Department of Microbiology and Moleculer Genetics

Greetings from the Chair

Beth Kirkpatrick, MDI welcome you to the Department of Microbiology and Molecular Genetics. Our department is uniquely positioned in two colleges at the University of Vermont: the Robert Larner, M.D., College of Medicine (LCOM) and the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences (CALS). At CALS, MMG hosts two outstanding undergraduate majors, Microbiology and Molecular Genetics. Our highly-recognized faculty educators work closely with our undergraduate students throughout their years at UVM as they become excellent scientists and innovative, critical thinkers.  At LCOM, our faculty are closely engaged with teaching and training medical students, as well as graduate students, in our Cellular, Molecular and Biomedical Sciences (CMB) Ph.D. program and Medical Master’s program.

MMG faculty are highly focused on research, which spans from basic-science inquiry in the fields of Microbiology; Cell, Molecular and Structural biology; to applied and translational research in human immunology, vaccine, and bioinformatics and genetics. The department hosts a nationally recognized team that is exploring the mechanisms of DNA Repair, research that is critically important to human diseases, including cancer. The recent addition of the UVM Vaccine Testing Center team to MMG complements our research portfolio by adding significant new depth in clinical and translational  human immunology and vaccinology, as well as U.S. - based and international clinical trials, all with a focus on preventing and controlling infectious diseases of global importance.

Thank you for your interest in MMG. We look forward to hearing from you!

Beth Kirkpatrick, M.D.
Professor and Chair, Department of Microbiology and Molecular Genetics
Director, Vaccine Testing Center

Undergraduate Programs

Smiling Student in Lab

Whether you're seeking a B.S. or a M.S. in Microbiology or Molecular Genetics, you'll find our department has broad teaching and research strengths ranging from molecular, structural, and computational biology to cellular and pathogenic microbiology and immunology. You will have access to a rich course curriculum and research laboratories where experienced and supportive faculty will guide your research and help you sharpen your scientific communication skills.

Learn more about our undergraduate programs.


Salmonella in petri dish

Our research addresses fundamental questions in eukaryotic and prokaryotic cell and molecular biology, using the methods of microbiology, genetics, biochemistry, bioinformatics, and structural biology. Unique opportunities await students majoring in Microbiology or Molecular Genetics at UVM. Our faculty give each student the individual attention necessary to help them succeed. Learn more about our faculty research and laboratories.

Vaccines & Human Immunology

VTC researcher with mother and baby in Dhaka

The Vaccine Testing Center (VTC) studies human vaccines with the goal of understanding and preventing infectious diseases around the globe.  We are a diverse team of clinicians, scientists, laboratory personnel and study coordinators. Our lab team focus on understanding immune correlates of protection and how humans respond to vaccine and defend themselves from infection and disease. Learn more about the VTC.

Upcoming Seminar

Varicella-zoster virus: molecular controls of cell fusion-dependent pathogenesis

Stefan L. Oliver, Ph.D.
Stanford School of Medicine, Stanford University

Date: February 27, 2019
Time: 9:30 am — 10:30 am
Place: Davis Auditorium, Medical Education Pavilion, UVM 


Janet Murray, PhD

Inducted into LCOM Teaching Academy

Janet Murray, PhD, Master Teacher

(Dr. Beth Kirkpatrick, MMG Chair; Dr. Janet Murray, Master Teacher; Dr. Katie Huggett, Director of the Teaching Academy)

On January 31st, 2019 Janet Murray, PhD, was the first faculty of the Department of Microbiology and Molecular Genetics (MMG) to be inducted into the Larner College of Medicine’s Teaching Academy. Representing her extensive expertise in curricular development and dedication to teaching across the state of Vermont, Dr. Murray was inducted as a “Master Teacher,” one of six faculty to meet this membership level at the Teaching Academy. A total of twenty-nine inductees were honored at the Induction and Award Ceremony.

Dr. Murray joined the MMG faculty in 2017 and serves on the Education-Scholar Pathway. In addition to teaching fundamental coursework as part of the Microbiology and Molecular Genetics majors, she now director of the CALS Honors College, as of January 2019. Prior to joining MMG, Dr. Murray was Director of professional development and education at the Vermont Genetics Network, and also previously served as the Director of the Outreach Core at VGN. She is received her PHD in Microbiology and Molecular Genetics in 2000 and her B.S. in Biochemistry at the University of New Hampshire.

The Larner College of Medicine Teaching Academy sustains and supports an interdisciplinary community of educators. Its mission is to lead educational innovation and scholarship by promoting faculty members’ pursuit of educational excellence and scholarship. 

Congratulations to Dr. Janet Murray!