about the department

The Department of Microbiology and Immunology provides a challenging environment for students that seek to participate in research of the highest caliber. A wide range of interests is represented in the department, including both basic and medical aspects of Bacteriology, Genetics, Virology, Immunology, Parasitology, Infectious Diseases, and Pathogenic Mechanisms. Our faculty additionally play major roles across the entire curriculum of the uniformed medical student curriculum. We also offer a graduate program leading to a PhD degree. This program is a component of the Interdisciplinary Graduate Program in Emerging Infectious Diseases (EID) and is designed for full-time students who wish to pursue professional research and academic careers in the various disciplines encompassed within Microbiology and Immunology.

We are housed close to the Departments of Biochemistry, Anatomy, Physiology & Genetics, Pathology, and Pharmacology and Molecular Therapeutics. Cooperation among these departments facilitates intellectual exchange and collaboration among the graduate programs. Interdepartmental graduate programs, such as the EID, Neuroscience (NES) and Molecular and Cell Biology (MCB) Programs, also serve to increase communication and training opportunities for our students, both civilian and military.

Our core faculty have joint appointments with the EID Graduate Program, and several faculty also have joint appointments with the schools other graduate programs. In addition to modern, well-equipped laboratories within the department, the Biomedical Instrumentation Center (BIC) provides core facilities for imaging, flow cytometry, proteomics and protein and DNA sequencing.

Research areas of the primary faculty within the department cover an array of areas including bacteriology, virology, parasitology, and molecular mechanisms of immunity. All of these research areas are critical to the DoD mission of maintaining and improving the health and stability of our Nation’s military as well as civilian populations. Faculty with outstanding and productive research programs are also far better able to serve the educational and training mission of the DoD.


microbiology in the military

  1. Sexually transmitted infections (STIs) occur at high incidence in the U.S. military and have a significant cost with respect to diagnosis, treatment, and time lost from duty
  2. Understanding antimicrobial resistance and the means to counter it is a critical need for the future of human health
  3. Defining the roles of the host immune response to infection as well as to cancer and injury can lead to new methods of intervention
  4. The development of vaccines and antimicrobial and anti-parasitic agents benefits both the military and civilian sectors