The Division of Molecular Pathogenesis is the research home of the Department of Pathology, Microbiology, and Immunology and encompasses research spanning microbiology, immunology, inflammation, cancer biology, and vascular biology.
The Division was born out of the merger between the Divisions of Host-Pathogen Interactions and the Division of Investigative Pathology. Following this evolution, research has expanded through the recruitment of new faculty and the restructuring of graduate education to form the graduate programs in Molecular Pathology and Immunology (MPI) and Microbe-Host Interactions (MHI).
Research in Immunology focuses on mechanisms that regulate adaptive and innate immune cells in both normal and diseased states. These include studies of lymphocyte signal transduction, differentiation of and innate and lymphocyte subsets, antigen presentation, antigen receptor diversity, and the action of innate immune cells, such as NK cells and macrophages. Immunology research programs address host-pathogen interactions and protection, mechanisms of inflammation, autoimmune diseases, immuno-metabolism and metabolic diseases, and tumor immunology.
Research in microbial pathogenesis includes programs in HIV biology, mechanisms of retroviral gene expression, the biology of RNA viruses, and the identification of virulence factors produced by disease-causing bacteria including Staphylococcus aureus, Bacillus anthracis, Acinetobacter baumannii, Uropathogenic E. coli, Helicobacter pylori, and the pathogenic Clostridia and Salmonella. These microbial factors are analyzed in the context of cellular microbiology and structural biology. Finally, several groups within the Division are developing new biotechnology platforms that are applicable to studies of signal transduction, vaccine design, functional genomics and proteomics, chemical biology, and imaging science.
Through exciting new discoveries and innovative training of future physicians and scientists, the formation of the Division of Molecular Pathogenesis has established a world-class center of excellence in basic science research within the Department of Pathology, Microbiology, and Immunology.