The faculty members in the Department of Microbiology and Immunology maintain laboratories that are well funded by external research grants and contracts, a fact that attests to the excellent quality of work in their research endeavors. The department ranks in the top 20 nationally among Microbiology and Immunology Departments in funding provided by the National Institutes of Health. The grants and contracts are distributed among strong research programs in the focus areas of Infectious Diseases, Molecular Pathogenesis, Immunology, Virology and Genomics. The robust research environment promotes scientific development with graduate students and postdoctoral trainees interacting in a variety of ways ranging from a strong departmentally funded seminar to weekly graduate student sponsored, research oriented discussion sessions. This experience builds a spirit of cooperation and mutual support characteristic of the Department.