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Infectious Disease and Immunity

The Infectious Disease and Immunity cluster (IDIM) brings faculty together from basic science and clinical departments, as well as research centers, to support and train PhD, MD/PhD and MS students within the Biomedical Sciences Graduate Program at Lewis Katz School of Medicine at Temple University. The IDIM cluster provides educational and research opportunities focused on the overlapping fields of Microbiology and Immunology. Microbiology involves the study of microorganisms (bacteria, viruses, or parasites) and the pathogenesis of the diseases they cause, whereas Immunology is the study of the mechanisms whereby our bodies control infections.

The IDIM cluster houses comprehensive research programs covering multiple aspects of these related fields. For instance, investigators study basic aspects of bacterial physiology, the molecular biology of DNA and RNA viruses, with a particular emphasis on viruses important in human health, such as Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) and Epstein Barr Virus (EBV), and how innate recognition systems within the immune system, such as Toll-like receptors, function during host defense. Other investigators are examining specific aspects of the immune system, for instance at unique sites of infections such as the skin or the lungs, immune system dysfunction and how immune system functions are modulated by interactions with drugs of abuse such as opioids, methamphetamine, and cannabinoids.

The IDIM cluster curriculum offers students advanced course work in such topics as immunology, virology and mechanisms of host-microbe interactions. Students participate in a cluster seminar series and various research-focused journal clubs. The goal of the cluster is to develop in students a broad knowledge of infectious disease and immunity that is complemented with the most current research findings in the field.


*Indicates Fox Chase Cancer Center faculty