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  • Ed Miao selected as Yang Biomedical Scholar

      Congratulations to M&I Associate Professor Ed Miao, who is one of this year’s recipients of the Yang Family Biomedical Scholars Award. These annual awards were established by Yuanqing Yang to honor some of the most promising recently tenured faculty at UNC’s School of Medicine.

  • Farewell to Tom Kawula

      An academic leadership opportunity located near his boyhood home was too much to resist for M&I Professor Tom Kawula, who has been on the UNC faculty for nearly 25 years. During that time, Tom has built an international reputation for his research on bacterial pathogens including Haemophilus ducreyi and Francisella tularensis. He has also … Read more

  • de Silva lab selected for EU’s Horizon 2020 Zika initiative

    The UNC School of Medicine was one of two U.S. institutions named to an international research consortium funded through the European Union’s Horizon 2020 Programme, which invested $49 million in Zika research and vaccine development at more than 20 laboratories in Europe and Brazil.

  • 2016 Postdoctoral Mentoring Award: Aravinda de Silva

    Congratulations to Aravinda de Silva for being selected as a recipient of the 2016 Outstanding Mentor Award from UNC’s Office of Postdoctoral Affairs. This campus-wide award “recognizes a faculty member or advisor who has engaged in exceptional mentoring of postdoctoral scholars.” A recognition ceremony, marking the end of National Postdoctoral Appreciation Week, will be held … Read more

  • Stan Lemon and colleagues: A mouse model of type A hepatitis

    A new Science Magazine report describes the first non-primate mammalian model of infection for hepatitis A virus, providing insights into the mechanisms restricting host range and modulating innate immune responses. The work is a collaboration between the labs of M&I Professors Stan Lemon, Jason Whitmire, Jenny Ting, and colleagues at UNC and NCSU. UNC researchers … Read more

  • Clyde Hutchison, Then and Now

    An article in the August issue of The Scientist profiles the life and career of M&I Professor Emeritus Clyde Hutchison: Clyde A. Hutchison III: Genome Sequencer and Synthetic Biologist

  • Baric & colleagues: Immunotherapy for Zika

      Research from the labs of M&I Professors Ralph Baric, Mark Heise, and Aravinda de Silva demonstrates how cross-reacting antibodies from convalescent dengue patients may help protect against Zika virus: Antibodies from dengue virus survivors can be used to prevent Zika infection

  • Victor Garcia-Martinez honored as Smithies Investigator

      Congratulations to M&I Professor J. Victor Garcia, who has just been named one of the first Smithies Investigators at UNC. This annual award was established to recognize highly accomplished senior faculty members and honors UNC Nobel Prize winner Oliver Smithies. See the story at the link below. Mohlke, Garcia-Martinez named Smithies Investigators

  • Five questions for Blossom Damania

      M&I Professor Blossom Damania talks about past and future career challenges as she begins her new role as Vice Dean for Research at the School of Medicine . . . see the UNC News article at the link below. Finding the Next Step

  • Remembering the life and career of Ron Taylor, 1953-2016

      In the article at the link below, our colleague Victor DiRita captured the spirit and emotions at a Dartmouth memorial service for our good friend Ron Taylor, who died unexpectedly at the age of 62. Like so many people, I have many fond memories of Ron, whose enthusiasm for microbiology and genetics touched the … Read more

  • Research Triangle Park roundtables on Zika virus research and response

    On June 7th, RTI International sat roundtable to discuss North Carolina’s role in Zika virus research and prevention. Representative David Price (NC-4) provided opening remarks. The discussion brought together leading researchers and policy makers to examine the science of Zika, the evolving response, research necessary to confront the virus, and childhood development implications. The first … Read more

  • Blossom Damania: Vice Dean for Research

      Congratulations to M&I Professor Blossom Damania, who will replace Terry Magnuson as the Vice Dean for Research at the UNC School of Medicine. Blossom’s experience as Assistant Dean in the Office of Research during the last two years has prepared her for the many responsibilities that come with this important leadership role. Read more … Read more

