Hawaiian Bobtail Squid
© R. Isenberg, Mandel Lab

GFP labeled bacteria inside Aspergillus spore
© N. Keller, Keller Lab

Vibrio fischeri (green) in the ciliated epithelial appendages of the bobtail squid light organ
© D. Tarnowski, Mandel Lab

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

Immunofluorescence staining of human NKT cells clustered with dendritic cells
© J. Gumperz, Gumperz Lab

Confocal Micrograph of E. Coli Infected Mouse Bladder Cells
© R. Welch, Welch 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 who are poised to represent our department well into the future.

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 co-sponsored, nationally acclaimed, Microbiology Doctoral Training Program. The doctoral training program is ranked first among U.S. public institutions and third nationwide.


Nancy Keller, PhD

“I was inspired to go to graduate school, majoring in Plant Pathology, from my years as a Peace Corps volunteer in Lesotho, a country in Southern Africa.”

Meet Nancy!


Andrew Hryckowian, PhD

“A research opportunity I had in high school which involved bacteriophage research opened countless doors for me and helped lead me to my current interests in bacterial pathogens and microbial communities.”

Meet Drew!


Andrew Mehle, PhD

“Sooner or later experiments or a specific hypothesis will fail. This is how science works, but it can understandably be seen as a setback or disappointment. However, if you’re really excited by the question, you can always come back to square one and find a new approach to investigate the thing that drives your curiosity.”

Meet Andrew!

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