Immunology and Microbial Sciences (IMS) Training Program

The Immunology and Microbial Sciences (IMS) Training Program consists of a graduate curriculum that emphasizes research on microbes, the immune system, and the interface between the two fields.  Students who participate in the training program conduct research that includes:

  • Microbial physiology, microbial genetics, molecular biology, and the emerging fields of genomics and synthetic biology.
  • Mechanisms of antimicrobial resistance and discovery of novel therapeutics
  • Microbial pathogenesis, including bacteria, viruses, and parasites.
  • Studies of microbial host-interactions, modulation of host cell biology, and development of disease or symbiosis
  • Mechanisms by which microbes evade innate immune responses
  • Genetics and development of a normal immune response and oral tolerance
  • Immune response to infection and tissue damage including the generation and effects of the innate and adaptive systems
  • Immune regulation, cell death and signaling
  • The role of innate and adaptive immune cells and their cytokines and chemokines in host immunity
  • Immunological diseases, including autoimmunity, inflammation, and allergy, immunodeficiency, and cancer
  • Immunotherapy

The IMS program has a flexible curriculum that allows students to explore their interests in Microbiology and/or Immunology. During their first two years, students who participate in the IMS training program are required to take two entry-level courses in microbiology, virology, or immunology and one advanced topics course. In addition, students take part in topic specific training activities including journal clubs, research-in-progress meetings, seminars, the annual Northwestern immunology and microbial sciences training symposium and the Chicago Autumn Immunology Conference.

The training faculty from both the DGP (Chicago campus) and IBiS (Evanston campus) who participate in the IMS program are listed below.  Click on the name to see a research description.

Cluster Director

  • Derek Walsh (DGP) Associate Professor, Microbiology-Immunology; Feinberg School of Medicine

Bacterial And Parasitic Pathogenesis

Viral Pathogenesis

Immunology And Host Response

  • Grant Barish, PhD (DGP)  Transcriptional regulators of inflammation and metabolism
  • Orin Bloch, MD (DGP)  Understanding mechanisms of tumor-induced immunosuppression in malignant brain tumors
  • Bruce S. Bochner, MD (DGP)  Recruitment, activation and survival of eosinophils, basophils and mast cells during allergic inflammatory responses
  • Melissa Brown, PhD (DGP)  Expression of interleukin 4 (IL-4) and its role in normal and autoimmune responses
  • Scott GR Budinger, MD (DGP)  Age-related changes in lung macrophage populations that contribute to the risk of inflammatory and fibrotic lung disease
  • Irina Budunova, MD, PhD (DGP) The role of the glucocorticoid receptor in carcinogenesis and stem cell maintenance and development of GR-targeted therapies in the skin
  • Navdeep Chandel, PhD (DGP)  Mitochondria and ROS signaling in antigen-specific T cell activation
  • Jaehyuk Choi, MD, PhD (DGP)  Genetic basis of inherited and acquired immunological disorders and skin cancer
  • Joan Cook-Mills, PhD (DGP)  Development of allergic disease/asthma and regulation of allergic disease by forms of vitamin E and 5-hydroxytryptophan
  • Deyu Fang, PhD (DGP)  Molecular networks in the regulation of immune response and autoimmunity
  • Geoff Kansas, PhD (DGP)  Molecular Biology of Leukocyte Adhesion and Migration
  • Atsushi Kato, PhD (DGP) Mechanism of amplification of type 2 inflammation in airway inflammatory diseases in humans
  • David Klumpp, PhD (DGP) Molecular mechansims of bladder inflammation and pelvic pain
  • Isabella Caroline Le Poole, PhD (DGP) Immune recognition of melanoma-associated antigens
  • Jing Liu, PhD (DGP) Signaling mechanisms that control the immune response
  • Stephen Miller, PhD (DGP)  Immunoregulation of T Cell-Mediated Autoimmune and Virus Diseases
  • Alexander V. Misharin, MD, PhD (DGP)  The role of alveolar macrophages in acute lung injury, pulmonary fibrosis and bronchopulmonary dysplasia
  • William A. Muller, MD, PhD (DGP)  Leukocyte-endothelial cell interactions in inflammation
  • Pablo Penaloza, PhD (DGP)  Immune regulation and vaccines
  • Harris Perlman, PhD (DGP)  The impact of macrophages in the pathology of rheumatic disease
  • Marcus Peter, PhD (DGP)  Cell death including apoptosis as a fundamental process regulating immune system homeostasis
  • Richard Pope, MD (DGP)  Cellular immune mechanisms in rheumatoid arthritis
  • Murali Prakriya, PhD (DGP)  Intracellular Calcium Signaling
  • Robert Schleimer, PhD (DGP)  Glucocorticoids in allergic diseases
  • Ronen Sumagin, PhD (DGP)  Contributions of immune cell-mediated inflammation to the development and progression of colorectal cancers
  • Edward Thorp, PhD (DGP)  Inflammation resolution and repair in cardiovascular disease
  • Praveen Thumbikat, PhD (DGP)  Microbial and autoimmune mediated inflammation and immune mechanisms in prostate disease
  • John Varga, MD (DGP)  Mechanisms of fibrosis and inflammation/autoimmunity in human diseases
  • Derek Wainwright, PhD (DGP)  Brain tumor immunology
  • Chyung-Ru Wang, PhD (DGP)  Role of MHC class Ib molecules: H2-M3 and CD1
  • Deborah Winter, PhD (DGP)  Computational immunology - Genomic approaches to study the identity and function of immune cells in rheumatic disease
  • Bin Zhang, MD, PhD (DGP)  Cancer immunotherapy by antitumor T cells
  • Ming Zhang, PhD (DGP)  Molecular Mechanisms of Tumorigenesis and Cancer Metastasis
  • Zhuoli Zhang, PhD (DGP)  Molecular/cellular MR imaging and functional imaging guided immunotherapy