The UCSF Microbial Pathogenesis and Host Defense (MPHD) program is an interdisciplinary and interdepartmental program dedicated to studying and providing research training in host-pathogen interactions (viruses, bacteria, fungi, and parasites) in relation to human disease.


It is open to all UCSF graduate students and postdoctoral fellows who are at UCSF and who are interested in microbial pathogenesis. UCSF hosts an unusual number of world-class laboratories in each aspect of microbial pathogenesis, including bacterial, viral, fungal, parasitic, and innate immunity research programs. The program integrates students, postdoctoral fellows, and faculty from diverse programs, expertise, and backgrounds by nourishing synergistic interactions and facilitating new approaches not otherwise possible. Program faculty are drawn from the Schools of Medicine, Pharmacy, and Dentistry in both the academic and clinical sciences, ensuring a broad range of opportunities in basic and translational research. Outstanding institutional core facilities are available to accelerate application of new and emerging technologies. The strong tradition of openness and collaboration among UCSF laboratories and research groups allows trainees to easily access diverse expertise from multiple faculty. The MPHD program has an NIH T32 training grant that can support some of our students and postdoctoral fellows.

Graduate students and postdoctoral fellows with relevant research interests are invited and welcome to participate in the varied program activities. These currently include: