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Greetings from the Chair

Beth Kirkpatrick, MDI welcome you to the Department of Microbiology and Molecular Genetics (MMG). MMG 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


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.

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.

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 teams focus on understanding immune correlates of protection and how humans respond to vaccines and defend themselves from infection and disease. Learn more about the VTC.


Douglas Johnson, Ph.D. 

Named to LCOM Teaching

Academy as  a Distinguished Educator 

Vice Chair of MMG

We are pleased to announce that MMG Professor Doug Johnson, Ph.D., has been accepted into the LCOM Teaching Academy as a “Distinguished Educator,” the highest level of membership. He is also the first in this category from a basic science department. The mission of the Teaching Academy is to become a community of educators that leads educational innovation and scholarship by promoting faculty members' pursuit of educational excellence and scholarship.

Professor Johnson was also recently named Vice Chair for Undergraduate Education in the Department of Microbiology and Molecular Genetics and has been a faculty member in MMG since 1988. During his tenure here, he has taught graduate students, postdoctoral trainees, medical students, and laboratory technicians, as well as thousands of undergraduate students. He has designed and directed courses and entire majors and has personally advised and mentored over 200 undergraduates, 130 honors students (per year), and 82 laboratory researchers. He has also won several teaching awards, from the CALS Joseph H. Carrigan Award (2004) to the UVM Kroepsch-Maurice Excellence in Teaching Award (2008).
After leading the undergraduate programs at MMG for sixteen years and serving as the Director of the CALS Honors Program and CALS Associate Dean for Academic Programs, Dr. Johnson became Vice-Chair of Undergraduate Education for MMG in January of 2019. In this role, he has already led the revival of MMG’s 5-year B.S/Master’s program, helped formulate new undergraduate courses and programs in Biomedical Methods, Bioterrorism, Bioinformatics, and Cancer Genetics, and led our initiatives to hire and mentor the next generation of Educator-Scholar faculty at MMG.
Thank you for all of your hard work and congratulations, Doug!