Molecular Microbiology

Focusing on pathogen - host interaction

Apply to Micro

Focusing on pathogen - host interaction

Apply to Micro

Molecular Microbiology Program Guide

The Molecular Microbiology program is designed to prepare students for exciting careers in biomedical science with a strong emphasis on microbes and their interaction with their hosts. Research focused on bacteria, viruses, parasites and fungi as well as fundamental molecular microbial genetics are at the core of our training.

The Molecular Microbiology program participates fully in the MS in Biomedical Research.

Our graduate program is supported by two NIH T32 training grants, one that supports the MERGE-ID track and one that supports the Molecular Genetics track.

Faculty & Research

The training faculty of the interdepartmental Molecular Microbiology Program is drawn from the Departments of Molecular Biology and Microbiology, Immunology, Medicine, and Developmental, Chemical & Molecular Biology  at Tufts University School of Medicine and the Department of Chemistry at the College of Arts and Sciences. Three of our faculty have been recognized by the Howard Hughes Medical Institute and two are members of the National Academy of Sciences. They are united by a common interest in the biology of microbes (bacteria, fungi, viruses, and parasites) and the effects of microbes on human and animal hosts.

Twenty different research laboratories provide exciting venues for laboratory rotations and dissertation research


Students seeking admission to the Molecular Microbiology Graduate Program apply to the Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences. Our goal is to recruit highly motivated students who have a deep interest in microbiological research, show evidence of facility with experimentation, are collegial and communicative, and whose ambition is to excel in research and/or teaching as a career.

We are deeply committed to diversity and encourage applications from individuals with diverse backgrounds and experiences that will enrich the mix of students on our campus.

Molecular Microbiology Admissions
students working in the lab

student presenting a poster

DEI in Micro

We committed to fostering a diverse scientific community and aim to improve our core values by promoting inclusivity, diversity, and antiracism. Students enrolled in our program participate fully in the DEI activities held in the Molecular Microbiology department.

student event

Molecular Microbiology Activities

Our program sponsors a range of social events throughout the year to build community spirit and remind everyone that graduate school can be fun.

student working in the lab

Curriculum & Special Tracks

Our curriculum balances hands-on laboratory research training with strong coursework and seminar-based activities. Through these experiences, students master the fundamentals of microbiology and hone their written and oral presentation skills. Students also complete a qualifying examination.

Research begins from day one with four laboratory rotations during the first year. Students learn techniques and experience various mentors, lab groups and research projects, which helps in the selection of the thesis lab.

We offer two specialized tracks:

  • MERGE-ID (Medically-oriented Research in Graduate Education), which provides students with the knowledge they need to conduct hypothesis-driven research that attacks critical issues related to the treatment, prevention, diagnosis, and management of infectious diseases.
  • Molecular Genetics, which provides rigorous training in fundamental aspects of molecular genetics.

Meet Our Students

GSBS student

Our students come from across the US and the world and are pursuing a wide range of thesis projects.

Molecular Microbiology Students

Student Publications

image of cells

Publication of research is a key part of training and our students publish their work in excellent journals.

Molecular Microbiology Student Publications

Program Outcomes

student at graduation

Over 90% of our students complete an advanced degree and go on to pursue a wide range of careers.

Molecular Microbiology Career Outcomes and Graduation Statistics

Katya Heldwein, PhD
Program Director

Jackie Kulas
Administrative Coordinator

Administrative Offices
South Cove 501