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Research in the Department of Microbiology and Immunology focuses on human disease and infection and is divided into two main areas: viruses and the diseases they cause and protection against infectious disease.

The Microbiology and Virology group works on a broad range of viruses and microorganisms including:

  • HSV
  • EBV
  • CMV
  • VZV
  • KSHV
  • HTLV
Interests Include:
  • Infectivity
  • Gene regulation
  • DNA replication
  • Pathogenesis of human viruses
  • Microbes such as tuberculosis
  • Some sexually transmitted diseases
  • Virus/host interaction
  • Animal models of human disease

Our Immunology group research also covers a broad range of topics and includes work on diseases such as:

  • Lupus
  • Multiple sclerosis
  • Allergies
  • Chicken pox
  • Cancer, including: Leukemia, lymphoma, and oral cancers

A central theme is understanding how the immune system prevents or causes disease pathogenesis. Studies include how cells of the immune system fight viruses, bacteria and tumors, how microbes evade immunity, how the immune system becomes activated and destroys self tissues, and how dioxin and estrogen affect cellular development of the immune system.

Research is conducted at the molecular, biochemical and genetic levels, with goals of developing gene therapies, vaccines and better treatment of disease. Research methods include cell culture, animal models, molecular genetics and gene therapy, and microarray analysis of gene expression.