Microbiology and Immunology: Essential Fields in a Ever-Changing World

As the COVID-19 pandemic has demonstrated, It is not possible to adequately protect the health of our nation without addressing infectious disease problems that occur elsewhere in the world. In an age of expanding air travel and international trade, infectious microbes are transported across borders every day, carried by infected people, animals, and insects, and contained within commercial shipments of contaminated food. Today’s emerging diseases can become the endemic diseases of tomorrow.

The Department of Microbiology and Immunology trains scientists ready to rise to the challenge of protecting human health in this ever-changing landscape. The department is uniquely positioned to ensure a superior learning environment. Our location within Washington, DC, provides proximity to organizations such as the National Institutes of Health and the Centers for Disease Control, giving students access to experts with insight into the national response to the problem of emerging infectious diseases. Graduates of our programs enjoy opportunities to intern and work in establishments that have direct impact on the development of infectious disease in United States and abroad.

Research within the Department of Microbiology and Immunology focuses on the immunological and biological properties of bacteria, viruses and fungi. Faculty have wide-ranging interests, including:

  • Viral oncogenesis and pathogenesis, including Dengue, West Nile, hepatitis viruses and HIV
  • Molecular mechanisms driving immune activation in HIV infection
  • Immunoregulation of the normal oral microbiota.
  • Genetics of fungal virulence
  • Identification of novel antimicrobial drug targets and antimicrobial drugs
  • Rapid detection of biological warfare agents in the field
  • Global health security, public health preparedness and health diplomacy

Learn more about our faculty and their research.

The department is home to five unique and competitive Certificate, Master in Science, and PhD programs. Learn more about our programs.