Infectious Diseases (PhD)

Degree: Doctoral Degrees

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The Department of Infectious Diseases offers programs of study in many disease relevant disciplines leading to both the M.S. and Ph.D. degrees. Strengths of the diverse departmental graduate faculty include molecular virology, pathogenic bacteriology, classical and molecular parasitology, epidemiology, immunology, and development of vaccines and therapeutics. Prospective doctoral students interested in graduate study in the Department of Infectious Diseases are admitted through the Integrated Life Sciences (ILS) Program. Applications to the ILS Program must be submitted by December 1st for admission in the following Fall Semester.

We offer an excellent highly collaborative and interdisciplinary training environment, with all doctoral students supported at competitive rates on assistantships. Highlights of our graduate training program include a seminar series featuring excellent speakers from around the country and journal clubs which cover the range of department research interests and provide important training in critical analysis of published work. Our annual department retreat, as well as several local and regional symposia, offer ample opportunity for our graduate students to present their work to their peers and hone their scientific communication and analytical skills.

Our graduate students have access to state-of-the-art research tools. In addition to a range of molecular biology and immunology reagents and methodologies, the Department has equipment to support phosphoimaging, quantitative real-time PCR, computational bioinformatics, and chemiluminescent gel imaging. In addition the Department houses a state-of-the-art cytometry core facility with equipment and expertise in flow cytometry, confocal microscopy, and bead-based multiplexing technology. The Department administers nearly all levels of biocontainment research laboratories including an outstanding biocontainment (biosafety level 3-agriculture) research facility (The Animal Health Research Center), that supports the safe and secure study of zoonotic and emerging pathogens of humans and animals. Within the College, an on-site electron microscopy laboratory, extensive animal resource facilities, and the full support of an outstanding state veterinary diagnostic laboratory and teaching hospital are also available to support research efforts. Other state-of-the-art research facilities to which Infectious Diseases faculty and their trainees have access include the Complex Carbohydrate Research Center, the Center for Tropical and Emerging Global Diseases Flow Cytometry Core , and the Georgia Genomics Facility, offering next-generation genomics and transcriptomics instrumentation and expertise. Several research programs also involve studies at international field sites in Africa, South America and Asia. Students also may participate in research programs and projects at near-by facilities including the USDA Southeastern Poultry Research Laboratory and Russell Research Center, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.


College of Veterinary Medicine
Veterinary Medicine Building
Athens, GA 30602-7371
Phone: 706/542-3461

Academic Department

Infectious Diseases
Veterinary Medicine Building
Athens, GA 30602-7385
Phone: 706/542-3473


Graduate Coordinator

David Peterson


The threat to animal and human posed by viral, bacterial and parasitic infectious diseases is a matter of grave concern. These diseases are the leading cause of death worldwide, claiming at least 17 million human lives, and indeterminable numbers of domesticated and wild animals each year. Most, but not all, of these infections are zoonotic, including almost all bio-terror agents and most emerging diseases.

Infectious diseases not only place a great strain on already stretched public health services, but also exact a significant socio-economic burden on rich and poor alike. These agents also impact global security by affecting food supplies for an increasing world population, access to international trade and economic growth, and raise concerns for potential use in bioterrorism.

It is imperative that those in human, animal, agricultural and environmental sciences work together to address threats associated with endemic, pandemic, emerging and re-emerging infectious diseases. With a variety of regional, national and international collaborators and the addition of new and planned personnel, resources and facilities, the Department of Infectious Diseases envisions its mission to be that of a national leader in infectious diseases education and research. A key objective in this mission is to train graduate students in advanced research technologies leading to improved health for the people and animals of Georgia, the United States and all nations.

Prospective students can find information about our graduate program on our department website: Following admission through and selection of a mentoring lab via the ILS Program in the 1st semester, students interested in our Program matriculate into the Department in the 2nd semester. Questions about the application process can be addressed by our Graduate Assistant at . Additional questions about the graduate program or about the department can be addressed to the Graduate Coordinator, Dr. David Peterson, Graduate students in the department are eligible for a number of university fellowships and research and teaching assistantships.



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