Hawaiian Bobtail Squid
© R. Isenberg, Mandel Lab

An egg infected with bioluminescent influenza virus
© A. Mehle, Mehle Lab

Confocal Micrograph of E. Coli Infected Mouse Bladder Cells
© R. Welch, Welch Lab

Zebrafish T-cells Highlighted Green Against Red Blood Vessels
© Tanner Robertson, Huttenlocher Lab

The mission of the Department of Medical Microbiology & Immunology is to provide comprehensive scientific instruction to students, conduct novel and meaningful research, and offer consultation and service in microbiology and immunology as they relate to human health and disease.

Since the Department of Medical Microbiology & Immunology’s establishment in 1935, we have made fundamental contributions to the study of infectious disease and immunity. Our current faculty are well-established, recognized leaders in the field.

Research underway in our department involves bacterial, fungal, protozoan, and viral pathogens. Organisms under study are: Toxoplasma gondii, Neisseria gonorrhoeae, Mycobacterium sp., Brucellasp., Listeria, Blastomyces, Aspergillus, Cryptococcus neoformans, Candida, influenza virus, Herpes simplex, and uropathogenic Escherichia coli. Faculty also investigate diverse immunological topics such as the sexual dimorphism of immune responses, regulatory T cell biology, leukocyte migration, and vaccine development.

We  provide an exceptional learning environment for undergraduates through rigorous coursework and research opportunities. Graduate students may earn a Ph.D. through our nationally acclaimed, Microbiology Doctoral Training Program which is ranked first among U.S. public institutions and third nationwide.

Margaret Alexander, PhD

“Don’t be afraid to ask for help or to fail – one of the best parts about science is that “failures” sometimes lead to the most interesting discoveries!”

Meet Maggie!

Yiran Hou, PhD

“I’m a rock climbing addict! I love solving problems on the wall with friends.”

Meet Yiran!

Carlos Ramírez-Flores, PhD

“I was raised in a family of teachers and professors. My mom was teacher of biology and chemistry. Since I was a kid, I used to read the quizzes and evaluations from my mom’s lectures.”

Meet Carlos!

Diversity is a source of strength, creativity, and innovation for UW–Madison. We value the contributions of each person and respect the profound ways their identity, culture, background, experience, status, and abilities enrich the university.

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Recent News

  • Dr. Sperandio Selected as ASM Distinguished Lecturer

    Congratulations to Dr. Vanessa Sperandio on being selected as an American Society for Microbiology Distinguished Lecturer. Lecturers serve 2-year terms and she will serve as a Lecturer for the 2024-2026 Program. The ASM Distinguished Lecturer …

  • Dr. Vanessa Sperandio Talk Featured on Biomedical & Life Sciences Collection

    Department of Medical Microbiology & Immunology Department Chair, Dr. Vanessa Sperandio, contributed a talk to The Biomedical & Life Sciences Collection.  Her talk, “Enteric pathogens-microbiota-host inter-kingdom chemical interactions,” is available online.

  • Registration Opens for 2024 Perlman Symposium!

    Perlman Symposium on Antibiotic Discovery and Development 9:00am – 5:00pm, Friday, April 26, 2024 Abstract Submission Deadline: March 22, 2024 General Registration Deadline: March 30, 2024 Register Today! Registration for the 2024 Perlman Symposium is open! This year’s Symposium will be taking place on Friday, April 26, 2024 …

  • More Department News posts