Our faculty are engaged in a wide variety of research endeavors centered around two thematic areas. The first concerns the many and varied interactions between humans and pathogenic organisms (bacteria, viruses, protozoans and multicellular parasites). Studies address the ways in which these organisms replicate within the host, ensure transmission to new hosts and how the host responds to microbial and parastic infections through innate and acquired immunity. The second area concerns understanding molecular processes that give rise to human disease focusing on the cancer, development of the skeleton, stem cell biology and neurological disease. The many research programs can be loosely divided into six areas: bacteriology, immune defenses, molecular basis of disease, molecular epidemiology, parasitology and virology.