Academics and Degree Programs
The Department of Molecular Microbiology and Immunology (MMI) is committed to providing outstanding training toward understanding infectious disease processes at all levels, from the population through organismal, tissue, cellular and molecular aspects of public health biology. Our programs seeks to equip carefully selected graduate and postgraduate students with the diverse disciplinary concepts and methodological tools needed to address critical biological issues underlying a broad range of infectious and immunologic diseases of public health importance.
Providing excellence and depth in research training and mentoring, the Department continuously engages in innovating its graduate curricula guided through its R3 Center for Innovation in Science Education. MMI offers a PhD Program, a two-year Master of Science (ScM) degree, as well as a one-year Master of Health Science (MHS) degree.
The PhD Program with its three research training areas is designed to promote the development of promising students into independent investigators who can apply biological insights to the investigation and elucidation of important public health problems and solutions.
Available research training areas comprise:
- Molecular and Cellular Basis of Infectious Diseases (MCBID), which addresses problems in microbial pathogenesis, immunology and disease transmission
- Malaria and Mosquito-Borne Diseases (MMBD), where research issues related to malaria, mosquito, and arboviral biology are stressed
- Rigorous Immunological & Microbiological Research Investigations (R3IM), which is inspired by the "3R" core norms of open science and good research practice: Rigor, Reproducibility and Responsibility. The curriculum in the R3IM research area conveys a broad background in immunology and infectious diseases, with special emphasis on training in critical thinking, logic, methods and ethics.
It is the goal of the two-year, research-based ScM Program to produce biological scientists fully prepared to pursue advanced academic degrees or careers in biological science as applied to infectious disease public health practice.
Our Department also offers a one-year Master of Health Science (MHS) degree that typically does not include original research. The MHS Program is designed for students who wish to gain a greater depth of knowledge in public health infectious disease biology but do not wish to commit to a long-term research-training program.
MMI's masters' programs are designed for students seeking to improve their applications to medical or other professional schools and for students considering career options in the field of infectious diseases, including research positions in academia, government or industry.
In cooperation with the schoolwide MPH Program, the Department also seeks to train future leaders of the worldwide public health community in the biological principles that must be considered in developing an integrated approach to solving public health problems.
Most MMI investigators also conduct nondegree postdoctoral training.