  • UNC and the National Microbiome Initiative

      M&I Professors Jeff Dangl and Balfour Sartor are featured in this news story about how the breadth of microbiome research at UNC fits with the National Microbiome Initiative ( announced last week by the the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy. Maximizing Microbiome Knowledge

  • John Schwab, 1927-2016

    I know that many of you will be sad to hear that John Schwab passed away on Sunday, May 1. John was a highly respected and beloved member of the M&I faculty from 1953 until his retirement in 1995. His research pioneered the use of experimental animal models to study how bacterial cell wall components … Read more

  • UNC and the Zika virus outbreak

    M&I faculty members Helen Lazear, Aravinda de Silva, Mike Cohen, and Ralph Baric are featured in an article and a podcast about the challenges facing scientists and health professionals as they confront Zika virus. Article: Podcast:

  • Tamayo lab: Reality TV or real microbiology?

    Check out the UNC Channel on LabTV ( to watch mini-documentaries on M&I faculty member Rita Tamayo and students/postdocs from her lab, including Brandon Anjuwon-Foster, Robert McKee, Erin Purcell, Adam Spaulding, and Ankunda Kariisa. They talk about what they currently study and why, how they got interested in microbiology, their long-term goals, and advice for … Read more

  • Lazear and colleagues: A new mouse model for Zika virus infection

    A new study from M&I Assistant Professor Helen Lazear, just published in Cell Host & Microbe, shows that mice lacking interferon α/β signaling can serve as a model of Zika virus disease. See the UNC News story at the link below.

  • Congratulations to our award-winning M&I graduate students!

    A wide variety of external awards to M&I graduate students were featured at the Annual Graduate Student Recognition Celebration on April 14 (

  • More about the G. Philip Manire Award

    The Manire Awards for the most significant and impressive doctoral research projects are given in memory of Dr. G. Philip Manire, a friend and mentor to many people in the Department of Microbiology & Immunology. Phil served as Chair from 1966 to 1979, years that were marked by a major growth in faculty and international … Read more

  • Jenna Honeycutt receives 2016 G. Philip Manire Graduate Student Excellence in Research Award

    The Department of Microbiology and Immunology is pleased to announce that Jenna Honeycutt, PhD, is the 2016 recipient of the G. Philip Manire Graduate Student Excellence in Research Award. For her dissertation work in J. Victor Garcia‘s lab, Jenna clarified the human cell types infected by HIV. HIV causes AIDS by targeting cells of the … Read more

  • Ting lab: Role of NLRX1 in suppressing tumorigenesis

    A new Cell Reports article from M&I Professor Jenny Ting’s lab: UNC researchers discover colorectal cancer biomarker, potential personalized treatment

  • Baric lab: SARS-like WIV1-CoV poised for human emergence

      A new PNAS article from M&I Professor Ralph Baric’s lab: UNC epidemiology study: New SARS-like virus may be nearly ready to infect humans

  • Garcia lab: Macrophage-tropic HIV strains

      A new Journal of Clinical Investigation article from M&I Professor J. Victor Garcia‘s lab uses humanized mouse models to demonstrate that macrophages can sustain HIV replication in the absence of T cells. The first author of the study is Jenna Honeycutt, former M&I graduate student. See the story at the link below: UNC School … Read more

  • Penny Anders wins Sharp Graduate Innovator Award

    Congratulations to Penny Anders, winner of the 2016 D. Gordon Sharp Graduate Innovator Award. As part of her dissertation work in Blossom Damania’s lab, Penny explored how Kaposi’s Sarcoma Herpesvirus (KSHV) manipulates host signaling pathways to promote various cancers (Kaposi’s sarcoma, primary effusion lymphoma, multicentric Castleman’s disease). Penny’s first project examined the molecular mechanism by … Read more

  • More about the D. Gordon Sharp Graduate Innovator Award

    The award that Penny Anders just received honors the memory of Dr. D. Gordon Sharp, a former Professor of Microbiology and Immunology at UNC. During his career, Dr. Sharp was widely recognized for his innovation, his curiosity and the breadth of his thinking. He was a pioneer in both electron microscopy and high-speed centrifugation that … Read more

