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. Our faculty and students continued to secure additional research funding, exceeding $6M in the current fiscal year. Most notable among these are the two NIH P20 programs we are participating in, the Functional Microbiomics CoBRE ($11.5M over five years) has been renewed for the second cycle through 2028 and a renewal application for the Cancer Immunology and Immunotherapy CoBRE is awaiting peer review within the next month. Currently, the department is planning to expand the Cancer Immunology Research program with two new faculty recruitments in partnership with the Brown Cancer Center. We also submitted a renewal application for our T32 grant in September 2023.  Our graduate program remains strong with 30 currently enrolled students and many notable publications in high profile journals including Nature Immunology, Nature Communications, PNAS, EMBO reports and Science Advances. Below, please find a snapshot of our academic environment and city of Louisville.

The Department currently has 19 primary and 23 associate faculty leading collaborative research and educational programs.  These activities are fueled by 30 graduate students and as many research staff.  Major areas of focus include bacterial and viral pathogenesis with particular emphasis on biodefense/emerging infectious diseases, vaccines, tumor immunology, autoimmune disease, and basic immune mechanisms.  Please check out our updated faculty profiles for detailed information.

The Health Sciences campus is located in downtown Louisville in close proximity to the newly developing NuLu area with diverse restaurants (fourth highest number per capita in the US) and cultural activities.  Metropolitan Louisville, with a population of over a million, is home to the Kentucky Derby and was ranked as eleventh most affordable large metro area in the nation in 2022.

Please feel free to contact us at if you have any questions regarding academic opportunities in The Department of Microbiology and Immunology.

Haribabu Bodduluri, PhD