The Department of Molecular Microbiology and Immunology has three primary missions.

  • To foster cutting-edge research on biomedically relevant problems in microbiology, immunology and virology
  • To educate strong, independent research scientists
  • To provide knowledge-based service to the state, nation and international communities

The past few years have been an exciting time of unprecedented growth for our department, with new faculty members adding innovative research programs in viral pathogenesis and immunology, as well as investigations into bacterial pathogenesis and new partnerships with the Departments of Surgery and Biological Engineering. The new investigators complement existing strengths in areas such as autoimmunity, innate and acquired immunity to pathogens, tumor immunotherapies, design of therapeutic reagents targeted to viral and bacterial pathogenesis, and basic principles of microbial genetics and physiology.

The expansion of our faculty to 28 core and associated positions has dramatically enhanced the training and research opportunities for graduate students and postdoctoral scientists. Moreover, it has translated into stunning fiscal growth in the past two years by more than doubling funding from federal agencies, private research foundations and the biomedical industry. These funding advances have occurred despite a slowing federal budget for biomedical research.

We are excited to be entering a new phase of recruiting additional faculty to join MMI. This year, the focus is on virology. Research into viruses offers so many exciting possibilities, from gene therapy vector development and engineered biology to innate and adaptive immunity and interactions with the host cell, and from structural biology and high-end imaging to antiviral drug discovery. Upcoming searches are anticipated to emphasize microbes, immunology and cancer, each of which have their own rich opportunities for exciting science. We look forward to welcoming new colleagues who can bring or build strong and interactive extramurally funded research programs. We seek those who can apply their energies to our educational mission and who can help us work toward increasing diversity, inclusion and access to higher education for groups underrepresented in the sciences.