PhD in Microbiology

Host-Pathogen Interactions

The Training Program in Pathogenesis & Host-Pathogen Interactions (HPI) is an NIH-funded interdepartmental graduate program which currently involves the participation of 13 faculty members from multiple disciplines within the Boston University School of Medicine. Students are admitted to the HPI training program through the Department of Microbiology, where they follow a program specifically designed for students in the HPI. The program of study includes a literature-based curriculum, prominent guest speakers, and spirited journal clubs as well as extensive hands-on laboratory training. Small class size and extensive interaction with the faculty provide students with the opportunity to customize their training according to their specific scientific interests.

Students may choose any of the HPI faculty, irrespective of departmental affiliation, for their research training. Particular areas of expertise within the research community include:

  • bacterial gene regulation
  • bacterial-host cell interactions
  • diphtheria toxin entry
  • viral-host cell interactions
  • HIV transcription and replication
  • biology of adaptive immune responses
  • host defense and innate immune responses
  • vaccine development

Please see the individual faculty research descriptions for a more complete picture of ongoing research programs.

The HPI training program is located on the Boston Medical Center campus and is administered through the Division of Graduate Medical Sciences within the Boston University School of Medicine. BUSM ranks among the top 15 medical schools nationally in extramural support from the National Institutes of Health. Most pre-doctoral and post-doctoral fellows are supported through NIH training grants; all trainees receive full stipend, tuition, and health insurance. HPI faculty and students work in newly renovated research labs and have immediate access to state-of-the-art core facilities.

One of the more notable aspects of the HPI training program is the extensive interactions between the various faculty in the basic and clinical sciences. Our collegial atmosphere and integrative approach to training provides a highly supportive environment for students. The Medical Campus is in the heart of Boston’s South End, and we are only minutes from the cultural, culinary, and celebrated historical attractions of Boston. Boston is located less than two hours from Cape Cod and the islands, and only two to four hours away from New England ski areas.

Application information and forms are available through the Division of Graduate Medical Sciences. Any further inquires can be addressed to the program.