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Immunology and Microbial Sciences (Cluster)

The Immunology and Microbial Sciences (IMS) Training Program consists of a graduate curriculum that emphasizes research on microbes, the immune system, and the interface between the two fields.  Students who participate in the training program conduct research that includes:

  • Microbial physiology, microbial genetics, molecular biology, and the emerging fields of genomics and synthetic biology.
  • Mechanisms of antimicrobial resistance and discovery of novel therapeutics
  • Microbial pathogenesis, including bacteria, viruses, and parasites.
  • Studies of microbial host-interactions, modulation of host cell biology, and development of disease or symbiosis
  • Mechanisms by which microbes evade innate immune responses
  • Genetics and development of a normal immune response and oral tolerance
  • Immune response to infection and tissue damage including the generation and effects of the innate and adaptive systems
  • Immune regulation, cell death and signaling
  • The role of innate and adaptive immune cells and their cytokines and chemokines in host immunity
  • Immunological diseases, including autoimmunity, inflammation, and allergy, immunodeficiency, and cancer
  • Immunotherapy

Who to Contact

The IMS program has a flexible curriculum that allows students to explore their interests in Microbiology and/or Immunology. During their first two years, students who participate in the IMS training program are recommended to take two entry-level courses in microbiology, virology, or immunology and one advanced topics course. In addition, students take part in topic specific training activities including journal clubs, research-in-progress meetings, seminars, the annual Northwestern immunology and microbial sciences training symposium and the Chicago Autumn Immunology Conference.