The primary objective of the Microbiology, Immunology, and Cancer Biology (MICaB) program is to train scientists in the fields of microbiology, immunology and cancer biology, and to equip our students for careers in the numerous scientific fields. MICaB is a Ph.D. program, and our focus is on training students for cutting edge laboratory research and critical thinking about their chosen field of study, in order that they make novel discoveries and expand the knowledge base and scholarship in these disciplines.  MICaB is a broad interdepartmental, interdisciplinary program, which permits students to develop specialization in a focused research arena, but also to maintain a broader education based on the confluence of microbiology, immunology and cancer biology.  Our ultimate goal is to produce graduates who will become leaders in these fields, using their training to excel in areas such as basic and biomedical research, teaching, scientific policy, public health, R & D, and communication. 

The MICaB graduate program began in 1996. Formation of the MICaB program was driven by the recognition that faculty and students in these fields were integrated in numerous ways, and that biomedical research is most effective when it is collaborative and interdisciplinary.  Our goal is to support research within each of the three “tracks”, but also at their interface. This fosters broad academic and training experiences, and input by students and faculty from diverse fields allows for new insights on research questions.  Studies by MICaB students include such varied fields as viral, bacterial and fungal pathogenesis, immunotherapy, vaccine development, microbial evolution, gene therapy, microbiome research, therapeutics, bioremediation, and diagnostics.  

MICaB has enrolled hundreds of students working with over 100 faculty mentors that represent over 20 departments at the University of Minnesota. The MICaB program is committed to maintaining high standards for admission to the program, and is focused on excellence in student training, research achievements and career development.

Accordingly, our goal for MICaB students is to train them in:

  • Scholarship:  Education on the current state of knowledge in a research discipline.  

  • Research:  Developing a research concept from hypothesis to planning and execution, involving critical thinking as well as technical skills. 

  • Communication:  dissemination of research findings and scholarship, through both publication of scholarly work and oral presentations.  

  • Preparation for future career goals.