Welcome to the Department of Microbiology

The strengths of our research are best revealed by the questions that we seek to address.



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 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.  Faculty in the Department of Microbiology research different microbes including bacteria (pathogenic Acinetobacter, Bacillus, Brucella, Legionella, Rickettsia, Staphylococcus, Yersinia, and commensal species) and viruses (Hepatitis C, Dengue Fever, Measles, Influenza, and several murine retroviruses). In collaboration with the Duchossois Family Institute (Harnessing the Microbiome and Immunity for Human Health), the Pritzker School of Molecular Engineering, and U. Chicago Medicine, our faculty investigate the organizing principles of the microbiome, its role in maintaining health and preventing disease, and the development of novel therapies.



Our graduate curriculum provides broad exposure to multiple disciplines in microbial science, and supports specialized training in several areas of interest. 

Graduate students pursuing a PhD in Microbiology take a minimum of nine courses. Students consult the Graduate Advisor of the Committee on Microbiology to develop a plan of study that fulfills the program course requirements and meets the student’s particular interests in microbiology. The philosophy of graduate coursework is to develop a foundation of knowledge for the first-year graduate student. Of course, the basis of graduate training in microbiology is the performance of original laboratory research, which begins in winter or spring of the first year.

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