The Doctoral Program of the Department of Microbiology and Immunology is designed to train the student in the art and science of biomedical research and to give him/her the experience and training to become an independent biomedical researcher who can address fundamental questions in the discipline of microbiology at the molecular and cellular levels. Our students work directly toward the Ph.D. degree in a curriculum that has a considerable coursework component, but its major emphases are: (i) to teach the student how to be a "problem solver" by doing independent research at the bench; (ii) how to organize and present information by participating in journal clubs and seminar programs (and eventually by presenting papers at major scientific meetings); and (iii) how to design experiments and prepare research applications by writing research proposals and scientific manuscripts for publication. All of our students are supported by a stipend and receive a waiver of all tuition.
The research programs within the Department of Microbiology and Immunology are supported by major research grants from national funding agencies, such as the National Institutes of Health (NIH). The ongoing research of the faculty members spans the disciplines of virology, immunology, and bacteriology and emphasizes the use of molecular approaches and the latest biotechnologies to address fundamental questions. In addition to research grants to individual faculty members, the NIH has awarded funding of more than $22.9 million to establish and support the Center for Molecular and Tumor Virology within the Department. This NIH Center grant supports the expansion of research facilities and individual research programs of several faculty members who seek to understand at the molecular level how viruses mediate different disease outcomes.