The University of Minnesota was recognized as a Milestones in Microbiology site by the American Society for Microbiology (ASM) for its remarkable achievements in the microbial sciences and lasting impact on the field. The microbiology research at the U of M is distinguished by its ground-breaking discoveries about a broad range of microorganisms and their interactions with animal and plant hosts.

2019 marks the Department of Microbiology and Immunology's Centennial. Originally known as the Department of Bacteriology and Immunology when it was implemented in 1919, the department has been integral to the medical school ever since. Decades ago, scientists at the University of Minnesota discovered that the size and shape of bacterial cells varies with the rate and stage of growth, and that changes occur with great regularity and are governed by simple laws. These insights shook the foundations of bacterial classification and are just one example from an extensive list of accomplishments.

Robin Patel, MD, President of the American Society for Microbiology, stated, "The establishment of the department facilitated an even stronger focus on the discipline and fostered an atmosphere conducive to an exceptional level of scientific inquiry. From its earliest days until now, outstanding department faculty have made many historic contributions to the field."

The university received a plaque to symbolize its myriad accomplishments, spanning a broad range of disciplines and subdisciplines. Michael Hsu, a member of the University of Minnesota Board of Regents, stated, "The University is dedicated to continuing its legacy of support for innovative, groundbreaking research in the microbial sciences conducted by top-rate, dedicated scientists. Let this plaque serve as a reminder of what we've accomplished to date, but let it also serve as a spur to further achievements in the future."