About the Department

The Department of Immunology and Microbiology serves our community, state, nation, and the world by applying the disciplines of Immunology and Microbiology to improving health and wellness for all members of our society, including historically underserved populations. 

We provide high quality biomedical scientific education and opportunities to perform pioneering research.  This enables our diverse student body of college undergraduates, medical students, graduate students, and post-doctoral scholars to develop into scientific leaders in the international biomedical arena.

In addition to developing a high level of expertise in the discipline in which their doctoral research is focused, graduates from the program have a broad understanding of the disciplines Bacteriology, Immunology, and Virology, and their interrelationships.

Our students learn how to work independently and collaboratively on complex multidisciplinary biomedical problems, in the context of high standards in research and scholarship.  Our educational programs facilitate development of critical skills such as experimental design, robust application of classical and modern methods, data analysis, performing research in accordance with the highest ethical standards, and preparation of data for written and oral presentation in high-quality venues.

We have a long tradition of student participation in and presenting data at national and international scientific conferences, and of them ultimately assuming positions of significant responsibility in academia, industry, and government.

Eight faculty members have primary appointments in the Department.  Research and training opportunities are available in departmental laboratories, as well as in the laboratories of affiliated faculty in other departments and programs in the School of Medicine, and in laboratories at the nearby Henry Ford Health System and Karmanos Cancer Institute.  We have convenient access to outstanding core facilities, including facilities for imaging, flow cytometry, molecular biology, and proteomics.

Our current areas of research include:

Bacteriology: molecular mechanisms of bacterial pathogenesis, regulation of bacterial gene expression during infection of eukaryotic hosts, ocular infections, drug delivery systems, structure-function properties of bacterial toxins, and mechanisms by which microbiomes affect animal behavior, human reproduction, and holobiont phenotypes.

Immunology: autoimmune diseases, cancer immunology, infectious diseases, lymphocyte biology, neuroimmunology, mucosal immunology, immune regulation, and development of immune-based therapeutics.

Virology:  viral manipulation of cell biology to facilitate virus replication, regulation of viral gene expression at the transcriptional and translational levels, virion assembly, innate immunity to viral infections, and mechanisms of viral pathogenesis