Ph.D. Programs

The Department of Pathology, Microbiology and Immunology at Vanderbilt has a long and rich history of excellence in teaching and research. Our Microbe-Host Interactions Ph.D. Program and Molecular Pathology & Immunology Ph.D. Program both have well-deserved national reputations for training superb graduates who are in great demand for positions in both academia, government, and the private sector. Using all the tools of modern biological science, our investigators are fully engaged in state-of-the-art research, to push forward the frontiers of pathobiology as they unravel the mysteries of biology and disease at the cellular and molecular levels.

During this time of rapid growth, we remain committed to the foundations of excellence upon which this department rests. We welcome your inquiries and/or your application to join us.

Students join the Microbe-Host Interactions Ph.D. Program​ or the Molecular Pathology & Immunology Ph.D. Program​ after completion of their first year of graduate study in biomedical sciences at Vanderbilt. Admission is through the Interdisciplinary Graduate Program (IGP) or the Quantitative and Chemical Biology Program (QCB), or completion of 1-2 years of coursework in the Medical Scientist Training Program (MSTP).

During this first year in one of these feeder programs, students take a core curriculum preparing them for advanced graduate work. During the first year, students also undertake rotations in a number of laboratories to gain first-hand experience to help students choose the laboratory they will join to conduct their dissertation research. At the end of the first year, students choose a department and a preceptor. More specifics about each of the programs may be found in either the Microbe-Host Interactions Graduate Handbook or the Molecular Pathology and Immunology Graduate Handbook.

Microbe-Host Interactions

Christopher R. Aiken, Ph.D.
MHI Program Director

Lorie Franklin
MHI Program Manager

Molecular Pathology & Immunology

W. Gray Jerome III, Ph.D.
MPI Program Director

Jeffrey C. Rathmell, Ph.D.
MPI Associate Director

Kristi Hargrove 
MPI Program Manager