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Microbiology & Immunology at Penn State College of Medicine


The outstanding faculty, postdoctoral scholars and graduate students of the Microbiology & Immunology Department are known for their major contributions in viral and tumor immunology, viral pathogenesis and molecular and structural virology.

Members of the faculty have attained national and international recognition for their research endeavors. Our faculty are notable for their outstanding records of scientific publications, membership and leadership roles on national scientific review committees and advisory panels, appointments on editorial boards of leading virology and immunology journals, and strong extramural grant funding.

Aron Lukacher, MD, PhD, is Chair of the Department of Microbiology and Immunology at Penn State College of Medicine. He is pictured in a dark suit jacket and red tie against a blue background.
Aron Lukacher, MD, PhD, Chair, Microbiology & Immunology
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2024 Junior Faculty Teaching Award

Dr. S. Rameeza Allie is this year’s recipient of the Junior Faculty Teaching Award.

The Junior Faculty Teaching Award recipients are selected by the Society of Distinguished Educators as a means of recognizing the accomplishments of some of the outstanding junior faculty who are already making an impact on the educational mission. Recipients of this award are program leaders, instructional designers, education scholars and, above all, great teachers. This award is arguably the most competitive educational award available through the College of Medicine.

In addition to receiving the Junior Faculty Teaching Award, Allie has also been appointed a member of the Committee on the Status of Women with The American Association of Immunologists. The committee is responsible for generating and developing programs that assure equal treatment of all professional immunologists on the basis of merit. The committee focuses on enhancing career opportunities that advance the involvement and recognition of women immunologists in the scientific community.

Dr. Allie has also received the 2023-2024 Dean's Award for Excellence in Teaching. This award was established in 2008 to recognize members of the faculty who made outstanding contributions to medical and graduate education at Penn State College of Medicine over the past year. Recipients were nominated by department chairs, vice deans and program directors.

Rameeza Allie
Dr. S. Rameeza Allie

Courtney Award

The Department of Microbiology and Immunology is excited to announce the winner of this years’ Courtney Award, Alexander Pham.

The Courtney Award is presented at fall convocation to PhD candidates who have passed their comprehensive examination and who have demonstrated an outstanding record of academic achievement during their graduate studies within the Department of Microbiology and Immunology.  A committee of department faculty will consider candidates each year to assess whether any students have reached this exceptional level of excellence. The student will receive a certificate and cash award.

Alumni Society Award

Graduate students Alexander Pham and Katelyn Ayers are this years’ Alumni Society Award recipients.

This award was created as a scholarship based on leadership. It is granted to graduate students who have demonstrated potential for future achievements in their field. They also are active in community affairs and campus activities, and achieved academic distinction.

Graduate students Alexander Pham and Katelyn Ayers sit in chairs and hold up their awards
Alexander Pham, left, and Katelyn Ayers

Conference Organizer

Dr. Joseph Wang has the honor of being a Conference Organizer for FASEB's "Virus Structure and Assembly" conference happening July 21-25, 2024, in Southbridge, Mass.

The conference will cover topics and methodologies such as viral genomics, new anti-viral treatments, emerging viruses, and pandemic readiness. It is an ideal forum for every kind of researcher or invested party including academic researchers, post-docs, and graduate students as well as researchers from governmental agencies and the private sector. The conference will feature discoveries and methodologies to study viruses, which are crucial to identifying new pharmacological targets and treatments for viral diseases.

2024 Dr. Neil Christensen Student Research Fund

Kalynn Alexander has been selected to receive funding from the 2024 Dr. Neil Christensen Student Research Fund for her project "Development of a Mouse Polymavirus VP1 Monoclonal Antibody to Investigate Viral Trafficking."

This fund aims to enrich medical or graduate student research projects at Penn State College of Medicine by providing support for the development or purchase of monoclonal antibodies to be used in student research. The fund provides an excellent opportunity for students to pursue their research interests while enhancing their skills in the development of monoclonal antibodies.

Kalynn Alexander
Kalynn Alexander

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