadly based research on both RNA and DNA viruses, including biodefense agents such as the influenza virus, as well as other respiratory pathogens, and HIV/AIDS. Studies also focus on novel approaches to prophylaxis and treatment - including development of novel vaccines, antiviral target identification, and translational research into new antiviral drugs. Participating laboratories utilize state of the art molecular techniques, including real-time imaging, genomics and proteomics, to study the interactions between viruses and their hosts.

Degree and Training Programs

Bachelor of Science in Biological Sciences - Microbiology
Master of Science in Microbiology and Immunology
3/2 (BS/MS) Master of Science in Immunology, Microbiology and Virology
PhD Program
Post-baccalaureate Research Education Program (PREP)
Industrial Internship Program