Message from the Department Chair


Professor Samantha Gruenheid


In the context of the current COVID-19 pandemic and the historic rapid development of vaccines to combat against it, the importance of the study of Microbiology and Immunology and the impact it has on our lives has never been clearer. Indeed, many of our professors, students, and other members are working to increase our understanding of how microorganisms interact with their hosts, how host immunity responds to microbial threats, and how we can apply this knowledge to prevent or infectious diseases, including COVID-19. But our diverse research programs span an even broader range of topics: from studies probing the mechanisms of infectious, inflammatory, and autoimmune diseases and host defence against infection to studies of our microbiome, and the application of microorganisms as model systems to study evolution and fundamental biological mechanisms. I invite you to browse the Faculty information pages on this website to get a full appreciation of the breadth of work going on in our Department.

In addition to our research, we pride ourselves on the continuous development and renewal of our undergraduate and graduate education programs. Our curriculum covers recent topics such as cancer immunotherapy, CRISPR-Cas and its use for genome editing, the threat of antimicrobial resistance, the role of our resident microbiome in health and disease, and of course, COVID. Our undergraduate program offers a wide variety of active-learning based lab and research experience courses, including two distinct undergraduate honours programs. This is complemented with the development of critical thinking and communication skills to enable our students to engage in critical discourse and promote scientific literacy in their communities.

Spend some time looking through our website, and don’t hesitate to contact us if you want to hear more about our exciting research and teaching initiatives going on in our department.


Professor Samantha Gruenheid, PhD
Chair, Department of Microbiology & Immunology

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