Colleague, Teacher, Mentor, Friend

Gary Janssen

November 2, 2015

It is with great sadness that I inform you of the death of our colleague, Dr. Gary Janssen, Professor in the Department of Microbiology. On behalf of the Miami University Community, I extend our condolences to his wife Kathleen (Kob) and their children, Leah and Ezra. The Janssen family has shared with us that there will be a small private ceremony for the family. They ask anyone who would like to honor Gary's memory to please consider making a contribution to Hospice of Cincinnati in Gary's name. The web address is: and the phone number is: 513-891-7700.

Phyllis Callahan

Undergraduate Research in µBiology

  • Neena Patel

    Combining Premedical Studies with Microbiology

    "I'm confident that my Microbiology major and Premedical Studies co-major have given me a strong foundation for a career in medicine. Miami has done a fantastic job with not only helping me understand and interact with complex subjects, but also in giving me opportunities beyond the classroom to apply my knowledge in different ways!"

    Read more of what Neena Patel had had to say about her microbiology research on HIV and AIDS and her extracurricular activities.

  • Maeva Metz

    Virulence and Biofilms

    Maeva Metz, a junior microbiology major and molecular biology minor, has received a Goldwater Scholarship.  Metz has been conducting research with faculty mentor Luis Actis for the past three years. Her current project involves characterizing a virulence factor that contributes to antibiotic resistance in the bacterium Acinetobacter baumannii.


  • Rhea Johnson and Annette Bollmann

    Bacteria in the Environment

    Rhea Johnson, an Undergraduate Summer Scholar, fell in love with microbiology when she took a required course for her major. She added Microbiology as a second major along with Kinesiology and has now been conducting research with mentor Annette Bollmann, Associate Professor of Microbiology, for the past two years.


  • Art Oliva and Paul Urayama

    Using Lasers to Study Mitochondria

    Art Oliva, a Microbiology major and Undergraduate Summer Scholar, is working with mentor Paul Urayama, Associate Professor of Physics, on research to help understand the effects of high pressure on cellular metabolism. They use laser-induced fluorescence to study the function of mitochondria—the powerhouses of cells that share an ancestry with modern bacteria.


  • Blake Rasor

    Genome Editing of Stem Cells

    Blake Rasor, a sophomore biology and microbiology double major, received a Goldwater Scholar Honorable Mention. Rasor works with Michael Robinson, professor of biology, on research involving retina development in mouse embryonic stem cells, using the bacterial CRISPR/Cas9 genome editing technology. His project involves the transdifferentiation of retinal pigment epithelium cells.


This Week in MBI

Microbiology Grad Student Seminar:

Natosha Finley
Title: “From Antimicrobials to Muscle Biology: Working at the Interface of "Omics" Research
Mon., November 30 @ 4:15 PM; 218 Pearson Hall

Microbiology Seminar Series:

Deanna Franke
Carolinas Healthcare System
Title: “ My First 39 and Never Holding "Life and Times in Laboratory Medicine”
Wed., December 2 @ 4:00 PM 218 Pearson Hall

New Course for First-year Students!

MBI 147: Microbiology Introductory Seminar is our new course designed for first-year MBI (Microbiology) majors and students considering majoring in Microbiology.

The course is designed to introduce students to our department and the degrees we offer, the departmental and university resources that are available to help them achieve their educational objectives, and the opportunities for undergraduate research in Microbiology. It also provides students with professional orientation and networking opportunities by providing access to faculty, graduate students, alumnae, and guest microbiologists from industry, government and academia with a shared interest in the profession of Microbiology.

Join us this fall in MBI 147

Combined Bachelor's/Master's Degree

{4+1} Our combined degree option allows students at Miami to combine Master’s level research with an undergraduate major, resulting in graduation with both a Master of Science in Microbiology and a Bachelor’s degree in their major (either Bachelor of Arts or Bachelor of Science).  Students can count up to 12 hours of graduate (500-level) Microbiology courses towards their undergraduate degree.

The combined program is intended to take 5 years, instead of the 6 (or more) usually required to obtain both an undergraduate degree and a graduate degree. Students completing M.S. degree will be positioned for entry into research careers or advanced graduate education at the doctoral level.

Read more…

Phage Biology for First-year Students!

Phage course imageMBI 223: Bacteriophage Biology introduces first-year students to microbiology using a unique hands-on approach. Students will collect environmental samples to isolate viruses that infect bacteria (bacteriophages) to analyze, and will learn basic microbiology techniques as they purify DNA for genome sequencing and prepare the phages for electron microscopy.

In the second course in the series, MBI 224: Bacteriophage Genomicsstudents will perform hands-on analysis of the genome of their phages. Students will learn about DNA structure, genome organization, and basic principles of bioinformatics, and use this knowledge to annotate their bacteriophage genome using computational methods.

Read more about our phage biology courses

Our Logo

We have adopted the Greek letter "µ" as representative of our department and of our field of study. The letter "µ" is a symbol for the scientific prefix micro-, which indicates one millionth of a unit of measure. This is quite appropriate for Microbiology (or µBiology) as the size of the organisms we study are on the order of 1 µm (a.k.a. micron - a millionth of a meter), or smaller. In addition, the symbol is spelled mu, which is also an abbreviation for Miami University (M.U.) Taken together, µ for micro and M.U. for Miami University gives us µmu as shorthand for Microbiology at Miami University, which is the basis of our logo.