News Spotlight

Greetings from the Chair

Chair Beth Kirkpatrick, MD, headshot, wearing white coat and smilingI welcome you to the Department of Microbiology and Molecular Genetics (MMG). MMG is uniquely positioned in two colleges at the University of Vermont: the Robert Larner, M.D., College of Medicine (LCOM) and the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences (CALS). At CALS, MMG hosts two outstanding undergraduate majors, Microbiology and Molecular Genetics. Our highly-recognized faculty educators work closely with our undergraduate students throughout their years at UVM as they become excellent scientists and innovative, critical thinkers.  At LCOM, our faculty are closely engaged with teaching and training medical students, as well as graduate students, in our Cellular, Molecular and Biomedical Sciences (CMB) Ph.D. program and Medical Master’s program. MMG faculty are highly focused on research, which spans from basic-science inquiry in the fields of Microbiology; Cell, Molecular and Structural biology; to applied and translational research in human immunology, vaccine, and bioinformatics and genetics. The department hosts a nationally recognized team that is exploring the mechanisms of DNA Repair, research that is critically important to human diseases, including cancer. The recent addition of the Translational Global Infectious Disease Research (TGIR) COBRE and the UVM Vaccine Testing Center team to MMG complements our research portfolio by adding significant new depth in clinical and translational human immunology and vaccinology, as well as U.S. - based and international clinical trials, all with a focus on preventing and controlling infectious diseases of global importance.

Thank you for your interest in MMG. We look forward to hearing from you!

Beth Kirkpatrick, M.D.
Professor and Chair, Department of Microbiology and Molecular Genetics
Director, Vaccine Testing Center


Salmonella in Petri Dish

Our research addresses fundamental questions in eukaryotic and prokaryotic cell and molecular biology, using the methods of microbiology, genetics, biochemistry, bioinformatics, and structural biology. Unique opportunities in ground-breaking research await students majoring in Microbiology or Molecular Genetics at UVM.

MMG's faculty researchers share their deep subject-matter knowledge with the scientific community at UVM and abroad, while also teaching students about research and lab practices.

Learn more about our faculty research and laboratories.

Educational Opportunities

Smiling Student in Lab

Whether you're seeking a B.S. or a M.S. in Microbiology or Molecular Genetics, you'll find our department has broad teaching and research strengths ranging from molecular, structural, and computational biology to cellular and pathogenic microbiology and immunology. You will have access to a rich course curriculum and laboratories where experienced and supportive faculty will guide your research and help you sharpen your scientific communication skills.

Learn more about: Undergraduate programs

Master of Science

Accelerated Masters degree

Vaccines & Human Immunology

VTC researcher with mother and baby in Dhaka

The Vaccine Testing Center (VTC) studies human vaccines with the goal of understanding and preventing infectious diseases around the globe.  We are a diverse team of clinicians, scientists, laboratory personnel and study coordinators.

Our lab teams focus on understanding immune correlates of protection and how humans respond to vaccines and defend themselves from infection and disease. 

Learn more about the VTC.

Tessmann Education Fund

Applications now being accepted.

Learn more about the fund.

Apply Now (this link will open in a new window)

Doublié and Wargo receive Excellence in Research Awards

Drs. Sylvie Doublie and Matt Wargo side-by-side headshots, Fall 2022

MMG faculty members Dr. Matt Wargo and Dr. Sylvie Doublié were recently recognized at LCOM's 2022 Excellence in Research awards ceremony. Dr. Wargo won the Mid-Career Investigator award and Dr. Doublié received LCOM's highest award for research, the Research Laureate Award. Please join us in extending congratulations to these amazing researchers!

White male in lab coat in lab pointing at plastic petri dish; next to white male in green sweater in lab

Congratulations! 2022 Goldwater Scholars

Andrew Crompton '23 and Remi Savard '23

A record number of University of Vermont students are recipients of prestigious Goldwater scholarships this year. Goldwater scholarships are considered the most prestigious undergraduate scholarship in the natural sciences, mathematics and engineering in the United States.

Andrew Crompton ’23, plans to pursue a doctorate in Cancer Biology and to conduct research that focuses primarily on targeted therapies that address cancer resistance to mainstay treatments. Crompton is from Barre, Vermont.

Remi Savard ’23, will pursue a doctorate in Immunology and plans to conduct basic research in the field of innate-like T cells in an academic setting, teach biomedical science courses and lead a research group. Savard is from Montpelier, Vermont.

MMG Faculty in the news!

DNA Repair Discovery: Doublié Lab

MMG Faculty member Sylvie Doublié and her lab team recently made an exciting discovery in the field of DNA repair that may lead to new ways of treating certain types of cancers. Learn more about their findings and the study results, published in the journal Molecular Cell.

MIT News: Chatterjee Lab Research

MIT News spotlighted Dr. Nimrat Chatterjee's research on why REV1 inhibition takes away apoptosis from cisplatin-treated cells, and somehow pushes cells to die by senescence. Articles are published at PNASLearn more about her exciting discovery at MIT News.

Drs. Colgate and Crothers study a safer polio vaccine

MMG/VTC researchers E. Ross Colgate, PhD, MPH, and Jessica Crothers, MD, are conducting studies of a safer polio vaccine that could eradicate the disease altogether. Read more about this exciting research at SevenDaysVT and hear the interview with that article's author at WCAX. Interested in volunteering for this study? Find out how!

Wargo Receives NASA Funding

NASA's Human Research Program funds proposals to help protect astronaut health and performance. Associate Professor Matthew Wargo's novel approach is the first to study virulence under these conditions in a live animal model. Learn more at NASA.

MMG Researchers quantify RNA in COVID strains

In a new study in the journal PNAS, a team of University of Vermont and University of Washington scientists discovered that the Delta variant had a higher infectivity than the Alpha variant of COVID-19.The group was surprised by their findings. Listen to the WCAX interview here.