Overview of the Ph.D. Program
The desire to explain natural phenomena, including disease, is the basis for most students’ interest in the biological sciences. The UCLA Department of Microbiology, Immunology, and Molecular Genetics (MIMG) offers the opportunity for graduate study with faculty members with the goal of making original contributions in the various research areas of microbiology (which includes bacteriology, virology, mycology and parasitology), immunology, and molecular genetics.
Microbiology, immunology, and molecular genetics are interwoven disciplines. Microbiology has played a central role in all aspects of biological sciences, including morphogenesis, genetics, developmental biology, physiology, biochemistry, and cell biology. An understanding of microbiology is thus fundamental to biological research. Immunology, once a branch of microbiology, is now a major biological discipline and a basic component of disease-oriented microbiology. Our programs emphasize research at the molecular level and include studies basic cell and molecular biology, as well as investigation into the mechanisms of pathogenesis. Laboratories within the department are studying regulation and development of the immune system, immune response to infectious agents and cancer, the molecular and cellular bases of viral and bacterial pathogenesis, mechanisms underlying protein sorting and signal transduction, and the regulation of gene expression.
The graduate program in MIMG is closely associated with advanced (postdoctoral) training in research, clinical and public health diagnostic work, and industrial applications. Careers in microbiology, immunology, and molecular genetics include industrial appointments, clinical laboratory supervision in both governmental agencies and private enterprises in addition to academic positions.
Our faculty, staff, and students share a sense of purpose as they use a wide array of approaches and techniques to explore the realm of molecular genetics, microbial physiology, virology, mycology, parasitology, immunology, and microbial pathogenesis. Their explorations result in both theoretical advances and practical applications, placing UCLA at the forefront on internal research efforts.
Graduate study in our department provides an opportunity to share in that ment, and to study with one of the most distinguished microbiology, immunology, and molecular genetics faculties in the country. Our five-year Ph.D. graduate programs emphasize a close faculty-student relationship that creates a learning environment which is stimulating, productive, and rewarding for all its’ participants.
We are proud to be consistently ranked among the top microbiology departments in the country. This reflects our faculty’s commitment to both basic research and solid graduate education. We are also proud to be part of the UCLA community that is now among the top half dozen institutions of higher learning in the country. UCLA is a campus where there is a vibrant interplay between research and students in numerous fields, all striving to further the understanding of the basic processes of life at the cellular and molecular levels.
Our graduate program emphasizes research in microbiology at the molecular level, leading to a Ph.D. There is also a Medical Scientist Training Program (MSTP) in association with the UCLA School of Medicine that leads to a joint M.D./Ph.D. degree.
We invite you to take part in the departmentís continuing tradition of scientific and teaching excellence.