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Infectious Diseases

Graduate work in the Infectious Disease Concentration Area includes research at the molecular and cellular level in bacteriology, parasitology, and virology, as well as investigations of the host immune response to these agents. Programs focus on etiology, pathogenesis, diagnostic development, vaccine development, and antimicrobial therapies. Programs also focus on gene regulation and host-pathogen interactions that influence pathogenesis. Research approaches employ a wide variety of molecular, biochemical, pharmacological, and microscopic techniques, utilizing cell culture and whole organisms. Students selecting Infectious Disease will focus on one or more of these areas.

A highly individualized curriculum of study is designed to meet the needs and interests of the student while satisfying selected requirements by the faculty. These include graduate level cell biology and biochemistry, as well as graduate level courses relating to the specific discipline chosen (bacteriology, parasitology, or virology). Additional courses may be chosen by the student and his/her advisor from a large number of college and university offerings.

Students entering the Ph.D. program having completed courses equivalent to the required courses may, with the consent of their thesis committee, petition the concentration area Graduate Committee to waive these requirements.

Courses Required for the Infectious Diseases Concentration

CBS 810 Seminar in Infectious Diseases (1 credit; minimum 3 credits total for doctoral students; minimum 2 credits total for master’s students)

 Elective Courses

Elective courses are selected by the student and mentor, and must be approved by the student’s graduate advisory committee. Possible elective course include, but are not limited to, the following:


BCH 701 Macromolecular Structure; Fall (3 credits)

BCH 703 Macromolecular Synthesis and Regulation; Fall (3 credits)

Microbiology and immunology

MB 714 Microbial Metabolic Regulation; Fall (3 credits)

MB 718 Introductory Virology; Fall alternate odd years (3 credits)

MB/IMM 751 Immunology; Spring (3 credits)

IMM/TOX 705 Immunotoxicology; Spring (2 credits)

IMM/CBS 755 Immunoparasitology; Spring alternate years (2 credits)

IMM/PO 757 Comparative Immunology; Spring alternate odd years (3 credits)

IMM/CBS/MB 783 Adv. Immunology; Fall alternate years (3 credits)

IMM/CBS 816 Adv. Topics in Immunology; Fall and Spring (1 credits)

Comparative biomdeical sciences

CBS 770 Cell Biology; Spring (3 credits)

CBS 771 Cancer Biology; Fall (4 credits)

CBS 774 Epidemiol. of Inf. Dis. of International Importance; Fall alternate years

Molecular and cell biology

GN 701 Molecular Genetics; Fall (3 credits)

GN 702 Cellular and Developmental Genetics; Spring (3 credits)

GN 750 Developmental Genetics; Spring alternate years (3 credits)

GN/ST 756 Computations Molecular Evolution; Fall alternate years (3 credits)

GN/MB 758 Microbial Genetics & Genomics; Spring (3 credits)

GN/BCH 761 Adv. Molecular Biology of the Cell; Spring alternate years (3 credits)

GN/BCH 768 Nucleic Acids: Structure and Function; Spring alternate years (3 credits)

GN 810-xxx Special Topics in Genetics; Fall and Spring (1-6 credits)

BCH 705 Molecular Biology of the Cell; Spring (3 credits)


ST 501 Fundamentals of Statistical Inference I; Fall & Summer (3 credits)

ST 701 Statistical Theory I; Fall (3 credits)


BIT 815 Advanced Topics In Biotechnology; Summer (1-6 credits)

Name Email Concentrations Research Emphasis
Adam Birkenheuer Immunology, Infectious Diseases General Internal Medicine and Infectious Disease
Petra Bizikova Immunology, Infectious Diseases Autoimmune and allergic skin disease of small animals
Ed Breitschwerdt Immunology, Infectious Diseases Detection, characterization, and treatment of canine/feline bacterial pathogens
Johanna Elfenbein Infectious Diseases Salmonella Pathogenesis and equine coli
Derek Foster Infectious Diseases Antimicrobial resistance, food animal pharmacology, gastrointestinal physiology
Fred Fuller Immunology, Infectious Diseases Concentration Leader Equine infectious anemia virus
Isabel Gimeno Immunology, Infectious Diseases Poultry Pathology and Immunology
Jody Gookin Cell Biology, Infectious Diseases Host-pathogen Interactions in the Gut
Bruce Hammerberg Immunology, Infectious Diseases Allergic Disease
Paul Hess Cell Biology, Immunology, Infectious Diseases Targeted Therapeutics of Immune-mediated Diseases
Megan Jacob Infectious Diseases Antimicrobial Resistance, E. coli transmission and ecology, Bacteriology diagnostics
Samuel Jones Cell Biology, Immunology, Infectious Diseases Regulation of Neutrophil Motility
Tobias Kaeser Immunology, Infectious Diseases, Population Medicine Swine immunology and large animal models
Matthew Koci Immunology, Infectious Diseases Avian Immunology
Scott Laster Immunology, Infectious Diseases Innate Immunity and Inflammation
Michael Levy Infectious Diseases Immunoparasitology
Thierry Olivry Cell Biology, Immunology, Infectious Diseases Pathogenesis and Therapy of Pruritis, Atopic Dermatitis and Autoimmune Diseases
Xinxia Peng Infectious Diseases Noncoding RNA, immunity, and target identification
Lauren Schnabel Cell Biology, Immunology, Infectious Diseases Stem cell biology and Immunology
Frank Scholle Immunology, Infectious Diseases Viral Immunology
Barbara Sherry Cell Biology, Infectious Diseases We study viral infections of the heart to identify the viral and host determinants of cardiac damage
Michael Sikes Immunology, Infectious Diseases Lymphocyte development and differentiation
Steven Suter Cell Biology, Immunology, Infectious Diseases, Pathology Genetics and Therapy of Cancer
Casey Theriot Infectious Diseases Identifying the role of the gastrointestinal tract microbiome and metabolome in shaping colonization resistance against Clostridium difficile
Susan Tonkonogy Immunology Concentration leader Immune regulation in the gastrointestinal tract
Jeffrey Yoder Cell Biology, Immunology, Infectious Diseases Characterizations and Function of Innate Immune Response Genes