Microbiology & Immunology


This mission of the Department of Microbiology & Immunology at Vanderbilt evolved from realization that while we cannot imagine our global village without germs, we can imagine a world without potentially preventable and treatable microbial and autoimmune diseases. Through new discoveries and state of the science training of future physicians and scientists, we strive to become a world-class center of excellence in microbiology and immunology.


Research in Immunology

• mechanisms of lymphocyte signal transduction
• differentiation of lymphocyte subsets, antigen presentation
• generation of antigen receptor diversity
• understanding systemic inflammatory responses (e.g., sepsis)
• understanding autoimmune diseases (e.g. type 1 diabetes, inflammatory bowel diseases, lupus, and multiple sclerosis).


Research in Microbial Pathogenesis

• HIV biology
• Mechanisms of retroviral gene expression
• Biology of RNA viruses
• Identification of virulence factors for pathogenic bacteria including staphylococci, anthrax bacilli, Helicobacter pylori and Clostridia (botulinum and difficile ).


Development of Biotechnology that is applicable to studies of signal transduction, vaccine design, functional genomics, and proteomics.

The department sponsors a Graduate Student Association established to provide a student voice in the administration of the department. The GSA also provides an atmosphere for informal presentations and helps to increase student interaction and foster collegiality.

Admission into the Microbiology and Immunology Department

Entry into the department is facilitated by participation in the Interdisciplinary Graduate Program (IGP) in the Biomedical Sciences. The IGP is comprised of the eleven basic science departments or programs in the School of Medicine and College of Arts & Sciences. The IGP provides the first year of coursework for all students entering the Department of Microbiology and Immunology.

Click here to access the free online application for the IGP.