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.

Our students and faculty examine how viruses enter, manipulate gene expression, and replicate in host cells; how bacteria and eukaryotic microorganisms invade, intoxicate, and survive in association with host cells and tissues; and how the processes affected by viruses and microbes modulate the resulting immune responses in their hosts, leading to disease or clearance.  These processes are investigated using mechanistic approaches incorporating genetics, genomics, molecular biology, biochemistry, and physiology.

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 provides insight into important biological processes that are foundational to translational applications, including 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, government, pharmaceutical and biotechnology industries, collegiate teaching, public policy, and patent law, to name a few.