Microbes drive all aspects of life on the planet. Finding solutions to many of our
pressing global challenges, such as skyrocketing antimicrobial resistance, emergence
of new infectious diseases, and the health of our planet’s ecosystems, will depend
upon discoveries from basic microbiology research. The Department of Microbiology at
the University of Illinois has developed and maintained the highest national and
international reputation for more than 100 years. We have built upon our
distinguished history (evidenced by the recent designation as a “Milestones in
Microbiology” site by the American Society for Microbiology) by recruiting and
retaining outstanding microbiologists who are making exciting discoveries in diverse
fields while training students in cutting edge research. Our research faculty are
highly productive and impactful. Six of the nine current senior faculty have been
elected Fellows of the American Academy of Microbiology.
James M. Slauch, Head
A cell’s efforts to respond and adapt to its external environment rely on an elaborate yet coordinated set of molecular partnerships within. The more we learn about this complicated internal dance, the more we appreciate the flexibility of its roles. In a recent University of Illinois study, graduate student Muhammad Azam and Professor of Microbiology Cari Vanderpool have demonstrated that a protein typically assumed to support the functions of other molecules is actually able to assume a primary role itself.
Researchers report in a new study that the bacterium Helicobacter pylori
– a major contributor to gastritis, ulcers and stomach cancer – resists the body’s immune defenses by shutting down energy production within the cells of the stomach lining that serve as a barrier to infection.
The study's findings were recently published in PNAS
A recent paper in PLOS ONE
from the Kuzminov lab illustrated a novel phenomenon, RiCF, aka “RNase-induced chromosomal fragmentation
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New research published in PLOS Pathogens
finds that unexpected mutations help flu virus retain fitness by counteracting changes needed to dodge the immune system