Molecular Microbiology

in a micro lab

Molecular Microbiology Web Site
Microbial Pathogens Web Site

The Molecular Microbiology Graduate Program emphasizes the use of microbial systems to study fundamental aspects of biology.  The lives of bacteria, viruses, fungi and parasites are explored in-depth and in relation to their interactions with host cells and animals.  By emphasizing studies at the molecular and atomic level, our program trains students to combine biochemical, genetic, structural, and genomic approaches to arrive at solutions to major biological problems.  The Program provides students with intensive and rigorous training in an atmosphere of strong collegiality, cooperation and support.  Even though our training emphasizes microbial systems, our graduates have been able to launch very successful careers in research and teaching in broad areas of biology.

Our program focuses on areas in which we have both breadth and depth.  Faculty members use the tools of molecular biology, genetics, cell biology, biochemistry and structural biology to reveal mechanisms of gene regulation in free-living microorganisms and in microbes that are in contact with or engulfed by host cells, to unravel the interactions of microorganisms and viruses with host cells and to decipher how host cells try to combat infection.  Such detailed analysis of pathogens can reveal aspects of the infection process that lead to novel anti-infective agents.

The Molecular Microbiology Program participates in the MERGE-ID (MEdically-oriented Research in Graduate Education) track funded by the Howard Hughes Medical Institute.  This program is specifically designed to provide strong training in the basic microbiology and immunology of pathogenic organisms and host responses as well as in-depth knowledge of the pathogenesis, diagnosis, prevention, treatment and epidemiology of infectious disease.  This program is unique, integrating clinical studies and patient contact throughout the training period.  Please visit the MERGE-ID web site for more information.

The Molecular Microbiology Program is based in the Department of Molecular Biology & Microbiology at Tufts University School of Medicine. 


Upcoming Seminars

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Contact Information









Katya Heldwein, PhD
Program Director

Administrative Office
M&V 4
Phone: 617-636-6750
Fax: 617-636-0337


bacterial plate

MERGE-ID is for PhD students who want to integrate clinical infectious disease problems into basic research on pathogenic mechansisms and host responses.

Apply to the Sackler School


The priority application deadlines are as follows:

December 1: Basic Science Division PhD Programs

February 15: Building Diversity in Biomedical Sciences

March 31: Post-Baccalaureate Research Program

May 1: Clinical & Translational Science, MS in Pharmacology & Drug Development

June 15: Online Certificate in Fundamentals of Clinical Care Research