News Spotlight

Greetings from the Chair

Beth Kirkpatrick, MDI 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.

Willette Wins CALSX Award

Lynn WilletteWe are pleased to announce that MMG's own Lynn Willette was a winner of this year's CALS Excellence in Staff Support Award! This award  recognizes CALS and Extension staff for exceptional work in the eyes of their fellow employees, supervisors or people they serve.
As a Research Assistant, Lynn’s nominations lauded her 30 years of sustained excellence as staff support for MMG microbiology teaching labs. Lynn has been instrumental in developing online microbiology imaging for the courses as well as troubleshooting every microbiology lab taught (MMG 065, 101, 222). She has perfected the preparatory work needed to successfully run these labs and it is said that she could write a lab manual solely on her contributions to the courses!

Lynn's dedication and innovation have produced an incredible laboratory experience for our majors and other students in CALS. She is highly deserving of this honor. Thank you and congratulations Lynn!

MMG Welcomes Dr. Nimrat Chatterjee

Dr. Nimrat Chatterjee

On July 1, 2020 MMG welcomed our newest faculty member, Nimrat Chatterjee, PhD.

Dr. Chatterjee obtained her PhD from Baylor College of Medicine, focusing on research in DNA repair, including the role of environmental stress and end-joining DNA repair pathways. She performed her first post-doctoral fellowship at Baylor, where she studied multiple projects in clinical human genetics, including radiosensitivity in Shwachman-Diamond syndrome. She finished her second post-doctoral fellowship at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Her research has been published in prominent journals such as DNA Repair, PNAS, and JMB.

Welcome Dr. Chatterjee!

VTC Researcher Develops COVID-19 Antibody Test 

Sean Diehl, PhD headshot

VTC researcher Dr. Sean Diehl  was recently interviewed on WCAX about his lab's development of an accurate, inexpensive, open-source serology test that can be used for large-scale tracking of the Coronavirus. The team is hopeful that the test can eventually be put to good use to help Vermont and other states research and monitor the spread of COVID-19 among their populations.