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  • Photos from the M&I Holiday Party!

    Thanks to our photographer, Virginia Miller, for the pictures you can view at the link below: M&I Holiday Party 2015

  • A Thanksgiving story about Bruce Cairns

    M&I Professor Bruce Cairns talks about survival and recovery after his sudden cardiac arrest in September; see the News & Observer article at the link below. A Thanksgiving story about Bruce Cairns

  • Su and Whitmire labs: Epigenetic control of immunity to chronic viral infections

    The story behind a new Immunity paper from M&I faculty members Maureen Su and Jason Whitmire — a UNC News article at the link below. Team Science for Turner Syndrome  

  • Baric lab: Circulating bat coronaviruses and the risk of SARS re-emergence

    See the STAT news story about the latest paper from M&I Professor Ralph Baric’s group, just out in Nature Medicine SARS-like virus in bats shows potential to infect humans Viruses that are related to SARS and that are found in some species of bats could become a source of future human outbreaks, according to … Read more

  • Blossom Damania on TWiV

    Vincent Racaniello features M&I Professor Blossom Damania on his latest podcast, This Week in Virology. Listen to the interview at the link below. TWiV 359: A Blossom by any other name  

  • Yisong Wan and Maureen Su selected as Yang Biomedical Scholars

    Congratulations to M&I faculty members Yisong Wan and Maureen Su, who are inaugural recipients of the Yang Family Biomedical Scholars Award. These annual awards were established by Mr. Yuanqing Yang, the CEO of Lenovo, to recognize some of the most promising recently tenured faculty at UNC’s School of Medicine. Yisong and Maureen will have the … Read more

  • Aziz Sancar: Nobel Prize in Chemistry!

    Congratulations to our UNC colleague Aziz Sancar, Professor of Biochemistry & Biophysics, who has just been awarded the 2015 Nobel Prize in Chemistry “for mechanistic studies of DNA repair.” See

  • Margolis lab: Immunotherapy and HIV infection

    A bi-specific antibody molecule is the basis for a new strategy to kill HIV-infected cells, as described in a Journal of Clinical Investigation article from M&I Professor David Margolis and colleagues. See the story at the link below. DART Protein Shows Potential as Shock-and-Kill Strategy Against HIV – Institute for Global Health & Infectious Diseases

  • Welcome, new PhD students!

    We’ve welcomed 79 new graduate students in UNC’s Biological and Biomedical Sciences Program (BBSP). They will spend most of this academic year doing research rotations and taking classes as they decide which lab and Department to join for their dissertation research and predoctoral training. Read comments from some of those students – including four who … Read more

  • Clinical spotlight on M&I faculty

    • Jon Serody has been named to the 2015 Newsweek Top Cancer Doctors list: • Bruce Cairns discusses how a Duke Endowment grant will help fund a telemedicine network to connect hospital emergency departments to the NC Jaycee Burn Center in Chapel Hill: • Dave Margolis is interviewed on “The State of Things” … Read more

  • Farewell to Tony Richardson

    After seven years on the UNC faculty, M&I Associate Professor Tony Richardson has moved to the University of Pittsburgh. Tony has been an integral part of the Department’s growth and activity in the area of microbial pathogenesis His research on Staphylococcus aureus is wide-ranging, spanning immunometabolism to pathogen evolution. His work has been recognized with … Read more

  • Cohen and colleagues: Breaking the cycle of HIV transmission

    At the 8th International AIDS Society Conference today, M&I Professor Mike Cohen reported on the long-term effectiveness of antiretroviral therapy in preventing HIV transmission in heterosexual couples. See the News & Observer article at the link below. UNC researchers: Drug cocktails can stop sexual transmission of HIV

  • Dangl lab: Plant immune signaling and the microbiome

    July’s issue of Science includes a report from the lab of M&I Professor Jeff Dangl and is featured in the UNC News article at the link below. Plant defense hormones help sculpt root microbiome – UNC News

  • Cary C. Boshamer Distinguished Professorship awarded to Blossom Damania

    Congratulations to Blossom Damania, who has just been named the Cary C. Boshamer Distinguished Professor of Microbiology & Immunology. These endowed professorships were established in 1969 by Cary Carlisle Boshamer, a member of the class of 1917. Boshamer was a textile industrialist and a generous donor to UNC, and his gifts included the Diamond Heels … Read more

  • May-June M&I reading list

    Twenty-two new basic and translational research articles, reviews, and commentaries from M&I labs have been posted at! You can browse them all or you can filter by PI. The list at the link below is updated daily and now includes 122 recent publications by 53 M&I groups.

