For a better experience, click the Compatibility Mode icon above to turn off Compatibility Mode, which is only for viewing older websites.

This is an exciting and rewarding time to begin a career in biomedical research. The pace of scientific discovery is breathtaking. Endless opportunities exist for our graduates as they begin their careers.

Extraordinary research opportunities are available within the Department of Microbiology and Immunology and collaborative research units including the Division of Infectious Disease and HIV Medicine in the areas of:

  • Immunology
  • Molecular and human genetics
  • Virology
  • Malarial and bacterial pathogenesis
  • Emerging disease and biodefense
  • Opportunistic infections
  • Experimental therapeutics and diagnostics
  • Neuroscience
  • Cancer biology

 
Continued advances in technology and collaborative interdisciplinary research between basic and clinical scientists will be the key to innovation and new discovery in the next decade. Research conducted within the department will be of tremendous importance to the growing national and international health care needs.

We are committed to understanding molecular mechanisms of infectious diseases within the human population and the development of strategies to prevent and/or treat these acute, chronic, and latent infectious diseases.

The research programs of our faculty are funded by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Disease, National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, National Cancer Institute, National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, National Institute of General Medical Science and the National Multiple Sclerosis Society.

For more information on individual faculty members, their research interests, and training opportunities offered by our outstanding faculty, please explore the department's web page through the links at the left.

 
News and Announcements
 

2019 Golden Apple Awards

Several of the department's faculty were recognized for excellence in teaching and outstanding service at the 2019 Golden Apple Award Ceremony. Vanessa Pirrone received an award from the Class of 2021 for teaching in the Case-Based Learning curriculum. Other Golden Apple nominees included James Burns, Donna Russo and Kirsten Larson.

Three-Minute These Winner

Microbiology and Immunology PhD candidate Jacqueline Schneider Eacret recently won the Three-Minute Thesis competition for her presentation on "Anti-Malaria Vaccines: Multiple Proteins, One Formulation." Learn more about the Three-Minute Thesis competition.

Genomics Reveal How Bacteria Evolve in Cystic Fibrosis Patients

Scientists have made new headway in understanding how a deadly pathogen evolves during chronic lung infections in cystic fibrosis patients. "By looking at changes in the genome over time, we were able to see patterns — common themes that help us to better understand how this particular species evolves in its environment and how CF patients become chronically infected," said study co-corresponding author Joshua Chang Mell, PhD, an assistant professor at Drexel University College of Medicine. Drexel Now (March 21, 2017)

"Genomics Study of Cystic Fibrosis"
Pulse (Summer 2017)

 
In the Media
 

April 23, 2019: Kayla Socarras, a Microbiology & Immunology PhD student, was quoted in a Yahoo! Lifestyle story about an impending uptick in bug populations this summer and how to avoid tick bites.

January 3, 2019: Alison Carey, MD, an associate professor of microbiology and immunology, was quoted in a Health story about how long cold and flu germs can live on surfaces like doorknobs and subway poles.

November 8, 2018: Garth Ehrlich, PhD, a professor of microbiology and immunology, was featured in a Philadelphia Inquirer story about his research investigating whether bacteria can cause Alzheimer’s disease.

October 22, 2018: "Pivotal moment for NetScientific's Glycotest Inc with $10 million financing"
Technology developed by Drexel University College of Medicine, Department of Microbiology & Immunology for the early detection of liver cancer has received a $10 million in series funding from from Fosun Pharma. Drexel University has licensed the patented technology to Glycotest, Inc. Fosun will receive exclusive licensing to manufacture and sell the Glycotest Inc. HCC Panel, in China.
Related Faculty: Dr. Mary Ann Comunale, Dr. Anand Mehta, Dr. Timothy Block (Inventors)

October 21, 2018: Joshua Chang Mell, PhD, assistant professor in the Department of Microbiology & Immunology, is quoted in a PNAS Journal Club article about research he did to identify the genetic variations that enable nontypeable Haemophilus influenzae (NTHi) to adapt to life in the lungs of patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.

April 2018: Sandra Urdaneta-Hartmann, MD, PhD, an assistant professor in the Department of Microbiology & Immunology, was quoted in a post on EdSurge about CD4 Hunter, a game created by a group of College of Medicine researchers to teach students about the life and replication cycle of HIV.

April 24, 2018: Akhil Vaidya, PhD, a professor in the Department of Microbiology & Immunology, was quoted in a Science News story on a new genetically-modified plant that may bolster our supplies of antimalarial drugs.

April 15, 2018: Sandra Urdaneta-Hartmann, MD, PhD, an assistant professor in the Department of Microbiology & Immunology, was interviewed on an episode of TWiV (This Week in Virology) about "CD4 Hunter," a game created by College of Medicine researchers to teach users about how the HIV virus infects.

August 23, 2017: Garth Ehrlich, PhD, professor in the Departments of Microbiology & Immunology and Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery, was quoted in a Philadelphia Inquirer story about a project his lab is undertaking to collect ticks from the public and use advanced gene sequencing techniques to study their microbiomes. Dr. Ehrlich’s research study was also quoted in a KYW-Newsradio (1060-AM) on August 26.

July 24, 2017: Carla Brown, PhD, a postdoctoral fellow, was interviewed for a WHYY/Newsworks.org story about "CD4 Hunter," a game created by Brown and researchers in the Department of Microbiology & Immunology that teaches players how HIV infects and replicates in the human body.

May 19, 2017: A Bucks County Courier Times article about the difficulty in diagnosing and treating Lyme disease, which quoted Garth Ehrlich, PhD, a professor in the Departments of Microbiology & Immunology, and Otolaryngology–Head & Neck Surgery, was picked up by WCAU-TV (NBC-10)'s website.

May 12, 2017: Garth Ehrlich, PhD, a professor in the Departments of Microbiology & Immunology and Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery, was quoted in a Bucks County Courier Times story about the difficulty in diagnosing and treating Lyme disease.

March 29, 2017: Joshua Chang Mell, PhD, assistant professor in the Department of Microbiology & Immunology, was quoted in a Cystic Fibrosis News Today story about a recent study he published, which profiled the genes of bacteria commonly found in the lungs of cystic fibrosis patients.

See all College of Medicine faculty in the Media

Brian Wigdahl, PhD, Chair, Microbiology and Immunology; Director, Institute for Molecular Medicine and Infectious Disease

Brian Wigdahl, PhD
Chair, Microbiology and Immunology; Director, Institute for Molecular Medicine and Infectious Disease