Department of Microbiology and Moleculer Genetics

Greetings from the Chair

Beth Kirkpatrick, MDI welcome you to the Department of Microbiology and Molecular Genetics. Our department is uniquely positioned in two colleges at the University of Vermont: the Robert Larner, M.D., College of Medicine (LCOM) and the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences (CALS). At CALS, MMG hosts two outstanding undergraduate majors, Microbiology and Molecular Genetics. Our highly-recognized faculty educators work closely with our undergraduate students throughout their years at UVM as they become excellent scientists and innovative, critical thinkers.  At LCOM, our faculty are closely engaged with teaching and training medical students, as well as graduate students, in our Cellular, Molecular and Biomedical Sciences (CMB) Ph.D. program and Medical Master’s program.

MMG faculty are highly focused on research, which spans from basic-science inquiry in the fields of Microbiology; Cell, Molecular and Structural biology; to applied and translational research in human immunology, vaccine, and bioinformatics and genetics. The department hosts a nationally recognized team that is exploring the mechanisms of DNA Repair, research that is critically important to human diseases, including cancer. The recent addition of the UVM Vaccine Testing Center team to MMG complements our research portfolio by adding significant new depth in clinical and translational  human immunology and vaccinology, as well as U.S. - based and international clinical trials, all with a focus on preventing and controlling infectious diseases of global importance.

Thank you for your interest in MMG. We look forward to hearing from you!

Beth Kirkpatrick, M.D.
Professor and Chair, Department of Microbiology and Molecular Genetics
Director, Vaccine Testing Center

Undergraduate Programs

Smiling Student in Lab

Whether you're seeking a B.S. or a M.S. in Microbiology or Molecular Genetics, you'll find our department has broad teaching and research strengths ranging from molecular, structural, and computational biology to cellular and pathogenic microbiology and immunology. You will have access to a rich course curriculum and research laboratories where experienced and supportive faculty will guide your research and help you sharpen your scientific communication skills.

Learn more about our undergraduate programs.


Salmonella in petri dish

Our research addresses fundamental questions in eukaryotic and prokaryotic cell and molecular biology, using the methods of microbiology, genetics, biochemistry, bioinformatics, and structural biology. Unique opportunities await students majoring in Microbiology or Molecular Genetics at UVM. Our faculty give each student the individual attention necessary to help them succeed. Learn more about our faculty research and laboratories.

Vaccines & Human Immunology

VTC researcher with mother and baby in Dhaka

The Vaccine Testing Center (VTC) studies human vaccines with the goal of understanding and preventing infectious diseases around the globe.  We are a diverse team of clinicians, scientists, laboratory personnel and study coordinators. Our lab team focus on understanding immune correlates of protection and how humans respond to vaccine and defend themselves from infection and disease. Learn more about the VTC.

Upcoming Seminar

“Staying One Step Ahead of the Immune System: How Malaria Parasites Maintain a Chronic Infection

Kirk Deitsch, PhD

Professor of Microbiology and Immunology, Weill Cornell Medical College


Date: April 17, 2019
Time: 9:30 am — 10:30 am
Place: Davis Auditorium

Mari Tomanelli Elected to Phi Beta Kappa Honor Society

Mari Tomanelli

The Department of Microbiology and Molecular Genetics is proud to announce that Mari Tomanelli, an Honors College and Molecular Genetics major and Latin Language and Literature minor, has been elected to the Phi Beta Kappa Honor Society. Mari is from Maine and plans to get her Master of Science in Medical Laboratory Science before going to medical school for pathology. Congratulations, Mari!

MMG Undergraduate Award Recipients


It is our great pleasure to announce this year's MMG Undergraduate Award Recipients. The following students will receive their awards at the MMG Honors Day ceremony on Friday May 3, 2019 at 11:30 am in the Livak Ballroom in the Davis Center: 

Warren Stinebring Outstanding Senior in Microbiology Award:  Julia Smith and Grace Yu

Lucille Markey Outstanding Senior in Molecular Genetics Award:  Carolyn Marquis and Marianna Tomanelli

Brenda Tessmann TA of the Year Award:  Kyra Fryling and Grace Yu

Nicole Ferland Summer Research Fellowship:  Matt Bompastore (Wargo Lab)

MMG Distinguished Undergraduate Summer Research Fellowships:  Danielle Allen (Thali Lab) and Joe Walzer (Anathy Lab)


Please join us in congratulating these outstanding students!