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Our goal is to advance understanding of pathogen replication and disease causation while training future microbiologists and healthcare professionals.

Department of Microbiology Overview

The Department of Microbiology at UT Southwestern Medical Center conducts basic and translational infectious disease research and trains graduate students, medical students, physician scientists, and postdoctoral fellows. We foster a collaborative atmosphere to promote interdisciplinary research excellence among faculty, trainees, and staff.


Our research aims to understand microbial replication, evolution, and host interactions to develop new preventative and therapeutic strategies. Research sub-themes include:

  • Viral and bacterial gene regulation
  • Metabolism and motility of bacterial pathogens
  • Animal reservoirs for bacteria and viruses
  • Microbiota
  • Innate immune responses
  • Evolution of microbes and host defense
  • Molecular interplay between viruses and bacteria and their hosts
  • Resistance to antimicrobials

Our teams use a variety of model systems to uncover new biology. Pathogens under investigation include E. coli, Salmonella, Campylobacter jejuni, Staphylococci, Clostridioides difficile, Kaposi's sarcoma-associated herpesvirus, HIV, poxviruses, influenza virus, respiratory syncytial virus, vesicular stomatitis virus, rhinovirus, coxsackievirus B3, enterovirus D68, SARS-CoV-2, reovirus, West Nile virus, Venezuelan equine encephalitis virus, Zika virus, and others. We use a variety of host systems such as Lepidopteran moths, bats, and nematodes, in addition to mouse models of infection. Multidisciplinary strengths include the use of genetics, biochemistry, molecular modeling, mass spectrometry, structural biology, protein biophysics, cell biology, computational biology, and imaging (confocal and cryo-electron tomography).

We value interdisciplinary collaborations within our department—we enjoy working together! Our teams have co-authored dozens of joint publications over the past decade uncovering insights into pathogen-host interactions. Collaboration between virologists and bacteriologists is common in the department and these studies have shown how host signaling affects both bacterial and viral infections, how bacteria can promote viral infection and evolution, and how bacterial effector proteins can target host antiviral pathways.

Please explore websites of individual faculty to learn more about ongoing research.

Core Values

  • Upholding a culture of collaboration and mutual support to facilitate impactful science.
  • Using interdisciplinary approaches to tackle unique questions in host-pathogen interactions.
  • Mentoring and support of trainees, staff, and faculty.
  • Teaching the next generation of infectious disease scientists and healthcare providers.
  • Upholding strong rigor and ethics.
  • Building community and supporting members of all backgrounds (see News & Community Spotlight and Photo & Event Gallery).
Spirited outdoor group photo of the microbiology department team
The Department of Microbiology team.