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Graduate Program in Microbiology

Studying the smallest organisms to tackle the world's biggest problems.

Graduate Program in Microbiology

Studying the smallest organisms to tackle the world's biggest problems.

Microbiology student scuba diving for samples

Graduate students in microbiology receive high-quality academic training to support broad interests in microbiology, including environmental, genomics, immunology, and pathogenic microbiology, that encompass a spectrum of approaches from the ecological and organismal to the molecular, genetic and biochemical. Our vibrant microbiology graduate program has 35 graduate students pursuing master’s and Ph.D. degrees and 30 microbiology and allied faculty who conduct research on subjects such as viruses, bacteria and parasites, and their roles in the health of the environment and humans, animals and plants.

Microbiology graduate students have opportunities to pursue highly interdisciplinary research with faculty across colleges and departments from Molecular and Cellular Biology, Fisheries & Wildlife, Agricultural Sciences, Pharmacy and Oceanography. Students have access to outstanding laboratory and computational infrastructure within the department and at OSU’s Center for Genome Research and Biocomputing.

Microbiology graduate students are supported by research and teaching assistantships. Several students are have also been awarded the highly competitive National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship to support their studies as well as fellowships in the department and at OSU.

Courtney Rae Armour in front of white backdrop

“I chose Oregon State for its impressive computing infrastructure and support for computational research, as well as its Center for Genome Research And Biocomputing where I have found excellent training, facilities and support for students learning to code and conduct computational research.”

Courtney Rae Armour (Ph.D. student in microbiology). Armour relies on computational modeling to study the gut microbiome in the lab of microbiologist Thomas Sharpton.

Meet our students and alumni

Martin-O’Neill fellow Christine Tataru uses computers to decode our guts

Christine Tataru receives the 2021-22 Larry W. Martin & Joyce B. O’Neill Endowed Fellowship for her work in computational modeling that seeks to understand how gut microbiomes impact their human hosts’ health. She develops tools and frameworks to advance microbiome research, then uses these tools to explore gut-brain axis phenomenon.

Diversity grant allows Ph.D. investigator to integrate his research career and culture

As a member of the Yakama Nation, Microbiology Ph.D. student Corbin Schuster is interested in the study of human diseases that have a higher incidence among Native peoples, such as toxoplasmosis (a parasitic infection), as well as diseases of salmon, which are central to the food, culture and religion of the Yakama people. He is thankful to not have to separate his culture from his career.

2020 NSF Graduate Research Fellowships awarded to alumni and students

Two Ph.D. students in the College of Science Grace Deitzler in microbiology and John Stepanek in integrative biology — are among three OSU students to receive prestigious National Science Foundation (NSF) Graduate Research Fellowship Program (GRFP) awards in 2020.

Microbiology alum helps produce critical COVID-19 test component for Oregon hospitals

When Samaritan Health Services asked Oregon State University last week if there was anything the university could do to help, researches in the Carlson College of Veterinary Medicine realized there was something they could do.

Coral researchers find link between bacterial genus and disease susceptibility

Corals that appear healthy are more prone to getting sick when they’re home to too many parasitic bacteria, new research at Oregon State University shows. “The clear relationship we’ve discovered between this kind of bacteria and disease resistance in Caribbean staghorn coral is a crucial piece of the puzzle for coral restoration efforts in that region,” said study co-author Becca Maher, a Ph.D. candidate at Oregon State.

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