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 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 await students majoring in Microbiology or Molecular Genetics at UVM. Our faculty give each student the individual attention necessary to help them succeed. Learn more about our faculty research and laboratories.

Undergraduate Programs

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 research laboratories where experienced and supportive faculty will guide your research and help you sharpen your scientific communication skills.

Learn more about our undergraduate programs.

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.

Caution Tape
Our Stafford Hall space is being renovated!
Check out our renovation updates page to learn more. 

Julie Dragon, PhD Appointed Director of VIGR

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Assistant Professor of Microbiology and Molecular Genetics Julie Dragon, Ph.D. has been appointed director of the Vermont Integrative Genomics Resource (VIGR), the primary genomics and bioinformatics shared resource on campus. Dr. Dragon has been director of the Bioinformatics Shared Resource since 2014. In 2017, she assisted in the merger with the Advanced Genome Technology Core to create VIGR, which offers complete wrap-around support—from experimental design to data analysis—for genomics-based research.
Congratulations, Dr. Dragon!

MMG Education Paves Way to Success

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MMG Alumna Katherine Amidon has propelled a love for science and research into graduate school success at Vanderbilt University.
After graduating from UVM in 2017 with Bachelor of Science degrees in Microbiology and Biochemistry, Katherine undertook a year of rotations before joining Brandt Eichman's lab at Vanderbilt University. Her research focuses on the structure and biochemical mechanism of SRAP, a highly conserved protein domain that forms stable crosslinks to abasic sites in DNA, and its role in DNA repair. As a result of her hard work, she recently published a co-first author paper in Nature Structural & Molecular Biology, and her work was highlighted in the Vanderbilt University Medical Center Reporter. She attributes much of her current success to the excellent education she received in the Microbiology program.
Her advice to current and incoming MMG students? "Prioritize classes and lab, and don't worry, you'll make friends as you go because MMG has a great community. Also, remember and appreciate how cool it is that you get to learn about cutting edge science."

To read more about her experiences with MMG, click here.