News Spotlight


2021 Brenda Tessmann Education Fund

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Genetic and Genomics (MMG233)

Updated for Fall 2021 

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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.

Staff & Faculty Honored for Professionalism

Mary Claire Walsh and Dr. Kristen Pierce Headshots SmilingPlease join us in congratulating two dynamic, dedicated members of our department who were recently honored during LCOM's Professionalism Week. Learn more about the awards.

Dean's Staff Award for Professionalism Recipient: Mary Claire Walsh, P.A., Researcher/Analyst, UVM Vaccine Testing Center; Physician Assistant, UVM Medical Center

Dean's Faculty Award for Professionalism Recipient: Kristen Pierce, M.D.'03, Professor of Medicine, Division of Infectious Disease

Congratulations Mary Claire and Dr. Pierce!


Doublié and team make DNA repair discovery

Sylvie Doublié, PhD, in lab looking up from microscopeMMG 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.


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.

MMG welcomes new faculty!

Dr. Emily Bruce in mask and lab coatWe are pleased to introduce our newest faculty member, Dr.  Emily Bruce. Dr. Bruce's research program studies questions at the intersection of virology and cell biology. She believes studying the fundamental properties of how these viruses interact with host cells is necessary for the development of future anti-viral therapies. Emily is particularly interested in the late stages of viral assembly and replication, the molecular basis of infectivity for individual virus particles/variants/individuals, and the elusive role of influenza filamentous particles.

Welcome to MMG Dr. Bruce!

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.