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One quarter of all human deaths can be attributed to infection each year and treatment options are becoming more limited with a dramatic increase in multi-drug resistant microbes. Hence, a better understanding of the interaction between microbes and the immune system is essential for making discoveries that will ultimately translate to the clinic in terms of better diagnostics, biomarkers, therapies and vaccines.

The Ohio State University recognizes the urgent need for having a critical mass of outstanding, internationally recognized scientists in the fields of microbial pathogenesis and immunology, as well as the need to train the next generation of interdisciplinary scientists in Microbiology and Immunology.

Approved by the Board of Trustees on February 11, 2011, the Department of Microbial Infection and Immunity (MI&I) is one of seven basic science departments in the College of Medicine.​​​​