Montana State University
Department of Microbiology and Immunology > Immunology

Immunology & Infectious Diseases

The Immunology and Infectious Diseases (IID) uniquely combines expertise in the study of pathogen biology, host defense, cell biology and use of small and large animal models. Four areas broadly encompass the scope of IID research:

  • Molecular and genetic studies of animal and pathogen biology
  • Understanding molecular pathways of communication between pathogen and host
  • Regulation of host immune responses in human and animal diseases
  • Uncovering molecular mechanisms of pathogen virulence

IID conducts one of the premier infectious disease research programs in the Northwest, as demonstrated by the success of our faculty in competing nationally for extramural grant funding and publishing high-impact papers.  Research funding comes from a range of sources such as the National Institutes of Health, US Dept of Agriculture, National Science Foundation and the Montana Agricultural Experimental Station among others. Over the past five years, IID averaged over $11 million for annual research expenditures.  IID is also home to an NIH Center of Biomedical Research Excellence in Zoonotic and Emerging Infectious Diseases, which provides substantial core facilities and training opportunities for junior investigators.

The Department sponsors undergraduate programs in Animal Biotechnology and Pre-Veterinary training and M.S. and Ph.D. programs that emphasize training in cell biology, molecular pathogenesis, immunology, and infectious disease. Weekly seminars are offered by the department and the Frank N. Nelson Distinguished Lecture Series brings many accomplished scientists to Montana State University.

The Department is housed in a state-of-the-art facility with core laboratories for flow cytometry, cell biology, and molecular sciences, as well as pathogen containment facilities for small (BSL-3) and large animal research (ABSL-2).  Instrumentation suites house equipment for DNA sequencing, genomic analysis, flow cytometry and cell sorting, and confocal microscopy. With 22 tenure and research faculty, 12 postdoctoral fellows, 38 professional staff, and 30 graduate and undergraduate students involved in independent research, IID is a dynamic research and teaching environment with state-of-the-art facilities.