  • Ting lab: Defining the roles of innate immune sensor AIM2

    AIM2 is well known to be involved in activation of the inflammasome, but how AIM2 is linked to tumor suppression is not well understood. A new Nature Medicine article from M&I Professor Jenny Ting’s group shows that AIM2-mediated restriction of tumorigenesis in colitis-associated colon cancer is through a mechanism that is independent of inflammasome activation … Read more

  • Steve Bachenheimer: 40 years at UNC

    M&I Professor Steve Bachenheimer was honored on June 12 at a retirement luncheon celebrating his faculty years at UNC. Over 60 guests heard Gail Wertz, Jack Griffith, Ron Swanstrom, Dirk Dittmer, Nat Moorman, and Steve’s son, Aaron, pay tribute to Steve’s life and career. Thanks to Jack for capturing some wonderful candid photos, which you … Read more

  • Faculty profile: Jenny Ting

    M&I Professor Jenny Ting reflects on her career and research directions, past and present, in a UNC News feature at the link below. Leading immune system discovery at the molecular level

  • Faculty profile: Fred Sparling

    An article on former M&I Chair Fred Sparling discusses his career choices before and during his long history at UNC. This year, Fred was selected to give the Kober Lecture at the joint meeting of the American Society for Clinical Investigation and the Association of American Physicians. The Kober Lectureship is the AAP’s highest honor, … Read more

  • Expanding the Flow Cytometry Core Facility

    n the UNC News article at the link below, M&I Professor Nancy Fisher discusses new equipment and capabilities for the Flow Cytometry Core, which will be moving into Marsico Hall soon. Flow Cytometry Core Facility Secures Equipment Grants

  • Welcome, new M&I graduate students!

    It’s that time of year when graduate students, having finished their research rotations, choose both a laboratory and a doctoral program to complete the requirements for their PhD. M&I is one of 14 doctoral programs that are selected by students who have been admitted through one of two interdisciplinary portals: the Biological and Biomedical Sciences … Read more

  • The replication of DNA Day

    M&I alumnus Josh Hall, Director of UNC’s postbac program PREP, is also the organizer of the annual NC DNA Day, an innovative science outreach initiative. On April 24, UNC graduate students and postdocs served as “ambassadors” to high schools throughout North Carolina, talking to teenagers about science and the life of scientists. The DNA Day … Read more

  • Congratulations to M&I 2014-2015 Graduates! (Part 3 of 3)

    May 2015 Graduate degree candidates: Lydia Aybar successfully defended her dissertation in July 2014. Lydia’s research, conducted in the laboratory of Ronald Falk, revealed that reduced numbers of regulatory B cells in patients with active anti-neutrophil cytoplasmic autoantibody-associated (ANCA) vasculitis permit increased circulating autoantibodies. Dr. Aybar is currently a postdoc at UNC’s Kidney Center, continuing … Read more

  • Congratulations to M&I 2014-2015 Graduates! (Part 2 of 3)

    December 2014 Graduates: Justin Callaway successfully defended his dissertation in October 2014. Justin conducted his research in the lab of Dr. Jenny Ting. His research identified that dengue virus immune complexes induce elevated inflammatory cytokine expression by activating a signaling axis through spleen tyrosine kinase and extracellular signal-regulated kinases 1 and 2. Dr. Callaway will … Read more

  • Congratulations to M&I 2014-2015 Graduates! (Part 1 of 3)

    Sixteen M&I graduate students completed their PhD work during this past academic year and are eligible to participate in the doctoral hooding ceremony at the Dean Smith Center on May 9. Below are short summaries of their doctoral work and current activities/plans. August 2014 Graduates: Myra dela Pena graduated in August 2014. Her doctoral research … Read more

  • Faculty highlight: Teresa Tarrant

    A short video interview with M&I faculty member Terri Tarrant is featured on the current homepage of the Rheumatology Research Foundation’s website. After navigating to the link below, scroll down to “Meet the Researchers” to hear about some of the things that have inspired Terri’s interests in autoimmunity.

