The Program in Microbial Pathogenesis & Host Defense (MPHD) is a component of both the Biomedical Sciences (BMS) Program and the Program in Biological Sciences (PIBS). Students interested in the MPHD Program may apply either through the BMS program or PIBS programs such as Tetrad, Chemistry & Chemical Biology and the Integrative Program in Quantative Biology. First year students will pursue coursework through the home program with an emphasis on mammalian cells and tissues. Modern approaches for understanding the molecular mechanisms of cell, organ, and immune system function are studied as are integrative approaches toward defining the physiological in vivo importance of these mechanisms. We believe that this coursework will provide an excellent knowledge base for graduate students with a strong interest in microbial pathogenesis and related fields such as infectious disease. In addition, first year students do three laboratory research rotations to learn experimental approaches hands-on and to aid them in choosing a thesis laboratory and project. For students who elect the MPHD Track, the MPHD Program provides continuing advanced training via student/faculty journal club, an annual symposium, elective coursework, and seminars by outstanding scientists from around the U.S. and occasionally overseas.
In addition to the above courses and activities, our connection with the BMS and PIBS programs provides our students, postdoctoral fellows and faculty with close interactions with scientists studying cell biology, genetics, biochemistry and molecular biology, developmental biology, biophysics, and neuroscience. As these fields are highly relevant to modern study of microbial pathogensis and host defense, these connections enhance the education of students in our program.