Meet the Chairman

Dr. Jimmy BallardWelcome to the Department of Microbiology and Immunology at The University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center.  Our faculty contribute to the University’s  mission through basic and applied research, academic service, and by educating the next generation of scientists and  clinicians.  The Department of Microbiology and Immunology is a leader  in the study of infectious diseases and the immunological basis for  disease.  We study over 20 different bacterial, viral, and parasitic diseases that impact more than half a billion people worldwide every  year.  These diseases include AIDS and AIDS-associated disorders, food  poisoning, Lyme Disease, myocarditis, anthrax, pneumonia, strep throat,  pseudomembranous colitis, and dental caries.  Scientists in our department also study the immunological basis of cancer, transplantation, and autoimmunity.  These research efforts share the ultimate goal of developing new preventions and treatments for infections and disease. 

Graduate students in The Department of Microbiology and Immunology strive to be innovative thinkers and achieve the highest quality of research to earn their degree.  Students and postdoctoral fellows have an opportunity to train in research laboratories supported by funds from the National Institutes Health and other federal and private agencies.  Almost all of the faculty maintain two or more nationally funded research projects and support multiple graduate students and other trainees in their laboratories  Most students enter the department after a year of participating in the University-wide Graduate Program in Biomedical Sciences (GPiBS).  During their time in the GPiBS program students are given the opportunity to take part in research rotations with members of our faculty.  Students find this process to be an enriching experience, which allows them to make the most educated choice about the laboratory they hope to join. 

The department’s offices are located on the 10th floor of the Biomedical Sciences Building.  Our department occupies over 22,000 sq. ft. of laboratory space that is located on 9th and 10th floor of the Biomedical Sciences Building and in the Biomedical Research Center.  Additional faculty and adjunct faculty members are located in the Dean McGee Eye Institute and the Oklahoma Medical Research Foundation.  

If you should have any questions about the department, feel free to contact me or any of the faculty listed on our website for more information. 

Message to Alumni, Emeritus Faculty, and Friends of The Department of Microbiology and Immunology. 

The Department of Microbiology and Immunology is proud of our many alumni who have built strong and successful careers as educators, as leaders in the biomedical industry, and as academic research scientists.  We are also proud of alumni who have applied the skills learned in graduate school to walks of life far removed from research and teaching. If you are a former student of this department, we would love to hear from you. The same is true for retired faculty and the many other people who have been associated with this department over the past years.  Your successes are a wonderful motivation to current students and students that might be considering a career in Microbiology or Immunology.  Contact me or, even better, stop by anytime to see the changes on our campus and in the department.

Jimmy D. Ballard, Ph.D.
Professor and Chairman