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


Basic
Research

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.


Working Toward a COVID-19 Vaccine with Dr. Beth Kirkpatrick

MMG Chair Dr. Beth Kirkpatrick

MMG Chair Dr. Beth Kirkpatrick has a decades-long history of leadership in the field of vaccine testing and development. In this interview, she discusses vaccine development and the VTC's recent selection to take part in a Phase 3 trial for a COVID-19 vaccine developed by Oxford University and manufactured by AstraZeneca. Read the full interview.


Dr. Diehl Elected Member of the Henry Kunkel Society.

Sean Diehl, PhD headshot

Congratulations to Dr. Sean Diehl for being elected to the Henry Kunkel Society

The Henry Kunkel Society (HKS) is a prestigious organization dedicated to fostering patient-based and patient-oriented scientific research, particularly in the field of immunology, as exemplified by the scientific life of Dr. Henry Kunkel at The Rockefeller University. Originally founded in 1990 and comprising of only 50 members at that time, most of whom were former trainees of Henry Kunkel, the Society has grown to include over 400 elected members, all dedicated to experimental medicine in the field of human immunology.

MIT News features Chatterjee Research & Findings

Nimrat Chatterjee, PhDMIT News recently 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 on the project and findings are published at PNAS.

Learn more about her exciting discovery at MIT News.


Congratulations Drs. Hinkel and Tu!

Dr. Lauren Hinkel beside creek smilingLauren Hinkel, Ph.D., successfully defended her doctoral dissertation, “The Utilization of Host-Derived Compounds by Gram-negative Bacteria,” on August 20, 2020. Her work explored the responses of the opportunistic bacterial pathogens Pseudomonas and Stenotrophomonas to the host-derived compounds sphingosine, creatine, and mucin. Dr. Hinkel will continue as a Postdoctoral Associate in the Wargo Lab. 
Dr. Huy Tu in lab smilingHuy Tu, Ph.D., successfully defended his doctoral dissertation, “Determinants of antibody immunity in flavivirus infections and immunization,” on September 22, 2020. His thesis explored the cellular underpinnings of how the immune response, particularly B cells, responds to and develops memory to infection or vaccination against the mosquito-borne viruses dengue and zika". Dr. Tu will continue as a Postdoctoral Associate in the Diehl lab.