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The Department of Microbiology prides itself on the quality of its teaching. The department teaches students in all of the Health Science Colleges (Medicine, Pharmacy, Nursing and Dentistry). It has its own vibrant graduate program and participates in teaching students at the graduate level in the interdisciplinary programs (Molecular and Cellular Biology, Immunology and Genetics). The department offers a weekly seminar series from September until May each academic year. Over 90% of the approximately 30 speakers are invited from other institutions. All are internationally recognized experts in their field. There is also active participation of faculty in seminars given by the interdisciplinary programs of Immunology, Molecular and Cellular Biology and Genetics.
The Microbiology Graduate Program offers both Masters and Doctoral degrees. Areas of research include bioinformatics, cellular microbiology, molecular Virology and Immunology, Bacterial Biochemistry and Physiology, Bioremediation, Bacterial and Viral Pathogenesis, and Molecular Parasitology. Faculty in the department are actively involved in a number of training grants in the institution. These include training grants in microbial pathogenesis virology, immunology, MSTP and biocatalysis among others.
The department is only one of two basic science departments in the Carver College of Medicine that has its own undergraduate program in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences. The department has a summer National Science Foundation Research Experience for Undergraduates (REU) grant that annually introduces 9 to 10 undergraduate students to basic microbiology research. A Microbiology Honors Program curriculum exposes undergraduate students to basic laboratory research and the scientific method. Upon successful completion of the program, the student receives “Special Honors with Distinction” designation on his/her diploma.