Graduate Program

Vaccine and Gene Therapy Institute and Molecular Microbiology and Immunology Graduate Program

The Vaccine and Gene Therapy Institute and Molecular Microbiology and Immunology faculty are strongly committed to providing excellent research training for Ph.D. and M.D./Ph.D. students and to preparing them for successful careers as university faculty and as researchers in health science companies. The results of this commitment are evident. Our graduates obtain postdoctoral fellowships in prestigious labs across the country; our former postdoctoral fellows hold faculty positions at numerous universities and institutes with high research visibility. Some hold high level positions in companies.

The training environment in VGTI and MMI is excellent. From the beginning of graduate school, each student is assigned a faculty committee which monitors the student's research progress and provides counsel to the student until completion of his/her thesis project. Students rotate in three research labs in the first three quarters of graduate school. This experience allows the students to experience a variety of research opportunities and to help them choose a mentor for their graduate thesis work.

In addition to didactic coursework, which take approximately 1.5 years to complete, students participate in journal clubs and present their research results in a formal seminar setting every year. They are taught to think critically and independently and to write manuscripts and proposals in the NIH style. Several seminar series on campus expose students to additional research approaches and philosophies and provide opportunities for students to meet researchers at the forefront of their fields. All VGTI and MMI students are fully supported by stipends from NIH training grants or from grants held by their mentors. Students often take less than five years to obtain their Ph.D. degree (a little less for M.D./Ph.D. students).


The VGTI and department of Molecular Microbiology and Immunology is one of five basic science departments at Oregon Health & Science University that forms the Program in Molecular and Cellular Biosciences (PBMC), a program that brings together over 150 faculty to provide training aimed at the completion of a Ph.D.

All applicants interested in joining the Vaccine and Gene Therapy Institute/department of Molecular Microbiology and Immunology should apply via the Program in Molecular and Cellular Biosciences admissions process.