In the Department of Microbiology

Finding solutions to global challenges, such as the emergence of new infectious diseases, skyrocketing antimicrobial resistance, and the health of our planet's ecosystems, will depend upon discoveries from microbiology research. Illinois microbiology faculty focus on the physiology, genetics, and pathogenesis of microbial organisms and viruses.

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Microbiology News

Read article: New study highlights need for cell-type-specific therapies in treatment of HIV
New study highlights need for cell-type-specific therapies in treatment of HIV
Researchers from the University of Illinois have demonstrated the importance of cell-type-specific targeting in the treatment of HIV. Their findings, published in PNAS, are one of the first to examine the differential or cell-type...
Read article: Congratulating the 2024 student award winners
Congratulating the 2024 student award winners
The School of Molecular & Cellular Biology honored dozens of undergraduate and graduate students at its annual award ceremony, held on May 2. These student awards, fellowships, and scholarships recognize academic achievement, research accomplishments, and excellence in teaching and are made...
Read article: New study seeks to better understand virus shedding patterns
New study seeks to better understand virus shedding patterns
A new study from the School of Molecular & Cellular Biology seeks to better understand shedding patterns among common respiratory viruses by closely examining the immune system before, during, and after infection. The FLUdetect study, headed by...
Read article: Congratulations to winners of the 2024 Graduate Research Retreat
Congratulations to winners of the 2024 Graduate Research Retreat
The School of Molecular & Cellular Biology is pleased to announce the award winners from the 2024 Graduate Research Retreat, held at the I Hotel and Illinois Conference Center on Friday, March 29. Awards were...
Read article: "Accidental Offer" Shaped Career Trajectory of LAS Alumni Award Winner
"Accidental Offer" Shaped Career Trajectory of LAS Alumni Award Winner
Congratulations to Dr. Monteggia, a 2024 College of Liberal Arts & Sciences Distinguished Alumni Award Recipient! Lisa Monteggia’s journey to a career in psychiatric neuroscience began nearly forty years ago in a microbiology lab at...
Read article: School of MCB alumni chosen for College of LAS awards
School of MCB alumni chosen for College of LAS awards
Eight alumni of the University of Illinois College of Liberal Arts & Sciences, including two with ties to the School of Molecular & Cellular Biology, will receive recognition during the college’s 2024 alumni awards at a celebration in April. They are researchers and entrepreneurs who have...
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Collaborative & Impactful

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Faculty Research

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Our world-class faculty lead many exciting research programs in the physiology, genetics, and pathogenesis of microbial organisms and viruses. Labs explore archaeal biology, bacteriophage biology, drug discovery, eukaryotic virology, gene regulation, host-pathogen interaction, microbial communities/microbiome, microbial physiology, molecular evolution, and oxidative stress.

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PhD in Microbiology

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Microbes are the dominant organisms on the planet and drive all aspects of life. The Department of Microbiology is a close-knit group of scientists who are driving discoveries in bacterial and archaeal biology and physiology, bacterial and viral pathogenesis, antibiotic discovery, and microbial ecology and evolution. As a PhD student in microbiology, you will be part of a thriving, supportive community of researchers.

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Microbial Systems Initiative

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Microbial Systems Initiative, or MSI, is a vibrant cross-campus community of microbial sciences researchers who address problems in health, agriculture, energy, and other sectors. The Microbial Early-career Researchers Association (MicroERA) organizes professional development and networking opportunities for graduate students and postdoctoral researchers.

Upcoming Microbiology Events

Meet MCB's microbiology community

Read article: Meet MCB: Undergraduate researcher Neha Arun
Meet MCB: Undergraduate researcher Neha Arun
MCB major Neha Arun shares her experiences working as an undergraduate researcher in Professor Collin Kieffer's lab in the Department of Microbiology, as well as a look at life outside the lab at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign.  Can you summarize your research in the Kieffer Lab?  My...
Read article: Meet MCB: Microbiology PhD student Stefanie Eben
Meet MCB: Microbiology PhD student Stefanie Eben
From studying E. coli to riding horses, Stefanie Eben says she has found the perfect mixture of academic and personal fulfillment at the University of Illinois. Eben, a microbiology PhD student in the lab of professor James Imlay, spoke with MCB's communications team about her love of microbiology...
Read article: Meet MCB: Microbiology professor Paola Mera
Meet MCB: Microbiology professor Paola Mera
Dr. Paola Mera is an assistant professor in the Department of Microbiology. Dr. Mera's research program combines bacterial genetics, biochemistry, and high-resolution...
Read article: Susan Brennan (BS, ’85, microbiology) has built a career in sustainability, solving problems
Susan Brennan (BS, ’85, microbiology) has built a career in sustainability, solving problems
Growing up in the Illinois steel town of Granite City, Susan Brennan was certain once she left, she would never live near a factory again. However, in the years after graduating from the University of Illinois, she would become a leading voice in rethinking and transforming American manufacturing....

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Explore our history

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The Department of Microbiology at UIUC has a rich history of seminal discoveries and microbiologists who have increased our biological understanding and advanced the field of microbiology, such as Carl Woese, who discovered the Archaea, a new domain of life distinct from bacteria and eukarya, and Abigail Salyers, who pioneered studies of Bacteroides polysaccharide utilization and its role in colonic fermentation.