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Home - Department of Molecular Microbiology & Immunology

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Saint Louis University Medical Center | Edward A. Doisy Research Center
Rm 716 | 1100 South Grand | St. Louis, Missouri 63104
Phone 314.977.8850 Fax 314.977-8717 | Email:

Key Features

Dr. Bill Wold, Chairman
Dr. Bill Wold, Chairman

The Department has state-of-the-art laboratories located in a research and teaching complex together with other basic science departments in the School of Medicine.

The 13 primary tenure track faculty, 12 research track faculty, and 16 secondary faculty in the Department have strong independent research programs funded by the government, research foundations, and industry. The faculty serve on national peer-review panels and journal editorial boards, are often invited to report on their work at other institutions, and their research is published in highly visible scientific journals. Students in the department receive progressive didactic instruction and extensive cutting-edge research training in virology, immunology, molecular biology, cell biology, cell-cell interactions.


Research in the Department of Molecular Microbiology and Immunology reflects the strength and diversity of its faculty through a unifying focus of the study of host-pathogen interactions, especially in the areas of virology and immunology.

General areas of interest include:
  • viral pathogenesis
  • immunology
  • molecular and cellular biology
  • biodefense
The virology program is one of the strongest in the USA, and it encompasses research on:
  • adenoviruses
  • hepatitis B and C viruses
  • Herpes simplex virus
  • HIV (structure-function of integrase enzyme)
  • poxviruses (including model studies for smallpox)
  • anti-viral drug therapy
  • cancer gene therapy using viral vectors
  • vaccines
The immunology program includes research on:
  • immunotherapy of cancer
  • regulatory T cells in autoimmune disease
  • molecular mechanisms that control regulatory T cells
  • immunotherapy of chronic viral infection
  • osteoimmunology
  • cytokine function
  • vaccine development (discovery and clinical trials)
  • neutrophils and natural killer cells
  • immunotherapeutic approaches to chronic virus infections
  • dendritic cells in autoimmune disease
  • inflammation and gastric cancer
Other research:
  • parasites (T. cruzi)
  • Mycobacterium tuberculosis
  • cell cycle regulation
  • programmed cell death (apoptosis)
  • ultrasensitive detection of nucleic acids and proteins


Richard J. DiPaolo, Ph.D.
2016 AGA-R. Robert & Sally Funderburg Research Award in Gastric Cancer.

This award provides $50,000 per year for two years (total $100,000) to an established investigator working on novel approaches in gastric cancer research, including the fields of gastric mucosal cell biology; regeneration and regulation of cell growth (not as they relate to peptic ulcer disease or repair); inflammation (including Helicobacter pylori) as precancerous lesions; genetics of gastric carcinoma; oncogenes in gastric epithelial malignancies; epidemiology of gastric cancer; etiology of gastric epithelial malignancies; or clinical research in the diagnosis or treatment of gastric carcinoma.

John Tavis, Ph.D.
Professor of Molecular Microbiology and Immunology John Tavis, Ph.D.

With a $416,000 grant from the National Institutes of Health (NIH), SLU scientists will continue work to cure hepatitis B, building on significant findings published in two recent papers.

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