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Microbiology, Immunology & Genetics
Molecular Medicine is the branch of biology dealing with the study of eukaryotic cells, especially their formation, structure, components, and function. Immunology is the study of the defense mechanisms of the host against infectious diseases, cancers and other diseases. Microbiology is the study of microscopic forms of life, including bacteria, viruses, protozoans, and fungi. The disciplines of Cancer Research, Molecular Genetics and Infectious & Inflammatory Diseases are uniquely intertwined and rely on cutting-edge techniques to answer questions related to multiple diseases. Gaining a thorough understanding of the molecular and cellular mechanisms used by the body to combat infectious diseases and other pathologies can result in the development of therapeutic approaches to prevent and cure these diseases.

Specific research interests of the cell biology, immunology, and microbiology faculty include neuroinflammation; HIV-1 biology; fluorescence spectroscopy and imaging; regulation of eukaryotic gene expression; T cell and NK cell biology; host response to infections; molecular immunology; tumor immunology; cytokine biology; vision research; and molecular diagnostics for emerging vector borne pathogens. Faculty programs are funded by multiple sources including the federal government, state government, and private foundations.Students may enter the program with a variety of academic backgrounds, providing that they have fulfilled prerequisite courses. The graduate training program involves core courses in molecular and cellular biology, biochemistry, immunology and microbiology, physiology, and pharmacology, as well as advanced courses in selected topics. Students participate in seminars and discussion of current research and receive extensive training in techniques of contemporary microbiology, molecular biology, cell biology, and immunology. Students perform original, publishable research and present their research findings at national scientific meetings. In addition, students are required to present their research at the annual UNTHSC Research Appreciation Day (RAD) and during the weekly departmental Works in Progress (WIPs). Approximately two years are required to complete the Master of Science degree, while the Doctor of Philosophy degree is normally completed in approximately five years. Graduates with advanced degrees find employment in higher education, industry and government agencies.