  • Nikolas Stasulli wins Sharp Graduate Innovator Award

    Congratulations to Nik Stasulli, winner of the 2015 D. Gordon Sharp Graduate Innovator Award. As part of his dissertation work in Bill Goldman’s lab, Nik has focused on neutrophil involvement in the process of inflammatory lesion development during pneumonic plague. This work involved fully virulent strains of Yersinia pestis and respiratory infections of mice in … Read more

  • Jon Hagar receives G. Philip Manire Graduate Student Excellence in Research Award

    The Department of Microbiology and Immunology announced that Jon Hagar is the 2015 G. Philip Manire Graduate Student Excellence in Research Award recipient. For his dissertation work in Ed Miao’s lab, Jon has sought to understand how the innate immune system interacts with microbial pathogens and how the immune system becomes dysfunctional during sepsis. Jon’s … Read more

  • Faculty profile: Bruce Cairns

    Before M&I Professor Bruce Cairns became an immunologist, he was a Lieutenant Commander in the Navy. See the link below to learn about how his military experiences influenced his career and the development of the Advanced Medic Instructor Training program and the new Physicians Assistant program at UNC.   Returning the Favor

  • More M&I graduate student awards!

    A wide variety of external awards to M&I graduate students will be featured at the Annual Graduate Student Recognition Celebration ( Winners of national fellowships and research awards: Jennifer McGraw (Heise lab): NRSA Fellowship (F31), National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases Brandon Anjuwon-Foster (Tamayo lab): NRSA Fellowship (F31), National Institute of Allergy and Infectious … Read more

  • Megan Meyer to receive GEAB Impact Award

    The UNC Graduate School has just announced that Megan Meyer, a graduate student working in the lab of M&I Professor Ilona Jaspers, is one of the winners of the 2014 Impact Awards. The Impact Awards recognize outstanding graduate students in a wide variety of research areas and are privately funded each year through the Graduate … Read more

  • Meet Gianpietro Dotti, M&I’s newest faculty member

    Gianpietro Dotti and his wife, Barbara Savoldo, are already well-recognized for their research on immunotherapy. Thanks to a dual faculty recruitment spearheaded by M&I Professor Jon Serody, they have just moved from the Baylor College of Medicine to UNC, where their new labs are located in Marsico Hall. See the UNC News article about their … Read more

  • Graduate student profile: Jon Hagar

    In this UNC Newsroom article, Jon discusses his choices of graduate school and Ed Miao’s lab, as well as his research on how cells detect and respond to endotoxin. See the interview at the link below.   Detecting the Sensors

  • Shank lab: Antibiotics as bacterial signals

    In an article just published in PNAS Early Edition (, Beth Shank’s group demonstrates that antibiotics produced by Bacillus cereus can signal other bacteria to form biofilms, a function that is distinct from the well-known antibacterial properties of these thiazolyl peptides. See the UNC News article at the link below. Antibiotics give rise to new … Read more

  • Sharon Rone retiring after 19 years in M&I

    The Department of Microbiology and Immunology has lost one of their most dedicated and beloved administrators, Sharon Rone, who retired after 19 years in the department, and 31 years at UNC. Sharon has dedicated her career to helping M&I faculty – she first served as the chair’s administrative assistant, then moved on to be the … Read more

  • Lemon lab: How a microRNA regulates viral RNA synthesis vs. translation

    In this new study of hepatitis C virus, M&I Professor Stan Lemon’s group demonstrates that miR-122, a liver-specific microRNA, reduces the proportion of HCV genomes involved in translation while increasing the fraction available for RNA synthesis. See the Cell Host & Microbe article at

  • Miller lab: What happens after the bite

    A new intradermal injection model, simulating the flea bite that initiates bubonic plague, is featured in a PLOS Pathogens article from M&I Professor Virginia Miller’s group. Combining bacterial genetics and confocal microscopy, they follow Yersinia pestis as it attempts to disseminate to the lymph nodes. The work shatters longstanding dogma that a phagocyte “Trojan Horse” … Read more

