Greetings from the Chair

Headshot of light skinned woman smiling at cameraWe welcome you to the Department of Microbiology and Molecular Genetics (MMG). MMG is uniquely positioned in two colleges at the University of Vermont:

In CALS, MMG hosts two outstanding undergraduate majors, Microbiology and Molecular Genetics. Our highly-recognized faculty educators work closely with our undergraduate students throughout their schooling as they become excellent scientists and innovative, critical thinkers.

In 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.

All of our 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 Translational Global Infectious Disease Research (TGIR); COBRE; and the UVM Vaccine Testing Center teams to MMG are developing a strong focus on preventing and controlling infectious diseases of global importance.

Thank you for your interest - we look forward to meeting you!

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


Basic
Research

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 in ground-breaking research await students majoring in Microbiology or Molecular Genetics at UVM.

MMG's faculty researchers share their deep subject-matter knowledge with the scientific community at UVM and abroad, while also teaching students about research and lab practices.

Learn more about our faculty research and laboratories.

Educational Opportunities

Smiling Student in Lab looking at a flask

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 laboratories where experienced and supportive faculty will guide your research and help you sharpen your scientific communication skills.

Learn more about: Undergraduate programs

Master of Science

Accelerated Masters degree

Vaccines & Human Immunology

Two women looking at a newborn 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 teams focus on understanding immune correlates of protection and how humans respond to vaccines and defend themselves from infection and disease. 

Learn more about the VTC.

UVM and icddr,b Work to Address Dengue Surge

DiDI TeamInvestigators from the International Centre for Diarrheal Disease Research, Bangladesh (icddr,b) in Dhaka, Bangladesh, and the Larner College of Medicine at the University of Vermont (UVM), are the first to study a promising tetravalent dengue vaccine in dengue-endemic Bangladesh. Their work, evaluating the single-dose tetravalent dengue vaccine candidate TV005, demonstrated safety and immune responsiveness in children and adults. The accompanying study was recently published in the journal The Lancet Infectious Diseases.

DiDI Team 2The UVM team, from left: Beth Kirkpatrick, MD; Sean Diehl, PhD; Md. Masud Alam, MBBS;  Marya Carmolli, Dorothy Dickson, MS; Mary-Claire Walsh, PA; Forida Nazib, Dan Bak, MD;  Kristen Pierce, MD

Doublié and Wargo receive Excellence in Research Awards

Two faculty member side by side

MMG faculty members Dr. Matt Wargo and Dr. Sylvie Doublié were recently recognized at LCOM's 2022 Excellence in Research awards ceremony. Dr. Wargo won the Mid-Career Investigator award and Dr. Doublié received LCOM's highest award for research, the Research Laureate Award. Please join us in extending congratulations to these amazing researchers!

More MMG Faculty in the news!

DNA Repair Discovery

Dr. Sylvie Doublié and her team recently made an exciting discovery in the field of DNA repair that may lead to new ways of treating certain types of cancers. Learn more about their findings and study results in Molecular Cell.

Research in MIT News

MIT News spotlighted Dr. Nimrat Chatterjee's research on why REV1 inhibition takes away apoptosis from cisplatin-treated cells, and somehow pushes cells to die by senescence. Read more at PNAS and MIT News.

A safer polio vaccine

MMG/VTC researcher Jessica Crothers, MD, (formerly working with Dr. E. Ross Colgate) is conducting studies of a safer polio vaccine that could eradicate the disease altogether. Read more about this at SevenDaysVT. Hear the interview at WCAX. Interested in volunteering for this study? Find out how!

Faculty Receives NASA Funding

NASA's Human Research Program funds proposals to help protect astronaut health and performance. Associate Professor Matthew Wargo's novel approach is the first to study virulence under these conditions in a live animal model. Learn more at NASA.

Quantifying RNA in COVID strains

In a recent study in the journal PNAS, a team of UVM and University of Washington scientists discovered that the Delta variant had a higher infectivity than the Alpha variant of COVID-19. Listen to the WCAX interview here.