Microbiology & Immunology PhD Program

The PhD in Microbiology and Immunology provides flexible, rigorous training that prepares graduates to become independent research scientists in molecular virology, molecular parasitology, or immunology.

The PhD in Microbiology and Immunology provides research training areas reflecting GW faculty expertise, which includes the study of host-pathogen relationships, inflammation, vaccine development, T lymphocyte activation, cancer immunology, molecular parasitology, molecular retrovirology (HIV/AIDS), and microbial genomics and proteomics. GW is a proud partner in the DC Center for AIDS research aimed at ending the HIV epidemic, and PhD students can pursue training and symposia from a number of experts in HIV research. Outstanding research programs also include the Research Center for Neglected Diseases of Poverty, which aims to mitigate the burden of human disease in developing nations. Faculty are drawn largely from the GW School of Medicine and Health Sciences, including scientists from Children’s Research Institute of Children’s National Health System.

PhD programs in the biomedical sciences are designed to meet key goals in contemporary graduate research education including 1) discipline-specific knowledge, 2) research skill development, 3) research communication skills, 4) research leadership, 5) research professionalism, and prepare graduates for a variety of science careers. To apply, please visit IBS Admissions.

Students have access to the state of the art George Washington Biorepository resource of biospecimens and clinical data designed to help today's leading investigators facilitate their research on HIV/AIDS and cancer, as well as cutting-edge core facilities for flow cytometry, imaging, and computational biology.

The PhD in Microbiology and Immunology begins with interdisciplinary coursework in molecular, cellular, and systems biology in the first semester. In the second and third semester students take a comprehensive introduction to the conceptual and experimental underpinnings of microbiology and immunology. Career development coursework in scientific writing, oral communication, and research ethics; and laboratory rotations offered through GW’s Institute for Biomedical Sciences curriculum. Following required laboratory rotations, students work with their research advisor and the Graduate Program Directors to complete remaining Microbiology and Immunology degree requirements, including the dissertation.

IBS Core:
BMSC 8210: Genes to Cells
BMSC 8212: Systems Physiology
BMSC 8230: Molecular Basis of Human Disease
BMSC 8215: Laboratory Rotations (3)
BMSC 8216: Career Skills: Scientific Writing and Speaking
BMSC 8217: Career Skills: Ethics and Grantsmanship

One or more Foundation Course(s):
Basic Science of Cancer Biology
Infection and Immunity
Genomics, Proteomics and Bioinformatics
Neural Cells and Circuits
Pharmacogenomics and Personalized Medicine
BMSC 8219: Career Skills: Biomedical Science Careers
BMSC 8235: Applied Biostatistics for Basic Research
Complete grant-style qualifier examination, advance to candidacy

Microbiology and Immunology Core:
MICR 8210: Infection and Immunity
MICR 8230: Molecular and Cellular Immunology
MICR 8998: Advanced Reading and Research Seminar Course
MICR 8999: Dissertation Research

Some Suggested Electives:
PUBH 6276: Public Health Microbiology
MICR 6292: Tropical Infectious Disease
ANAT 6182: Fundamentals of Regenerative Biology and Systems Physiology
Courses in genomics, cancer biology, neuroscience, and pharmacology are also available.

Graduate Program Directors:

Alberto Bosque, PhD, MBA
Assistant Professor of Microbiology, Immunology, & Tropical Medicine
GWU; Ross Hall 617

David Leitenberg, MD, PhD
Associate Professor of Microbiology, Immunology & Tropical Medicine; Pediatrics and Pathology
GWU; Ross Hall 621

How to apply to the IBS and Microbiology and Immunology PhD program
For IBS Application Questions contact Colleen Kennedy, IBS Program Manager