Immunology Ph.D. Program

About the Immunology Program

The Immunology Graduate Program provides a broad-based education in the strategies and techniques of immunological research that prepares students for a broad range of career opportunities. More than 40 faculty members, drawn from both basic science and clinical departments of the medical school, offer research training opportunities in a variety of topics, including:

  • Molecular immunology
  • Cellular immunology
  • Transplantation
  • Immunogenetics
  • Immunology of infectious diseases
  • Tumor immunology
  • Clinical immunology

Students work collaboratively across disciplines, which creates an environment for developing innovative strategies for researching complex health challenges.

Program faculty offer advanced course work in ontogeny and development; cell activation and regulation; immunogenetics and transplantation; and immunodeficiency and infectious diseases.

Students interested in joining the Immunology Ph.D. program should apply to the interdisciplinary umbrella program within the Division of Basic Science. First-year students complete a core curriculum that includes a core course, three or four laboratory rotations, and training in the responsible conduct of research. Students who perform satisfactorily in the first semester core course are qualified to enter the Immunology Graduate Program.

Message from the Program Chair

J. David Farrar, Ph.D.
J. David Farrar, Ph.D.

J. David Farrar, Ph.D.
Associate Professor
J. Wayne Streilein, M.D. Professorship in Immunology

Graduate School: Ph.D., UT Southwestern Medical Center, 1996
Postdoctoral Training: Washington University, St. Louis

The immune system is a vast army charged with a primary mission to protect the body from invading pathogens. The cells and molecules of the immune system are capable of extreme destructive forces. These forces are kept in check by a clever process which immune cells use to discriminate self tissues from foreign organisms. Although the power of the immune system has been harnessed to eradicate some infectious diseases through vaccination, many challenges still exist. Understanding this intricate immune network is critical to solving problems posed to the immune system by infectious diseases, autoimmunity, allergic diseases, and cancer.

Founded in 1975 by Dr. Wayne Streilein, the Immunology Program at UT Southwestern was one of the first interdisciplinary and interdepartmental graduate training programs in immunology in the country. Today, our award-winning faculty focuses their research efforts on important immunologic problems that have direct impact on treating human diseases such as arthritis, HIV, multiple sclerosis, infectious diseases, asthma, inflammatory bowel disease, lupus, and many forms of cancer. The goals of the Immunology Program are to provide the highest caliber training experience that incorporates the latest technologies and multidisciplinary approaches to uncovering the mysteries of the immune system.