The Microbiology program was cited as a major research strength in the 2009 external review. Our goal in the coming years is to restore the microbiology program to its former ASM (American Society for Microbiology) certified status through recruitment of new faculty and enhancement of existing research areas. Research is strong in microbiology with virology (Bujarski), fungi (Calvo-Byrd) and bacteria (Hill, Zhou) externally funded. Of note, emeritus faculty member Pat Vary along with Rick Johns, 3 NIU Ph.D. students and Scott Grayburn contributed to the final annotation of the Bacillus megaterium genome last year in an externally-funded international collaboration, bringing meritorious notoriety to the department. The story from Pat Vary appeared on page 4 in last year’s newsletter. Clearly, Microbiology will also contribute heavily to the Biomedical Sciences program in addition to serving as a defined focus area. Students with microbiology training are extremely marketable for employment post-graduation, and also are well prepared to enter health-related careers, the biotechnology industry or graduate school.
Image courtesy of Dr. Richard Becker.