Join us in investigating the importance of interactions between microbes, their hosts and the immune system in human health and disease.

As a student in the Immunology & Microbiology Graduate Program at Baylor College of Medicine, you will receive a personalized, inquiry-based education and actively acquire a sophisticated understanding of basic and translational immunology and microbiology problems and state-of-the-art techniques.  We also emphasize the development of critical thinking, creativity, and problem-solving skills necessary for diverse scientific careers. Our interdisciplinary faculty members have diverse research interests that span many aspects of basic, translational, and clinical immunology and microbiology.  This broad spectrum of topics provides rich opportunities for collaborative and interdisciplinary thesis projects at the cutting-edge of training in these fields.

2016 Annual Retreat (372x158)

Diverse Perspectives

Our program draws together faculty members with shared interests in immunology and microbiology to provide a diversity of scientific perspectives. 

Britton lab 070215 (372x158)

Where will your Ph.D. take you?

Our graduates have gone on to build successful careers in academia, industry, law, consulting and more. Whatever your vision for your career entails, we will provide the training, resources and support to help you realize your ambition. 

Immunology & Microbiology News

Heart NLRP3 inflammasome linked to atrial fibrillation

Atrial fibrillation is the most common heart arrhythmia that can increase a person’s risks for stroke and related heart problems. BCM researchers set out to determine whether inflammatory signaling could be playing a causative role in atrial fibrillation. They found that the activation of an inflammasome pathway in heart cells can affect many proteins that are involved in modulating the electrophysiology of cardiac cells. Enhancing this pathway ultimately leads to abnormal electrical patterns that are similar to those observed in atrial fibrillation in the mouse model.

David vs Goliath: how a small molecule can defeat asthma attacks

Corry’s laboratory has been studying asthma for about 20 years. One of their interests is to better understand the molecular pathways that drive airway constriction.

credit: National Cancer Institute
Fighting back lymphoma resistance to treatment

BCM researchers genetically modified tumor-directed T cells so they cannot be affected by the inhibitory TGFβ signals of the tumor environment. They worked with T cells specifically directed at lymphoma caused by Epstein-Barr virus (EBV).

credit: National Human Genome Institute/ Darryl Leja
Friend and foe: Histamine mediates allergies and can fight colorectal cancer

Previous studies have shown that histamine is not only involved in allergic disease, it also may have a potential antitumor effect. BCM researchers investigated whether the probiotic Lactobacillus reuteri 6475, which is able to generate histamine, had the ability to reduce the frequency and severity of inflammation-associated colorectal cancer in mice that were not able to produce histamine on their own.

A closer look at how elephants fight herpesvirus

For the first time, researchers at Baylor College of Medicine have been able to identify T cell immune responses directed against EEHV, and this could be the first steps in developing an effective vaccine for this deadly disease.

credit: CDC/Jessica A. Allen/Alissa Eckert
Type of injury matters, when healing the small intestine

New insights into how the small intestine, one of the fastest renewing tissues in the human body, repairs itself are prompting the re-evaluation of the healing process.  Dr. Mary Estes, student Winnie Zou and colleagues are particularly interested in the healing of intestinal injuries caused by rotavirus infection.  They found that triggers that were previously thought to be unimportant are actually essential for repairing virus-caused injury.

credit: Center for Disease Control and Prevention/James Archer
Bacteria can have a ‘sweet tooth,’ too

Clostridium difficile infections have always been a problem in hospitals, but during the last 15 years they have become the most common cause of hospital-acquired infections in developed countries. This problem is one of the research interests of the lab of Dr. Robert Britton where researchers have discovered what seems to have prompted C. difficile to become a superbug.

From the Labs to Commercialization: the Estes lab and ImmuCell Success Story

After more than 20 years of research, discoveries from a BCM lab successfully resulted in a vaccine against rotavirus, triggered the interest of an industry partner, ImmuCell, and were ultimately developed into a final product that has been approved and is available for use in the U.S.

From the Labs

Subscribe to the From the Labs blog to keep up-to-date on all the latest research news from BCM.