Stephen Dewhurst, Ph.D.
Chair, Department of
Microbiology & Immunology
Vice Dean for Research,
School of Medicine & Dentistry
Welcome, and thank you for your interest in our exceptional education programs!
Currently, 64 students are enrolled in our Ph.D. program, and their research is overseen by some 32 primary tenure-track faculty members, and an additional 18 secondary faculty members – ensuring a great range of research opportunities. Our students themselves are also highly diverse, with some 19% of them coming from under-represented minority groups. This reflects in part the success of our NIH-funded Post-Baccalaureate Research and Education Program (PREP) which provides intensive research training to under-represented minority students, and is co-directed by Dr. Jacques Robert and Dr. Elaine Smolock.
Our pre-doctoral training programs are among the best in the nation. Our students regularly make ground-breaking discoveries that are published in top biomedical journals, and perform research that makes a difference. This is exemplified by the 1994 Ph.D. thesis of Dr. Robert C. Rose, in which Dr. Rose developed a critical technology that led to the production of vaccines designed to prevent infection with the human papillomavirus (HPV), the leading cause of cervical cancer. Vaccines are now available world-wide and could save hundreds of thousands of lives every year, thanks to the work of Dr. Rose, his mentor Dr. Richard Reichman, and their colleague, Dr. William Bonnez.
Recent graduates of our doctoral program have gone on to further training at some of our nation’s leading research institutions and many of our students have gone on to great professional and personal success after starting their careers here in Rochester. This includes several who: have started their own companies; are department chairs or center directors in academia; are research directors or program managers in the biotech industry; are lab chiefs or program managers for government agencies; or are faculty members at top 25 research universities such as Columbia, Duke, Harvard, Hopkins, Penn and Yale.
Watch our video to learn more about our student-driven research and what makes the department an ideal choice for your degree program.