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.

Dr. Doug Johnson Retires

Professor Douglas Johnson PhDEsteemed MMG Professor and Vice Chair, Douglas Johnson, PhD, has retired. For decades, Dr. Johnson was a grounding force and leader of MMG’s research and educational mission.

Dr. Johnson has given generously and tirelessly of his time to all of us. His incredible passion, dedication, and integrity has positively impacted generations of MMG students and alumni! He has been a one-of-a-kind researcher, teacher, colleague, and friend. He will be missed by many.

Best of luck in retirement Doug!

AstraZeneca vaccine trial results in NEJM

Our work on the AstraZeneca vaccine is now published in the prestigious New England Journal of Medicine. Full article: NEJM AZ COVID ph3 9.2021 Congratulations to the whole team!

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!

Dr. Kirkpatrick: Variants and Vaccines

Professor and Chair Dr. Beth Kirkpatrick talks with WCAX's Christina Guessford about viral mutations and how scientists respond with changes to vaccines. See the whole story on WCAX.

MIT News: Dr. Chatterjee's Research & Findings

Nimrat Chatterjee, PhD

MIT 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.

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.

Dr. Doublié and team make DNA repair discovery

Sylvie Doublié, PhD, in lab looking up from microscope

MMG Faculty member Sylvie Doublié 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.

Dr. Wargo Receives NASA Funding

Matthew Wargo head shot

NASA's Human Research Program will fund seven proposals to help protect astronaut health and performance during future long-duration missions beyond low-Earth orbit. One of these projects will be undertaken by MMG Associate Professor Matthew Wargo. His novel approach using mice to understand virulence in actual and simulated microgravity is the first to study virulence under these conditions in a live animal model. Learn more at NASA.