Montana State University

Department of Microbiology

Department of Microbiology

Montana State University
109 Lewis Hall
Bozeman , MT 59717
Tel: (406) 994-2902

Department Head

    • T.E. Ford; source and drinking water microbiology, environmental health, waterborne disease; microbial cycling and transformation of pollutants, surface microbiology, ecotoxicology.


    • A.K. Camper ( affiliate ); bacterial attachment to surfaces, biological treatment of drinking water and microbial regrowth in drinking water distribution systems.
    • T. Douglas (affiliate); use of protein cage architectures for the development of MRI imaging agents.
    • G. Geesey; metal and radionuclide transformations by iron- and sulfate-reducing bacteria in sub-surface environments.
    • A.J. Jesaitis; host defense; leukocyte cell biology and biochemistry, chemotaxis, and electron transport.
    • M.A. McClure; genomics and computational biology.
    • T.R. McDermott ( affilitate ); soil microbiology focusing on plant-microbe interactions, biological transformations in soils, microbial diversity in extreme thermal soil.
    • D.M. Ward ( affiliate ); microbial ecology, evolution & diversity, bioremediation.
    • M. Young (affiliate); spherical virus assembly & disassembly, viral protein cages, unusual archael viruses from extreme thermal environments.

Associate Professors

    • M.J. Franklin; molecular genetics, biofilms, microbial exopolymer production, physiology of sessile bacteria, alginate biosynthesis.
    • H.M. Miettinen (research); signal transduction in leukocytes, inflammation, cell adhesion and migration, function of inflammatory receptors.
    • B. Peyton (affiliate); extremophilic bioprocessing, in situ biocatalyzed heavy metal biotransformations.
    • B.H. Pyle (research); environmental microbiology, biofilms, microbial ecology, gravitation microbiology, water microbiology.
    • J.R. Starkey (research); biology of cancer metastasis, cell mobility, angiogenesis & tissue invasion, structure based design of anti-metastatic drugs.

Assistant Professors

    • J.B. Burritt; protein topological analysis, phage display methods, neutrophil-mediated inflammation.
    • M. Dlakic; ribosome synthesis in budding yeast, protein evolution and 3D modeling of proteins, structural polymorphism of DNA, comparative genomics.
    • M. Fields; anaerobic microbiology, physiology, ecology, bioremediation, environmental genomics.
    • R. Gerlach (affiliate);biofilm processes and bioremediation in contaminated soils and water.
    • T. Goins (research); ecology of Mycobacterium spp., gravitational microbiology.
    • B.L. Granger (research); DNA vaccines, intracellular membrane traffic, cytoskeleton, host-parasite interactions.
    • S. Halonen; intracellular protozoan parasites, immunobiology of Toxoplasma gondii in the central nervous system, cell biology of intracellular
    • G. James (research); medical biofilms.
    • J.S. Mills (research); G protein coupled receptors, enzymology, protein chemistry.
    • R. Taylor (research); cloning and recombinant expression of monoclonal antibodies, neutrophil cell biology.


    • K.L. Cargill (adjunct); general microbiology, instruction.
    • B.K. Hudson (adjunct); medical laboratory science, science education.
    • L.M. Sherwood (adjunct); microbial genetics, science education.

Emeritus Professors

    • K.E. Cooksey (research); cellular adhesion, marine & freshwater microbial ecology, industrial microbiology, biofilms.
    • G.A. McFeters; microbial physiology & environmental microbiology of aquatic ecosystems, indicator bacteria, biofilms.

Degrees Offered

M.S. in Microbiology
Ph.D. in Microbiology

Interdisciplinary programs with strong ties to other departments and programs are encouraged. Students interested in environmental sciences can satisfy the requirements for a degree in microbiology while pursuing a broadly based program in areas such as biology, chemistry, entomology, plant, soil and environmental science, and plant pathology, and through interaction with the Center for Biofilm Engineering.

Students interested in biomedical sciences can satisfy the requirements for a degree in microbiology while pursuing a broadly based program in medically related subjects like biology, chemistry, and veterinary molecular biology, and through interaction with the WWAMI medical program.


Graduate Record Examination (GRE) General Test scores must be submitted at the time of application for admission to the graduate program. Studies in Chemistry should have included the fundamentals of organic chemistry as well as quantitative analysis; physical chemistry is desirable but not required; studies in Mathematics should have included an introduction to calculus and statistics; studies in physics should have provided the student with a background in heat, light, electricity and modern physics.

Program Requirements

Degree programs are designed to match the needs of student's with differing goals. Specific requirements are detailed in the Department of Microbiology Graduate Student Handbook.


Faculty research interests are medical microbiology, environmental microbiology, microbial ecology, microbial physiology, biology of extreme thermal environments, mechanisms of pathogenicity, medical mycology, microbial communities, molecular genetics, geomicrobiology, aquatic microbiology, cellular immunology, molecular immunology, virology, leukocyte cell and molecular biology, and environmental health and epidemiology.

Financial Assistance

Students of high scholastic caliber are encouraged to contact the Department of Microbiology for information about teaching and research assistantships, and fellowships. Most of our graduate students are supported financially throughout their graduate training. Both assistantships and fellowships are awarded for one-year periods but are renewable if the graduate student's progress has been satisfactory. See the Graduate Assistantship s sections for detailed information on appointment criteria.

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