R. conorii utilizes actin-based motility to spread intra- and intercellularly

R. conorii (red) and other spotted fever group rickettsial species express at least two outermembrane associated proteins that are sufficient to mediate “actin comet tail” (green) formation in infected cells.

R. conorii utilizes actin-based motility to spread intra- and intercellularly

Hematoxylin and eosin stained histopathology sections of mouse kidneys infected by Staphylococcus aureus. Staphylococcal abscess communities are surrounded by a massive influx of host immune cells.

Mouse kidneys show infection with Staphylococcus aureus

THP-1 macrophage infection with Legionella pneumophila

THP-1 macrophage infection with Legionella pneumophila. DNA stained with DAPI (blue), F-actin with Rhodamine-phalloidin (red) and Early Endosomes with EEA-1 (green). Taken from the lab of Howard Shuman. Shuman webpage

THP-1 macrophage infection with Legionella pneumophila

The HTRL is a Regional Biocontainment Laboratory, one of 13 located throughout the USA constructed by partnerships between the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases and local academic institutiions Learn more

The Howard T. Ricketts Laboratory (HTRL)

Welcome to the Department of Microbiology

Microbiology is the scientific discipline that examines microbes and microbial diseases. Microbes, small organisms that require microscopic tools for visualization, encompass bacteria, viruses, fungi and parasites. The discoveries of microbes and the realization that they represent causative agents of human, animal and plant diseases have transformed biological sciences and established the very broad foundations of molecular medicine. Antimicrobial therapies, vaccines, hygiene and antiseptic techniques are intellectual achievements that represent foundations for the current medical revolution. Apart from the contributions of Microbiology to human health, the foundations of modern molecular biology and genetics rest on research carried out with microbes. Basic research in Microbiology underwrites our effort for eradication of important pathogens, prevention of human diseases, development of gene therapies and the evolution of new strategies for personalized medicine. The Department of Microbiology at the University of Chicago seeks to meet these challenges. This website will inform you about our faculty and their research interests, our educational programs emphasizing undergraduate and graduate studies as well as ongoing events for microbiologists at Chicago.