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.

MMI News

Be Our Guest
How can we provide a good home for our microbiomes, so they’ll keep us healthy?


Taking Control of Key Protein Stifles Cancer Spread in Mice
For cancer to spread, the cells that take off into the bloodstream must find a tissue that will permit them to thrive. They don’t just go looking, though. Instead, they actively prepare the tissue, in one case by co-opting a protein that suppresses defenses the body would otherwise mount. In a new study, scientists report that by wresting back control of that protein, they could restore multiple defenses in the lungs of mice, staving off cancer’s spread there.

Richard Bungiro received the 2106 Barrett Hazeltine Senior Citation for Excellence in Teaching
The Barrett Hazeltine Citation for Excellence in Teaching, Guidance and Support has been presented to faculty by the graduating senior class for more than four decades. Originally the Senior Citation, the award was renamed in 1985 to honor the engineering professor who had received it 13 times.  Dr. Bungiro has received this award five times.  He is the only MMI Faculty member to have received it and the most frequently selected BioMed Faculty member.

Andrew G. Campbell named new Graduate School Dean

Andrew G. Campbell, currently a professor of medical science in the Department of Molecular Microbiology and Immunology at Brown University, has been named the next dean of the University’s Graduate School. Campbell will begin his new role on July 1, 2016.

Pathobiology Student Awards

Courtney Anderson
A 4th-year student, Courtney received an F31 Ruth L. Kirschstein Predoctoral Individual National Research Award (NRSA) from the NIH. Research for her proposal "The non-classical CD8+ T cell response to murine cytomegalovirus" will be conducted in the Brossay lab.

Damien Cabral
Kudos to Damien for receiving the National Science Foundation (NSF) award for his research: "The Impact of Divergent NAD Biosynthetic Pathways on Gene Silencing and Lifestyle Regulation in Fungi." Damien is a 2nd-year graduate student in the Belenky lab, and is the first Pathobiology student to receive an NSF award.

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