Molecular Microbiology and Microbial Pathogenesis​

Graduate Student Coordinator:  Sara Holmes​
Faculty Co-Directors:  Christina Stallings, Ph.D.​​ & Megan Baldridge, M.D., Ph.D.​

GRE is optional​ for this program

Washington University, by virtue of its interdisciplinary graduate program and highly interactive and collaborative environment, is ideally suited for training and research in molecular microbiology and microbial pathogenesis. Our program is tailored to the needs and interests of the individual student and emphasizes laboratory research, supported by course work, journal clubs and seminars. The Program teaches comprehensive and modern approaches to understanding microbes and the diseases they cause.  We maintain strong ties with faculty on the Danforth Campus, many of whom are members of the MMMP Program.  Additional opportunities to study fundamental aspects of non-pathogenic microorganisms are available through the Plant and Microbial Biosciences Program.

This program includes two major areas of research: 1) molecular microbiology and 2) microbial pathogenesis and host defense.

Molecular Microbiology 

Research in molecular microbiology employs genetics, cell biology, biochemistry, and biophysics to investigate fundamental biological problems including environmental sensing and cell-cell signaling, transcriptional and post-transcriptional regulation, secretion, energy generation, and the bacterial cell cycle. State-of-the-art computational and comparative genomic approaches are used to study commensal, pathogenic, and environmental organisms in their natural environment.  

Microbial Pathogenesis and Host Defense 

Research in the molecular biology and biochemistry of pathogenic bacteria, fungi, protozoa, helminths and viruses, with an emphasis on mechanisms of virulence and host-parasite interactions. Applying a wide range of emerging technologies in molecular genetics and cell biology, this work includes the discovery and analysis of virulence-associated genes, the study of innate and acquired immunity to pathogens, and the identification and exploration of novel targets for chemotherapy.

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