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Welcome Message from the Chair

undefinedEvery day of our lives, we are exposed to microbes such as bacteria, viruses, and parasites. For the most part we suffer no disease or symptoms from these organisms, and they often go un-noticed. The single system in the body that allows life to continue in the face of these assaults is the immune system. The immune system is the network of cells and their biological processes that enable the body to recognize diseased cells or the invasion by microorganisms (bacteria, viruses, parasites, and prions) and eliminate them. The scientific discipline called Immunology is the study of this system, and Medical Microbiology is the study of the disease states induced by the invasion of microorganisms.  Collectively, these two disciplines address how humans and other mammals respond to infectious disease.   These scientific disciplines have become the cornerstone for many industries - including the biotechnology, pharmaceutical and medical and public health industries.  These are all areas of particular emphasis and are being targeted for further development in West Virginia. 

The Bachelor of Science degree in Immunology and Medical Microbiology will prepare students from diverse backgrounds to serve as professionals that are knowledgeable about the immune system of humans and other mammals, how the immune system functions, and the consequences of its malfunction on the health of the host.  Knowledge of the immune system will be fully integrated with an excellent understanding of the diversity of microorganisms that cause disease in humans and other mammals and mechanisms of disease pathogenesis.  Graduates will possess the laboratory skills and knowledge needed to assess the functional status of the immune system and to safely cultivate and identify microorganisms that cause disease in mammals.   Graduates will be qualified to pursue several professional career paths in private industry, state and federal government, and academic institutions. 

John B. Barnett Ph.D.
Chair of Microbiology, Immunology and Cell Biology