The PhD in Emerging Infectious Diseases (EID) with specializations in Microbiology & Immunology, and Preventive Medicine & Biostatistics is designed for applicants who wish to pursue an interdisciplinary program of study leading to the PhD degree and was created for students who are primarily interested in the pathogenesis, host response, and epidemiology of infectious diseases. A broadly based core program of formal training is combined with an intensive laboratory research experience in the different disciplines encompassed by the field of infectious diseases. Courses are taught by an interdisciplinary EID faculty who hold primary appointments in the Departments of Microbiology and Immunology, Pathology, Preventive Medicine and Biostatistics, Pediatrics, and Medicine. Research training emphasizes modern methods in molecular biology and cell biology, as well as interdisciplinary approaches.

This program, a component of the Interdisciplinary Graduate Program in Emerging Infectious Diseases (EID), has a broadly based core program of formal training combined with an intensive laboratory research experience. Research training emphasizes modern methods in molecular biology, cell biology, as well as interdisciplinary approaches. All of the laboratories are supported with extramural and/or intramural research funds, which provide a vigorous research environment for graduate study.

Students have an exceptional opportunity to choose from a variety of training environments that include both field studies and bench studies. Some of our faculty members have active research projects in Africa and Southeast Asia. The juxtaposition of tropical medicine and pathogenesis research in the same graduate program provides an unparalleled opportunity for students to participate in multiple educational experiences.


D. Scott Merrell, PhD, Program Director
douglas.merrell@usuhs.edu, (301) 295-1584

Patricia Grant, Program Administrative Officer
patricia.grant@usuhs.edu, (301) 295-3400


"The close proximity to field-leading scientists and their research within the DoD and the NIH is something unique to USU; there aren't many other institutions where NIH branch/division heads come give lectures and teach a large percentage of upper level courses.”


Program Highlights

Students have the opportunity to participate in cutting-edge research that spans numerous possibilities: basic science, clinical research, global health, etc. Particular focus areas relevant to military medicine include traumatic brain injury, cancer, post-traumatic stress disorder, emerging infectious and neglected tropical diseases, combat casualty care, substance abuse, genomics and precision medicine.

Graduate Research

The Department of Microbiology and Immunology provides a challenging environment for students who seek to participate in research of the highest caliber. With a wide range of research interests including both basic and medical aspects of Bacteriology, Genetics, Virology, Immunology, Parasitology, Infectious Diseases, and Pathogenic Mechanisms, students will work in areas that are critical to the DoD mission of maintaining and improving the health and stability of our Nation’s military as well as civilian populations.

Microbiology and Immunology