AH ChairWelcome to the Department of Microbiology at Harvard Medical School. We seek to advance fundamental understanding of the mechanisms underlying microbial growth, survival, replication and pathogenesis. Our investigators are making discoveries that inform the understanding of essential cellular processes across all domains of life, while at the same time providing a foundation for the treatment and prevention of infectious diseases and other microbe-associated pathologies. Faculty members studying bacteria, viruses, and parasites are probing the mechanisms they employ to interact with host organisms in health and disease, thereby laying the groundwork for addressing critical infectious disease challenges, including the proliferation of antibiotic-resistant bacterial pathogens and the emergence of new viral pathogens. Moreover, studies within the department have generated enabling tools to support biomedical investigation across multiple disciplines.

Environment for Learning and Discovery

We are committed to nurturing a vibrant, diverse and collaborative community of investigators, educators and trainees who constitute a collective hub for microbial research within the larger Harvard community. The department serves as the nucleus of two important graduate training programs: the Program in Virology and the Graduate Program in Bacteriology (GPiB), which is co-hosted by the Harvard School of Public Health and provides a Bacteriology training track for students enrolled in any of the Harvard Integrated Life Sciences graduate programs. The department is located on the Harvard Medical School campus in Boston’s Longwood Medical Area, surrounded by world-class, HMS-affiliated hospitals and institutions that provide clinical expertise and training opportunities in infectious diseases. Our faculty and trainees also have close ties with investigators at the Harvard University main campus in Cambridge, as well as other nearby institutions, including MIT, Tufts and Boston University.