  • Susan Fiscus: 25 years at UNC

    M&I Professor Susan Fiscus was honored at a retirement party hosted by UNC’s Institute for Global Health & Infectious Diseases. See the link below to read about her career as Director of the Retrovirology Core Laboratory.   Susan Fiscus Retires after 25 Years at UNC – Institute for Global Health & Infectious…

  • The Bugs in Your Drugs

    That’s the title of a new Endeavors article that features M&I faculty members Beth Shank and Rita Tamayo, who discuss how their research is helping to identify and study natural bacterial products that could be important in developing new therapeutics. See the article by Susan Hardy at

  • Myron Cohen honored with Alumni Association’s Faculty Service Award

    Congratulations to M&I Professor Mike Cohen, selected by the UNC General Alumni Association as one of the three recipients of the 2015 Faculty Service Award. For more about Mike’s accomplishments, see the UNC News article at the link below.   Medical, public health and writing professors honored by alumni association for service to…

  • Ting lab: Nanoparticle vaccines

    A recent PNAS article is the result of a collaboration between M&I Professor Jenny Ting’s lab and Joe DeSimone’s group, who pioneered Particle Replication in Nonwetting Templates (PRINT) technology. Their study of immune responses to protein-loaded nanoparticles has potential for the development of next-generation inhalable vaccines. See the article at the link below, which includes … Read more

  • Wan lab: Smad4 control of T cell function

    Just published online in Immunity: Yisong Wan’s group demonstrates that Smad4 can regulate T cell proliferation independent of TGF-β, presumably by integrating a number of other signaling pathways. The work has implications for inflammation, automimmunity, and tumor immune surveillance. See the article at

  • In the news: David Margolis

    “Can AIDS Be Cured?” features M&I Professor Dave Margolis and his Collaboratory’s “shock and kill” strategy as a new therapeutic approach. See the article in the Dec. 22 issue of The New Yorker at the link below.   Can AIDS Be Cured? | The New Yorker Researchers get closer to outwitting a killer. Jerome … Read more

  • Myron Cohen presents 2014 Norma Berryhill Lecture

    If you missed M&I Professor Mike Cohen’s Berryhill Lecture on October 22 at the Carolina Club, navigate to the link below for a complete video. It includes some background on Norma Berryhill as well as Dean Roper’s introduction to Mike’s talk.   2014 Norma Berryhill Lecture – The Rise and Fall of HIV Disease: A … Read more

  • Blossom Damania – Assistant Dean for Research

    Congratulations to M&I Professor Blossom Damania, who is now working with the Office of Research to develop and strengthen research resources throughout the School of Medicine. See the news article at the link below.   Damania appointed Assistant Dean for Research Blossom Damania, PhD, professor of microbiology and immunology, has been named Assistant Dean … Read more

  • In the news: Jeff Dangl

    Comments from M&I Professor Jeff Dangl in an AP story on the evolution of coffee ( and a National Geographic article on agricultural genetic engineering and the plant microbiome (   The buzz on caffeine in coffee: A genetic WASHINGTON (AP) — Scientists have woken up and smelled the coffee — and analyzed its … Read more

  • NPR story about virus gain of function studies and the impact of recent rules on the Baric lab

  • U.S. News “Best Global Universities” ranks UNC Microbiology & Immunology 6th among its peers

    For the first time, U.S. News has published rankings of the “Best Global Universities,” designed to provide international context for a university’s academic research and reputation. Surveys and metrics were used to rank the top 500 institutions spanning 49 countries and also to assess the strengths of 21 subject areas. For the subject area of … Read more

  • Martha Clark receives G. Philip Manire Graduate Student Excellence in Research Award

    The Department of Microbiology and Immunology is pleased to announce that Martha Clark, a graduate student in the lab of Steve Meshnick and Carla Hand, is the 2014 G. Philip Manire Graduate Student Excellence in Research Award recipient. 

Martha’s doctoral research has focused on how host iron status affects Plasmodium falciparum and the susceptibility … Read more