- Microbiology Major
- BioHealth Sciences Major
- Graduate Program
- Living in Corvallis
- Alumni and Donors
- Internal Links
Welcome to the Department of Microbiology
Our mission is to educate students and conduct research across the breadth of modern microbiology. Microbiology is the study of small organisms, mostly microscopic, including bacteria, archaea, small eukaryotes including phytoplankton, zooplankton, parasites and fungi, and viruses. Future Microbiologists will help to control emerging and reemerging infectious diseases; harness microbes to produce green chemicals or to convert biowaste to energy; learn the environmental roles of the uncultured bacterial and archaeal majority on Earth; and decipher the functions of the many unique genes found in prokaryotic and bacteriophage genomes.
Microbes of various types are everywhere on Earth and many cause disease making the study of pathogenic microbes and host immunity systems a cornerstone of medicine and public health. Other microbes are beneficial, either through mutualistic interactions with their host animal or plant, or through their contributions to nutrient cycling and genetic evolution in the environment. Since 1910, one-third of Nobel Prizes in medicine and physiology have been awarded to microbiologists. Microbes occupy an incredible range of habitats in the environment, from the oceans and soils to plant leaf surfaces, and including such inhospitable sites as deep-sea rock microfissures, and locales high in salt, temperature, and pressure.
The Microbiology Program provides graduate training leading towards PhD and MS degrees. The Program supports broad interests in microbiology, including environmental and pathogenic microbiology, with studies that encompass a spectrum of approaches from the ecological and organismal to the molecular genetic and biochemical.
We conduct research on a broad range of subjects covering bacteria, viruses and parasites, and their roles in the health of the environment, humans, animals and plants. We have strong representation in bioinformatics-guided research, marine and freshwater microbiology, and fish health studies. Research Highlights: Distinguished Professor Stephen Giovannoni's studies have identified the SAR11 group as the most abundant open ocean bacteria and he was the 2012 recipient of distinguished awards from the American Society for Microbiology and International Society for Microbial Ecology. Dr. Jerri Bartholomew's research has identified infection by myxozoan parasites as a major stressor on Klamath River Chinook salmon. Distinguished Professor Luiz Bermudez studies pathogenicity of Mycobacterium tuberculosis, which remains a vexing problem in the developing world.
Starting July 2014, scientists with NASA’s Ship-Aircraft Bio-Optical Research (SABOR) experiment will make observations from ship and aircraft off the U.S. Atlantic Coast aimed at advancing the technology needed to measure microscopic plankton in the ocean from space. For the next three weeks, follow SABOR researchers as they work toward finding out how and why plankton are changing around the planet, and where the carbon associated with plankton goes. Plankton play an important part of the climate system and deliver oxygen to the atmosphere, absorb carbon dioxide, and form the base of the marine food chain.[...]Read More
Ok, so I failed miserably at maintaining this blog while I was abroad. My bad. You know how it is – the internet goes down for 3-4 days, the pre-written posts you have ready to go are put on hold … Continue readingRead full story.