Microbiology, Immunology and Biochemistry

Students entering the Microbiology, Immunology and Biochemistry (MIB) Track receive state-of-the-art training designed to prepare them for a research-focused career in academia, industry, or governmental agencies. The goals of the MIB track and its faculty are to ensure students have the necessary skills to become independent scientists and to successfully compete at the next level of their career development. To achieve these goals it is essential that students choose a dissertation project that ignites their passion for research. For those students interested in host-pathogen interactions, mechanisms governing innate and acquired immune responses, vaccine and therapeutic vector development, utilization of genomics/bioinformatics to study human disease, and research into the genetics, biochemical and/or cell biological mechanisms of eukaryotic or prokaryotic organisms, the MIB track has 35 faculty with active research programs spanning a wide range of research interests, including:

  • molecular and cellular bases for bacterial and viral infectious diseases
  • mechanisms of normal and abnormal immune function
  • chronic inflammatory and immune-mediated diseases in humans
  • animal models of human diseases
  • vaccine design and development
  • cancer gene therapy
  • genomics, transcriptomics, proteomics, and methods to study large biological data sets
  • mechanisms of protein localization and transport
  • cell signaling
  • genetics, biochemistry, and cell biology of transcriptional regulation in prokaryotes and eukaryotes
  • bioinformatics, quantitative trait mapping, and data mining methodologies

Faculty in the MIB track include investigators from the Departments of Molecular Sciences, Clinical Pharmacy, Pediatrics, and Medicine at The University of Tennessee Health Science Center, as well as scientists from St. Jude Children's Research Hospital, and the Veteran's Administration Hospital and Research Center in Memphis. In addition, research programs utilizing the newly opened Regional Biocontainment Laboratory (RBL) provide students with an opportunity for training in biocontainment procedures used to study biosafety level-3 (BSL-3) pathogens.

Students accepted into the graduate program will receive stipend support and tuition remission. There is also an opportunity for qualified minority students to participate in a one-of-a-kind T32 training grant to study microbial pathogenesis. This grant provides a much needed way to help produce a larger professional talent pool of underrepresented minorities in academia and industry upon completion of their graduate training.

Contact Us

Microbiology, Immunology, and Biochemistry

Track Director:
David R. Nelson, Ph.D.
101B Molecular Sciences Building
Memphis, TN 38163
Email: IBSMIB@uthsc.edu

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