Microbiology and Molecular Cell Biology - Research

Research in the Department of Microbiology and Molecular Cell Biology centers on three main themes - infectious disease, immunology and cancer biology. This structure facilitates the development of interrelated and collaborative projects amongst the faculty. 

Infectious Disease: Our faculty study a variety of important human pathogens including Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV), Herpesviruses and malaria, with a focus on the underlying mechanisms of disease. A particular strength of the Department is the study of neurovirology, addressing the impact of viral infections on the central nervous system. This research seeks to understand and modulate development of neurological symptoms associated with infection by viruses such as HIV and Herpes Simplex Virus (HSV).

Immunology: Our Department is particularly interested in the role of the immune system in the pathogenesis of viral diseases and diabetes. A further research interest in the field of immunology is the role of the complement system in diseases such as myocardial infarction and reperfusion injury. This work is enhanced by collaborations with investigators in the Departments of Internal Medicine, Physiological Sciences and Pediatrics.

Cancer Biology: The Department has a strong program addressing multiple aspects of cancer biology, from basic research into mechanisms of DNA replication to identification of novel biomarkers that can be used to more accurately diagnose cancer. Another major focus involves the study of signaling pathways that promote development of pancreatic and lung cancer. These efforts are integrated in the Leroy T. Canoles Cancer Research Center.

Research efforts of the Department of Microbiology and Molecular Cell Biology are supported by two essential Core Facilities - the Flow Cytometry Core and the Macromolecular Core.

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