The Microbiology and Molecular Genetics faculty are asking fundamental questions in eukaryotic and prokaryotic cell and molecular biology. Our Department applies the methods of microbiology, genetics, biochemistry, bioinformatics, and structural biology to elucidate the molecular mechanisms of the cell. The interdisciplinary nature of these fields means that a prospective graduate student is offered a wide choice of research opportunities. Cross-departmental, interdisciplinary collaborations are facilitated by regular meetings and journal clubs focusing on nucleic acid biochemistry, DNA repair, signal transduction, bacterial pathogenesis, and structural biology and bioinformatics.
The research conducted by the Department of Microbiology and Molecular Genetics bears directly on crucial health and environmentally related problems such as cancer, AIDS, microbial pathogenesis, and bioremediation. The research programs within the Department are supported by a variety of sources including the National Institutes of Health, the National Science Foundation, the American Cancer Society, the Department of Energy, and the Environmental Protection Agency. The Department is also the recipient of a 1.8 million dollar award from the Lucille P. Markey Charitable Trust for the establishment of a Center for Molecular Genetics. Investigators have also received funding from private foundations, including the Burroughs Wellcome Foundation and the Pew Charitable Trust.