Welcome to the Department of Microbiology and Immunology at the Indiana University School of Medicine
Stanley Spinola, M.D., Professor and Chair
Welcome to the Department of Microbiology and Immunology. The Department has 19 primary faculty members and 19 secondary faculty members from the Departments of Dermatology, Medicine, Pediatrics, Pharmacology and Toxicology, Physiology, and Urology. Our research centers on molecular mechanisms of pathogenesis, immune responsiveness, infectious diseases, cancer biology, hematopoiesis, stem cell biology and gene therapy. Current research activities include microbial pathogenesis and experimental therapeutics, with a focus on Borrelia burgdorferi, Chlamydia trachomatis, Coxiella burnetii, Escherichia coli, Haemophilus ducreyi, Hepatitis B, Hepatitis C, HIV-1, Human Papillomavirus Virus, Leptospira interrogans, Toxoplasma gondii and malaria. We have a major emphasis on immunology including studies of immune responsiveness, immune evasion by viruses and tumors, autoimmune diseases (diabetes), innate and adaptive immunity, antigen presentation, and B cell responses. Our research in stem cells, hematopoeisis, transplantation, and hematological malignancies is among the best in the nation. Among 97 medical schools nationwide, the Department is ranked 28th in NIH funding with an annual research budget of approximately 8.5 million dollars.
We have added several new primary and secondary faculty members in the past 5 years. These recruitments have been thematic and complement our existing strengths. Dr. Haitao Guo came from Drexel University and studies Hepatitis B replication and novel drugs that inhibit viral replication, augmenting Dr. Yu’s efforts in co-infections of hepatitis viruses and HIV. Dr. Gustavo Arrizabalaga was co-recruited by the Department of Pharmacology and Toxicology and our Department from the University of Idaho to enhance our Toxoplasma research effort led by Dr. Bill Sullivan; Dr. Arrizabalaga studies the cell biology and regulation of motility of this pathogen. This recruitment helped Pediatric Infectious Diseases to attract our newest secondary faculty member, Dr. Chandy John from the University of Minnesota, who is building an outstanding malaria program. Dr. Stacey Gilk joined us from the Rocky Mountain laboratories and studies how Coxiella burnetii manipulates host cell lipids so that it can survive intracellularly. Dr. David Nelson was recruited from IU-Bloomington; he studies Chlamydia pathogenesis and the human microbiome in health and disease. Together, Drs. Arrizabalaga, Sullivan, Gilk, Nelson and John form a dynamic intracellular pathogens group. In the next year, we plan to recruit at least 2 new faculty members in the areas of immunology and virology.
The department offers a graduate program in Microbiology and Immunology leading to a MS or PhD degree awarded by the Indiana University Graduate School. Twenty-three students are currently enrolled in our program. There are 24 postdoctoral fellows in training. We participate in several NIH-funded training grants in Immunology and Infectious Diseases, Sexually Transmitted Infections and Pathogens of Global Health Significance, Regulation of Hematopoietic Stem Cell Production, and Basic Science Studies on Gene Therapy. The Bridges to the Doctorate training program has underscored our commitment to maximizing diversity in graduate education. Two of our faculty members are leaders in graduate education; Dr. Randy Brutkiewicz is the Associate Dean for Graduate studies and directs the IBMG program; Dr. Janice Blum is the Associate Vice Chancellor for Graduate Education at UPUI and Associate Dean for the University Graduate School.
Our teaching mission includes leading a new medical school course in Host Defense, a nursing course in Microbiology, and graduate level courses on Infectious Microbes and Host Interactions and Responsible Conduct of Research. We offer core graduate courses in Immunology, Infection and Pathogenesis, Neoplastic Determinants, and Stem Cell Biology and advanced courses in specialty areas that reflect the research interests of our faculty. Graduate students are afforded teaching opportunities in the nursing course.
Thank you for exploring our website; we look forward to you joining our growing team.