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School of Medicine Columbia

A Message From Our Chair

Below is the latest message from Pathology, Microbiology and Immunology Department chair Dr. Mitzi Nagarkatti.

From Dr. Nagarkatti

Welcome to this webpage which provides an overview of the Department of Pathology, Microbiology and Immunology with its dedicated faculty, staff and trainees.  We are strongly committed to teaching, research and service activities. The Department was formed by the merger of the Department of Pathology with the Department of Microbiology and Immunology in 2002. The faculty are located in the historic Buildings 1, 2 and 3 at the Dorn Veterans Administration Medical Center Campus. 

This is an exciting time for our department as it is in the process of undergoing major growth in terms of faculty recruitments, building new facilities as well as upgrading the research infrastructure. Our faculty are actively involved in providing outstanding training to medical students, undergraduate and graduate students as well as postdoctoral and clinical fellows. The department provides a highly interactive environment conducive of intra- and inter-departmental collaborations as well as with scientists in other colleges or schools at our university and at other institutions on interdisciplinary and multidisciplinary research projects. The research programs are well-funded by extramural grant support from federal and private sources that have resulted in high-quality publications in top-notch journals as well as presentations at regional, national and international scientific conferences. Importantly, the department has been home to several NIH-funded Centers.  Further, some of our trainees have been funded through individual fellowships and Career Development Awards from federal agencies as well as have been recipients of several awards.

The departmental faculty are recognized leaders in their fields as demonstrated by the fact that they are appointed to national and international grant-review committees, hold offices at national scientific societies, organize conferences as well as serve on government-appointed committees and scientific journal editorial boards. The main mission of our department is to provide education and research mentorship in the areas of pathology, microbiology  which encompasses bacteriology, virology, parasitology and mycology as well as immunology that will lead to the transformation of trainees into independent scientists in academia capable of training future generations, in industry pursuing applied research, in hospitals providing community service, in government institutions involved in policy decision-making and in biotechnology institutes performing cutting-edge research. The main research focus of our faculty lies in the areas of Inflammation which is the underlying cause of autoimmune, cardiovascular and neurological diseases, obesity, aging and some cancers.  In addition, development of preventive and therapeutic strategies using novel drug discovery approaches including plant products are being attempted.  Our department also offers state-of-the-art shared resources including Flow Cytometry, Microscopy, –Omics technology to enable studies on Genomics, Epigenomics, Transcriptomics, and Microbiome as well as Metabolic Profiling. We welcome you to take a virtual tour of our department and encourage you to visit us in person. 

Mitzi Nagarkatti, PhD


SmartState Endowed Chair of Center for Cancer Drug Discovery,

Carolina Distinguished Professor 

Chair, Department of Pathology, Microbiology and Immunology

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