Message From the Interim Chair

It has been my privilege to be the interim chair when our charismatic leader, Dr. Egilmez decided to step down. I am honored to have been given this important assignment and to have the opportunity to work with an outstanding group of faculty, staff and students. Despite the challenges posed by the adaptation of the new funds flow methodologies at the School of Medicine, the department is in a fiscally and academically strong position. Indeed, the changes in leadership at all levels of the University administration allowed us to be recognized as a very strong department with a resilient grant portfolio. The four new faculty members recruited in 2022, Drs. Jian Zheng (Assistant Professor), Sharmila Nair (Assistant professor), Ryan Doster (Assistant Professor, joint appointment) and Irina Kirpich (Professor) have greatly expanded our research portfolio in viral immunology, cancer, mucosal microbiota/infections and alcohol-induced liver disease. On a separate note, our faculty have done an outstanding job in teaching graduate, medical and dental students across the campus and garnered awards and leadership roles in medical education.

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Items of Interest

Graduate Programs: M.S., Ph.D.
Final Application Deadline: March 1

Full consideration Deadline: January 15

Center for Functional Microbiomics, Inflammation and Pathogenicity

Center for Predictive Medicine 


Open Positions


Student Highlights

M&I Graduate Students Present at KY-TN Branch of the American Society for Microbiology Spring 2024 Research Meeting

The M&I Department was well represented at the KY-TN Branch of the American Society for Microbiology Spring 2024 Research Meeting on April 20. Graduate students Urelys Casiano-Esquilin (Kirpich Lab), Taylor Garrison (Lawrenz Lab), Denny Guo (Diamond Lab), and Michelle Hallenbeck (Collins Lab) gave poster presentations on their research projects. Dan Erickson (Collins Lab) was invited to give an oral presentation and won first prize for best oral presentation by a graduate student!

M&I Faculty Ryan Doster and Irina Kirpich were also invited to give oral presentations at the meeting and James Collins was recognized with a Peggy Cotter Award to attend the 2024 ASM Microbe meeting in June.

M&I Graduate Students Recognized at Research! Louisville 2023

Congratulations to the graduate students in our department who were selected for awards at Research! Louisville 2023: Cierra Isom (Sokoloski lab) and Shikha Srivastava (Uriarte lab). Cierra Isom was awarded third place for the Doctoral Basic Science Graduate Student Award and Shikha Srivastava was awarded the Core Facility Voucher of $2500. Alum Cassandra Wooley (Mitchell Lab) was also awarded first place for the Rhonda A. Hoffman Medical Student Award.

M&I Graduate Student Selected to Present at 2023 Midwest Microbial Pathogenesis Conference

Amanda Brady, a M&I PhD candidate in the laboratory of Dr. Matthew Lawrenz, was 1 of 5 PhD students chosen to give an oral presentation at the 2023 Midwest Microbial Pathogenesis Conference. Amanda shared her research on Yersinia pestis manipulation of inflammatory lipid production during plague with over 500 attendees at MMPC.

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Departmental Events

Microbiology & Immunology Seminar Series

Microbiology & Immunology Seminar Series

Thursdays at 12:00 p.m. unless otherwise indicated

Faculty Highlights

Dr. Donghoon Chung publishes new findings in Science Translational Medicine

M&I Associate Professor, Dr. Donghoon Chung, and collaborators have designed, synthesized and tested a new antiviral compound and shown it to be highly effective against two types of encephalitis viruses that cause devastating illness in humans. Read the article, titled, "Efficacy of a brain-penetrant antiviral in lethal Venezuelan and eastern equine encephalitis mouse models" here.  Dr. Chung's research was recently highlighted in UofL News. Click here to read the feature. 

Dr. Huang-Ge Zhang publishes new findings in Cell Host & Microbe

M&I Professor, Dr. Huang-Ge Zhang, recently published new findings that were highlighted on the cover of Cell Host & Microbe. The article titled "Gut bacterial isoamylamine promotes age-related cognitive dysfunction by promoting microglial cell death" can be found here

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