  • Dirk Dittmer and Victor Garcia elected as Fellows of the American Academy of Microbiology

    The American Academy of Microbiology (AAM), the honorific leadership group within the American Society for Microbiology (ASM), just announced that M&I Professors Dirk Dittmer and J. Victor Garcia-Martinez have been elected as 2016 Fellows. Selection for fellowship is a highly competitive annual peer review process, based on scientific achievement and original contributions that have advanced … Read more

  • Peggy Cotter elected as 2017-18 President of the American Society for Microbiology

      Congratulations to M&I Professor Peggy Cotter, who is the winner of a national election for the President of ASM! Though there’s no official announcement yet, ASM CEO Stefano Bertuzzi tweeted the news and included a picture of Peggy celebrating with current ASM President Lynn Enquist: Twitter And here’s the UNC News story:

  • GSA interview with Josh Hall

      M&I graduate Joshua Hall was featured in the Genes to Genomes blog (from the Genetics Society of America) about his transition from bench science to a career that involves directing a postbac program and science outreach initiatives at UNC. Oh, and don’t forget the Hello PhD podcast for scientists! Read more at the link … Read more

  • Terry Magnuson: UNC’s new Vice Chancellor for Research

      As the Chair of Genetics and the Vice Dean of Research at the School of Medicine, Terry Magnuson has been an active partner in M&I’s efforts to expand research faculty and resources. He will now step down from those roles as he transitions to his new job as UNC’s Vice Chancellor for Research, replacing … Read more

  • Garcia lab: ART and science of HIV persistence

    In a new article in the Journal of Clinical Investigation, M&I Professor J. Victor Garcia and colleagues use humanized mice to understand how antiretroviral therapy (ART) affects HIV persistence in women. See the UNC News article: Antiretroviral Therapy Reduces HIV in the Female Reproductive Tract

  • Kawula lab: A new mechanism for direct cell-to-cell spread of pathogenic bacteria

      Research from the lab of M&I Professor Tom Kawula demonstrates that Francisella tularensis can move between host cells by accelerating the natural cytosolic transfer process called trogocytosis. See the UNC News story about their article in eLife: UNC School of Medicine scientists discover new way bacterial infections spread in the body

  • More about Zika virus: Helen Lazear on All Things Considered

      M&I Assistant Professor Helen Lazear and colleagues talk with NPR’s Nell Greenfieldboyce about the new challenges of Zika virus research. Listen to the report at the link below: Virus Profilers Race To Figure Out What Makes Zika Tick   TIME article: And a new JAMA “Viewpoint” article from Helen Lazear and Aravinda de … Read more

  • Zika virus

    Great TWIV podcast, everything we know and need to know about Zika virus. Must listening for ob/gyn doctors, science writers, pregnant women, travelers, policy makers. Great guest speakers including virologist UNC-CH Assistant Professor Helen Lazear. TWiV 375: Zika and you will find   Helen also spoke about Zika during the VIP (Virology in Progress) seminar … Read more

  • The future of Mary Ellen Jones

      For nearly four decades, the Mary Ellen Jones Building (originally called FLOB for Faculty Laboratory Office Building) was home to the Department of Microbiology & Immunology. Renovation plans, which included a long-awaited upgrade in M&I space, dissolved with the economic collapse of 2008. Nearly eight years later, Mary Ellen Jones is finally getting reconstructive … Read more

  • Thomson Reuters names Jenny Ting and Jeffery Dangl to the 2015 list of “The World’s Most Influential Scientific Minds”

      Congratulations to M&I Professors Jenny Ting and Jeff Dangl for earning the “Highly Cited Researchers” distinction from Thomson Reuters. The names on this list were determined by (i) identifying those who published the greatest number of highly cited papers during 2003-2014, and (ii) identifying authors of papers published during 2013-2014 that were cited at … Read more