Department of Microbiology & Immunology

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Microbiology continues to be an exciting field that is crucial to understanding everything from natural and man-made ecosystems, human health, clean water, alternative energy, and climate change. The Department of Microbiology & Immunology at Montana State University (MSU) has a unique combination of expertise in pathogen biology, bioremediation, biofuels, immunology, cell and developmental biology, microbial ecology, host/pathogen interactions, biofilm biology, and geomicrobiology. With this diverse expertise, the department strives to provide a broad and thorough curriculum to both undergraduate and graduate students that are encouraged to cross boundaries and push their studies/research via interactions across departments and colleges. Our departmental prospectus strives to incorporate ASM guidelines for a broad curriculum that includes evolution, cell structure/function, metabolic pathways, genetic information flow, and different microbial systems. It is also crucial that microbiology students become competent in general microbiological techniques in addition to critical, scientific thinking. For undergraduates, the department has 6 main tracks within the Microbiology major that include: Microbiology, Environmental Microbiology, Pre-Med, Environmental Health, Biotechnology, and Medical Lab Science. A Microbiology minor is also available to enrich other majors. Additionally, the department provides advising for all Pre-veterinary students at MSU and offers a Certificate in Pre-veterinary Medicine.

The department is housed in the newly renovated Cooley Labs, renovated laboratory space in Leon Johnson Building, and the Molecular Biosciences building. The department houses the Center for Zoonotic and Emerging Infectious Diseases and contributes significantly to the Center for Biofilm Engineering and the Thermal Biology Institute at MSU. The Center for Biofilm Engineering and Thermal Biology Institute offer unique research opportunities in environmental microbiology, medical microbiology, and industrial microbiology that provide students the opportunity to conduct world-class research on real-world questions and problems. MSU is also a world-leader in understanding the unique microbial ecosystems of Yellowstone National Park. The department also houses the Montana Medical Laboratory Science Professional Program and our faculty are also involved in the WWAMI Medical Education Program and WIMU Cooperative Veterinary Medicine.

Montana State University has both small and large ABSL-2 facilities and ABSL-3 laboratory space on campus. The Department of Microbiology & Immunology currently consists of 18 tenure-track, 5 research, and 6 teaching faculty, 35 graduate students and 307 undergraduate students, and approximately 7% of MSU research expenditures are housed within the Department of Microbiology & Immunology. Our faculty are funded by the NIH, USDA, DoD, NSF, DoE, and Montana Agricultural Experimentation Station (MAES). The Department of Microbiology & Immunology offers a dynamic research and teaching environment with state-of-the-art facilities for biochemistry, flow cytometry, genomics, proteomics, cell biology, microbiology and bioinformatics in the beautiful northwest Rocky Mountains.