Microbiology and Infection

Tackling the global challenge of infectious diseases for the benefit of society.

Research in this area is diverse, ranging from single-molecule analysis of microbial components to real-time investigation of infection outbreaks. We conduct global research on key pathogens of medical and veterinary importance in both the developed and developing world.

Our work is collaborative: as well as expert microbiologists, our researchers include immunologists, biochemists and chemists. Together they bring a technical expertise to next-generation areas of study, from DNA sequencing to structural biology.

The team at the Institute of Microbiology and Infection are part of the COVID-19 Genomics UK Consortium - COG-UK  mapping how COVID-19 spreads and evolves using whole-genome sequencing. 

Our aim is to harness the power of fundamental microbiology research to solve global threats to humanity. These include age-old diseases like Tuberculosis, newly emerging pathogens such as Zika and, most importantly, the enormous challenge of antimicrobial resistance.

With one of the largest communities of academic microbiologists in the world, we are at the vanguard of innovative research into combatting these threats. We do this by developing new approaches in three areas: diagnosis, treatment and prevention.  By bringing together a diverse community of internationally-recognised researchers, we are developing strategies that range from novel antimicrobial surfaces, through hand-held DNA sequencers to novel drugs and vaccines.  At the heart of all of these approaches is an unwavering dedication to ground-breaking, fundamental microbiology research – something that has been integral to the University of Birmingham since its foundation more than a century ago. 

We are continuously investing in major developments, expansion and improvements to our clinical research facilities. 

Find out more about our Research Facilities

"The COVID-19 pandemic has made it clear that microbes will continue to be a threat to human health in the future. Indeed, due to numerous factors including climate change, globalisation and increasing populations densities, it is likely that we will see more pandemics during our lifetime as pathogens jump from animal hosts to humans. In addition, the increasing burden of infections caused by drug-resistant microbes is another threat to global health. The IMI is uniquely positioned to address these challenges by providing a unique environment for experts in microbiology and infectious diseases to work together to perform research and provide education at the highest level of excellence."

Professor Willem van Schaik

Professor Willem van Schaik

Director of the Institute of Microbiology and Infection

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