Welcome to the Department of MMI

The Department of Molecular Microbiology and Immunology's (MMI) mission is to maintain active and integrated research programs that study the interactions between microbes and their hosts. The goal is to understand how these influence the outcome of infection and disease progression. Current research interests in the department include understanding host signaling in response to viral infection, molecular mechanisms of NK and NK T cell activation, and molecular principles underlying fungal pathogenesis. This work provides an interdisciplinary structure for our training programs.

MMI supports undergraduate, graduate, and postdoctoral education in the areas of microbiology and immunology. Departmental instruction includes lecture courses, seminar courses, and laboratory research (both undergraduate independent study and graduate thesis). We foster collaborative studies within the department as well as with faculty in other departments, both on campus and hospital-based.

Save the Date! 

Nov. 30th at 4pm

The 54th Annual Charles A. Stuart Memorial Lecture

Lora Hooper, Ph. D.
Jonathan W. Uhr, M.D. Distinguished Chair in Immunology
Nancy Cain and Jeffrey A. Marcus Scholar in Medical Research
Immunology, Center for Genetics of Host Defense, Microbiology
UT Southwestern Medical Center 


MMI News

Matthew Hirakawa receives the Joukowsky Family Foundation Outstanding Dissertation Award

Congratulations to Matthew Hirakawa on receiving the Joukowsky Family Foundation Outstanding Dissertation Award for this thesis titled "Intra-species variation and parasexual reproduction in Candida albicans"! This award is granted to only four Ph. D. candidates each year, each representing the four academic disciplines. Matthew will receive this award at this year's Commencement exercises. 

New Grant Extends IMSD Across All Sciences 

With a new $3.3 million federal grant, Brown University will extend to its phyisical sciences, engineering and mathematics departments a program that has significantly increased the diversity of doctoral students in the life sciences and supported enhanced academic achievement among the students it serves.

The new five-year award from the National Institute for General Medical Sciences, along with new funding from the Office of the Provost at Brown, will more than double the scope of the University’s Initiative to Maximize Student Development (IMSD). The program will now support up to 20 doctoral students a year in 21 programs instead of just eight students in the Division of Biology and Medicine and the School of Public Health, said Andrew G. Campbell, who has co-directed IMSD since its inception a decade ago and became dean of the Graduate School last year.

IMSD Program Receives Renewed  Funding 

Congratulations to the Initiative to Maximize Student Development (IMSD) Program, which has received a renewal of funding for an additional five years from the National Institute of General Medical Sciences of the National Institutes of Health. The program, active since 2008, currently provides research training support for PhD students from U.S. underrepresented groups to increase participation within the fields of biomedical and behavioral research and also fosters partnerships with minority-serving institutions. The recent renewal of the grant allows for the expansion of the current program from supporting 8 PhD students a year to 12 students a year and to extend the program  beyond the Division of Biomed and the School of Public Health. New programs that are part of IMSD include Chemistry, Cognitive, Linguistics & Psychological Sciences, Computer Science, Physics, Applied Mathematics, and the School of Engineering.

Xu to ‘Leverage’ Research Via Open Graduate Education 

Yun “Ryan” Xu, a PhD candidate studying post-trauma pneumonia, wants to do more than understand why it occurs. “My motivation is real-life impact,” he says. “I want to leverage lab experience to bring something to patients to promote health care.” For Xu and 41 other current doctoral students, the Open Graduate Education program is a vehicle to combine studies in unique ways to achieve their goals and to earn a secondary master’s degree. Applications for the sixth cohort are due February 10, 2017.

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