The principal missions of the Department of Microbiology and Immunology are:
- To promote the acquisition of a thorough understanding of the etiological agents of infectious diseases and host defense mechanisms, and to promote the competency of lifelong and independent learning.
- To achieve excellence in Ph.D. and M.D./Ph.D. degrees in Microbiology and Immunology.
- To develop and maintain exceptional scholarly research programs.
- To establish a program in Viral Oncogenesis and Cancer Biology at RFUMS and promote greater understanding of the molecular basis for virus-induced and other cancers.
- To provide outstanding administrative and infrastructure supports that are conducive to the research, teaching and service duties of the department faculty and students.
As of July 1, 2005, the Department is headed by a new Chair, Dr. Bala Chandran and a significant expansion of the department is underway. In addition to the existing laboratories, a new research floor of about 16,000 square feet with state-of-the-art laboratories and facilities has been completed and is currently occupied (click here for photos).
The core facilities in the new wing include state-of-the-art new ultracentrifuges, high-speed centrifuges, gamma counter, scintillation counter, bacterial shaker incubators, real-time and regular PCR machines, ELISA reader, spectrophotometers, fluorescence microscopes with digital imaging, automatic film developers, gel documentation recorder, autoclaves, dishwashers, etc. In addition, other core resources at RFUMS include confocal, live-cell and electron microscopy facilities, and a structural biology and proteomics center.
One of our primary goals is to establish a program on Viral Oncogenesis and Cancer Biology at RFUMS by promoting greater understanding of the molecular basis for virus-induced neoplasm affecting humans. We plan to accomplish this by combining the independent research efforts of key RFUMS researchers and new faculty recruits working on oncogenic viruses into a cohesive and focused program. Training future scientists and clinicians interested in this area is also an important objective of the program, as well as raising awareness to clinicians and researchers of new diagnostic and prognostic techniques and treatments of cancers.
The Department of Microbiology and Immunology has also initiated and is committed to the continued development of an excellent Clinical Immunology Laboratory which provides patient diagnosis and fosters basic and clinical research programs in the fields of oncology, hematology, reproductive immunology, infectious diseases, bone marrow and organ transplantation programs, etc. within the University (click here for details).