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Dept of Microbiology
University of Minnesota
MMC 196
420 Delaware St, SE
Minneapolis, MN 55455 USA
Phone: 612-624-6190
Fax: 612-626-0623

Department Administrator:
Colleen O'Neill
Phone: 612-624-2468

Above is an image from an experiment in which herpes simplex virus-infected monkey cells were fused (using a special reagent) to uninfected mouse cells. The purpose was to see if a particular viral protein is exported from infected cell nuclei (in which case it would pick it up in the mouse nucleus). This particular image reveals the nuclei (blue) using a DNA stain and the cytoskeleton (green) using an actin stain.

In the News

A new discovery from researchers Daniel Bond, Caleb Levar and colleagues at the University of Minnesota's BioTechnology Institute shows how a friendly microbe known as Geobacter is able to thrive in a wide range of environments and emerging biotech applications.  Click this link for more information.

Congratulations to Ming Zeng, Ph.D., for his recent first-author publication in the December 19 issue of Science (Zeng et al. Science 346:1486-1492).  Ming received his Ph.D. in May 2012 under the advisorship of Dr. Ashley Haase and is now a postdoc in Bruce Beutler's lab at UT Southwestern Medical Center.

U of M students, including Microbiology seniors Basem Al-Shayeb and Cassandra Barrett, won gold at the 2014 International Genetically Engineered Machines (iGEM) competition.  Jeff Gralnick, one of the group's faculty mentors, commented that it was great to see the team's hard work and creativity be rewarded by winning the Environment track…its fun to see what an interdisciplinary group of undergraduates can do in synthetic biology!  For the fully story: Click this link.

Congratulations to Post Doctoral Associate Liliane Mukaremera in the Nielsen lab, for her selection as a 2014 UMN Clinical and Translational Science Institute TRDP Grant awardee.

The Department is pleased to announce that Ryan Langlois, Ph.D., joined the department as an Assistant Professor effective September 1, 2014.  

Jeff Gralnick has been appointed as Director of the University's Microbial and Plant Genomics Institute.

Leslie Schiff is an inaugural inductee into the AHC Academy for Excellence in the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning.


Micro 2014

Congratulations to the 2014 CBS Microbiology Majors!


Groundbreaking for the new MRF building:


MICROBIOLOGY Groundbreaking 1

Why is this Department Head smiling?

Because the new Microbiology Research Facility is underway!

The groundbreaking ceremony for the new microbiology research building, scheduled to open in 2015, took place on Friday, November 8, 2013.  Pictured below are just some of the University leaders, including President Eric Kaler, who joined Dr. Haase in the ceremonial shoveling.  The new building will be located to the north of the just-opened Cancer and Cardiovascular Research Building, and will be the final addition to the Biomedical Discovery District.

MICROBIOLOGY Groundbreaking 3


Associate Professor Jeff Gralnick's research on bacteria found in the Soudan Mine that produce rust without exposure to oxygen was noted in a recent article in the Minnesota Daily.

Emeritus Professor Martin Dworkin, Ph.D., passed away on February 6, 2014.  Dr. Dworkin joined the department in the fall of 1962 and for more than four decades had a tremendous impact on undergraduate and graduate students as the consummate professor.  Even after his retirement in 2003, he remained active in department and University initiatives.  He is and will be well remembered by the Department and University for his inquisitive mind, as a passionate scholar who embraced the entire field of microbiology, and as a colleague whom we will all miss greatly.

Marc Jenkins' groundbreaking 1994 publication "Visualization of peptide-specific T cell immunity and peripheral tolerance induction in vivo" (Immunity 1:327-339, 1994) was featured as a Pillar of Immunology in the December 1, 2013 issue of the Journal of Immunology.

Professor Emeritus P. Patrick Cleary was elected an honorary member of the Institute of Experimental Medicine (aka the Pavlov Institute) in St. Petersburg, Russia.  The Institute is one of many that make up the Russian Academy Sciences.  Notable past honorary members include Louis Pasteur, Robert Koch and Joseph Lister.  Dr. Cleary received the award on December 19, 2013.

The 2001 Science article "Preferential Localization of Effector Memory Cells in Nonlymphoid Tissue" (2001: 291:2413-2417) presenting work done by David Masopust, Vaiva Vezys, and Amanda Marzo with Leo Lefrancois was among 2 highlighted as a Pillar of Immunology by Susan Kaech in the Journal of Immunology (2014, 192:837-839).

Professors Jeff Gralnick and Daniel Bond were featured in a UMNews story: "Electrifying Potential."

Assistant Professor Kirsten Nielsen discussed fungal meningitis in this November 1st, 2012 online MinnPost article.   

Kirsten Nielsen and Laura Okagaki's Eukaryotic Cell paper was highlighted in the June 2012 Nature Reviews Microbiology Journal. 



A team of investigators led by Dr. Beinan Wang, former Research Assistant Professor in the Department of Microbiology, and including Emeritus Professor Pat Cleary, have uncovered the molecular basis for the increased incidence of Group A streptococcal deadly pneumonia associated with Influenza A epidemics (PNAS 2015;112:238).  They found that the influenza virus increases expression of the macromolecules streptococci use to invade the epithelial lining of the lung.  This sets the stage potentially for a serious life-threatening pneumonia in the aftermath of the "flu".  On the positive side, the macromolecules streptococci use for invasion are now drug targets that could reduce the incidence of serious secondary bacterial infections during and after Influenza A epidemics.

Profs. Gralnick and Bond - "Building Better Bacteria"

Microbiology professors Daniel Bond and Jeff Gralnick discover the key for converting waste to electricity.

Check out the publication:
Shewanella secretes flavins that mediate extracellular electron transfer


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