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5.10 - Microbiology and Immunology

College of Medicine

Microbiology and Immunology

940 Stanton L. Young Blvd.
Oklahoma City, OK 73190
(405) 271-2133

Jimmy Ballard, PhD, Chair
Lori Garman, PhD, Graduate Program Director

For a complete listing of the departmental graduate faculty visit this web site

Doctor of Philosophy

Microbial Pathogenesis and Immunology:  Special emphasis on molecular and immunological mechanisms of diseases caused by human pathogens as well as emphasis on immune response to infections, autoimmunity, T and B cell development and MHC function.

The doctoral program prepares students for careers in academia and industry in the research areas of microbiology and immunology. The curriculum is designed to provide a solid scientific background and includes advanced courses utilizing the expertise of our faculty members. Research areas in microbiology include bacterial toxins, Lyme disease, bacterial genetics, role of outer membrane lipid remodeling in Gram-negative pathogenesis, bacterial and fungal eye infections, and Toxoplasmosis. Research areas in immunology include B and T lymphocyte biology, NKT cells and humoral immunity, anti-viral immunity, autoimmunity, role of major histocompatibility complex molecules in cancer and infection, and the role of IL-22 in inflamed tissues.

The department of Microbiology and Immunology is a participant in the interdisciplinary Graduate Program in Biomedical Sciences (GPiBS), which combines the expertise of the six programs at the University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center: Biochemistry & Molecular Biology, Cell Biology, Microbiology & Immunology, Neuroscience, Pathology and Physiology. Students wishing to enter the Microbiology and Immunology graduate program to obtain a PhD degree should apply to GPiBS as described in the GPiBS section of the Bulletin. An application is filed with the Office of Admissions and is accompanied by official transcripts and results of the Graduate Record Examination (GRE), and TOEFL for foreign applicants. Three letters of recommendation from individuals who can address the candidate’s research potential and suitability for graduate school are also required.


Students interested in the PhD degree in Microbiology and Immunology are required to take a minimum of 90 hours of graduate work of which at least 45 hours are Research for Doctor’s Dissertation (MI 6980) and complete a dissertation based on original research. All PhD students must complete the core courses offered in the first semester through the GPiBS program.  Subsequent courses are offered by the Department and include the following:  Immunology I (MI 6032), II (MI 6041), and III (MI 6111), Microbiology I (MI 5320), II (MI 6301), and III (MI 6501), Molecular Virology (MI 6321), and Bioinformatics (MI 6401). Other optional courses may be offered by the Department including Immuno-oncology (MI 6011). In the second year students are required to take Infection and Immunity (MI 6822), Special Studies (MI 5990) and Scientific Grant Writing (MI 6604). In addition, all PhD candidates take Research for the Doctoral Dissertation (MI 6980). PhD students are required to present seminars (variable number of hours) in Seminar (MI 5971) and attend Journal Club. The remainder of the PhD degree program is completed with graduate level courses in this or in other departments of the University. Requirements for any of the individual core courses may be waived by the departmental orientation committee with sufficient evidence of equivalent prior course completion. A student may transfer up to 44 hours of graduate course work taken elsewhere depending upon the decision of the student’s advisory committee and the Graduate College (described elsewhere in Bulletin).

For admission to candidacy for the PhD degree, the student must pass a written and oral qualifying examination. The examination is offered once a year and should be completed by the end of the second year.

Financial support is provided to qualified students entering the program.

Students who complete a PhD program in Microbiology and Immunology find future employment in many areas of science such as research and/or teaching positions at public or private institutions, scientific writing, research administration, clinical laboratories, science policy, research administration, sales and marketing, among many others.

Current Courses:  Search MI prefix courses found online at

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