Department of Microbiology

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Graduate Education and Training

Microbiology graduate students are associated with the Microbiology/ Virology/ Parasitology track (MVP) track of the Cell and Molecular Biology Graduate Group (CAMB) the Immunology Graduate Group (IGG) or the Genomics and Computational Biology Graduate Group. All three graduate groups draw Penn faculty from the schools of Medicine, Veterinary Medicine, Dental Medicine, and Arts and Sciences, as well as investigators at the adjacent Wistar Institute, the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia and the Fox Chase Cancer Center. Approximately 100 students are currently working towards their Ph.D. degrees in the field of microbiology.

There are also a large number of postdoctoral fellows training for careers in microbiology. Postdoctoral fellows are encouraged to participate in mentoring programs organized by the Department and by Biomedical Postdoctoral Programs. Nine NIH-funded training grants help support both pre- and postdoctoral trainees in microbiology.

Throughout their training students and postdoctoral fellows participate in a variety of seminars and mentoring programs. These seminars include a Tuesday noon Virology Seminar series in which students and postdoctoral fellows present their work, the Wednesday noon Microbiology Seminar series and the Tuesday afternoon Immunology Colloquium, both of which bring prominent visiting scientists to campus, a Friday noon Prokaryotic Seminar series in which outside speakers alternate with presentations given by students and postdoctoral fellows, and our Parasitology Seminar series that meets every Monday. There are also a series of interest groups that meet monthly, including neurovirology, bacteriology, immunology, pathogen immunology and tumor virology.

Special events include the Nathanson Lectureship that is given each spring, an Alumni Day each semester in which a former Penn student or postdoc returns to campus to give a seminar and to meet with students, and various one-day research retreats held by individual Graduate Groups, Centers and Institutes such as the Center for AIDS Research and the Abramson Cancer Center, giving students and postdoctoral fellows an opportunity to meet and interact with colleagues from throughout the campus.

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