Computer modeling of Herpes Simplex Virus capsid without its DNA. Capsomers can be seen on the outer surface while the inner surface can be seen to be smooth. Each capsomer has a channel in the center that connects the outside and inside of the capsid, otherwise the capsid is sealed. Color is added as a depth cue. Courtesy of Dr. Jay Brown.

Research in Microbiology at UVA spans the fundamental molecular processes of viruses, bacteria, fungi, and parasites of major importance to human health.

Many fundamental biological processes have been uncovered through the study of bacteria, viruses and eukaryotic unicellular microorganisms, and these studies have also revealed mechanisms by which infectious agents cause disease. Our students and faculty examine how microbes replicate, invade the host cell, colonize the host and interact with the immune system.  To this end we use state-of-the-art experimental approaches drawn from the fields of molecular biology, biochemistry, genetics, structural biology, cell biology, physiology, cellular and sub-cellular imaging, genomics and bioinformatics.

The microbiology research community at UVA spans multiple basic science and clinical departments.  It features numerous laboratories that are engaged in highly interactive and collaborative research, with many researchers sharing authorship on high-profile publications.  Our research findings provide insights into basic biology and also provide foundations for translational applications, such as vaccine development and new therapeutic approaches for treating infections.

The robust educational opportunities available include specialized coursework, laboratory rotations, journal clubs, and weekly seminars highlighting the work of trainees as well as that of internationally renowned scientists.

Training in Microbiology at UVA equips our graduates to pursue diverse career options, including postdoctoral positions in academia, as well as jobs in government, the pharmaceutical and biotechnology industries, collegiate teaching, public policy, consulting and patent law.