Department of Molecular Microbiology and Immunology

The Department of Molecular Microbiology and Immunology has state-of-the-art laboratories located in a research and teaching complex together with other basic science departments in the Saint Louis University School of Medicine.

Our noted faculty provides progressive didactic instruction and extensive research training in virology, immunology, molecular biology, cell biology and cell-cell interactions.

The department is home to a Ph.D. program in microbiology and immunology that can be entered following completion of a core year of curriculum through SLU’s graduate program in biomedical sciences. Students and researchers have access to our Flow Cytometry Research Core Facility. Our department also maintains Saint Louis University’s Small Animal Imaging Facility.

Microbiology and Immunology Research at SLU

Molecular microbiology and immunology research within our department reflects the strength and diversity of our faculty through a unifying focus on the study of host-pathogen interactions, especially in the areas of virology and immunology.

General areas of interest include:

  • Viral pathogenesis
  • Immunology
  • Molecular and cellular biology
  • Biodefense

SLU’s virology program is one of the strongest in the United States, and it encompasses research on:

  • Adenoviruses
  • Hepatitis B and C viruses
  • Herpes simplex virus
  • HIV (structure-function of integrase enzyme)
  • Poxviruses (including model studies for smallpox)
  • Anti-viral drug therapy
  • Cancer gene therapy using viral vectors
  • Vaccines

Our immunology program includes research on:

  • Immunotherapy of cancer
  • Regulatory T cells in autoimmune disease
  • Molecular mechanisms that control regulatory T cells
  • Immunotherapy of chronic viral infection
  • Osteoimmunology
  • Cytokine function
  • Vaccine development (discovery and clinical trials)
  • Neutrophils and natural killer cells
  • Immunotherapeutic approaches to chronic virus infections
  • Dendritic cells in autoimmune disease
  • Inflammation and gastric cancer

Other research areas within the department include:

  • Parasites (T. cruzi)
  • Mycobacterium tuberculosis
  • Cell cycle regulation
  • Programmed cell death (apoptosis)
  • Ultrasensitive detection of nucleic acids and proteins