Message From The Interim Chair

Message From The Interim Chair

Microbiology & Immunology (M & I) is comprised of 24 primary faculty engaged in research and education. We continue to excel as a particularly productive Basic Science Department for preclinical research and discovery. We are focused on pathogenic bacteria, viruses, and immunology. The main research themes also focus upon developing more effective cancer immunotherapy, an HIV vaccine, creating antigen-specific immune tolerance and overcoming antibiotic resistance of bacteria.

As we pursue these scientific goals, we maintain our dedication to training the next generation of scientists as graduate students and postdoctoral fellows.

We continue to pursue the goal of creating antigen-specific immune tolerance in several clinical and preclinical collaborations in our Department. The Department of Microbiology and Immunology initiated the Center for AIDS Research (CFAR) in 2001 with the recruitment of Dr. Savita Pahwa who was awarded a Developmental CFAR grant in 2007 from the National Institutes of Health. The CFAR has grown with a number of new recruits and was renewed by the NIH in 2012. The discovery of Perforin-2 by our late eminent Chairman Eckhard Podack, M.D., Ph.D., has resulted in strong ongoing collaborations among faculty within our Department and other Departments in the School of Medicine. Perforin-2 is a novel effector that kills pathogenic bacteria, viruses and eukaryotic parasites.

Faculty in our Department are actively involved in the Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center and the Diabetes Research Institute. These interactions help to foster translating our discoveries in the laboratory to directly benefit patients with cancer and Type 1 diabetes. Our efforts to translate our discoveries to the clinic are also shown in our large portfolio of licensing agreements and start-up companies.

I hope you will peruse our web site for more details concerning our training and educational programs and ongoing research by our faculty.

Thomas Malek, Ph.D.
Professor and Interim Chair