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Many recent scientific developments have emphasized the need for a renewed focus on Microbial Biology. From the rapidly growing threats of bioterrorism, antibiotic resistant bacteria, and emerging infectious diseases to the potential for new and improved uses of microorganisms in biotechnology, the importance of basic research on Microbial Biology has become more obvious and urgent today than ever before. Despite these imperatives and opportunities, for several decades microbial biology was neglected because it was believed that microbial diseases would be eradicated. Hence, few academic departments or research institutes maintained the focus on microbial sciences needed to attack problems that demand an intimate understanding of microbial biology.

The Center for Microbial Sciences is a non-profit research organization dedicated to the study of microorganisms and viruses. Our mission is to provide a productive, stimulating, and interactive research environment that will lead to rapid progress in many fields of Microbial Biology. The Center will encourage multidisciplinary scientific research by bringing together a group of creative, cooperative investigators with different scientific backgrounds. The Center will integrate multiple scientific approaches to elucidate basic biological principles that will help in combating vexing human health problems caused by microorganisms and will stimulate novel applications of microorganisms in the biotechnology industry. The Center will be directly involved in enhancing preparedness for bioterrorism by supporting research with organisms considered most likely to be agents of biological warfare and will encourage research in the prevention, detection, and treatment of infectious diseases relevant to bioterrorism.

The Center for Microbial Sciences is affiliated with San Diego State University. Location in San Diego provides several advantages. The close proximity of the Center to a nucleus of biotechnology companies will facilitate interactions with industry. In addition, the Center will closely collaborate with neighboring institutions including UCSD, Scripps Research Institute, Salk Institute, Scripps Institution of Oceanography, and others, thereby expanding the available intellectual and physical resources.

The Center has three major goals:

Innovative Research

The Center for Microbial Sciences will integrate several flexible, dynamic, and multidisciplinary research teams. The teams will include investigators with overlapping interests. Cooperative interactions between the researchers will allow the Center to focus on important questions that fall into the gaps between different disciplines, for example exploring ecological aspects of microbial pathogenesis, using microbial physiology to enhance human and animal nutrition, and applying novel postgenomic approaches to metabolic engineering. The research teams will integrate a variety of experimental approaches, including genomics, proteomics, metabolic profiling, fluorescence technology, structural biology, and genetics. Initially the research will focus on novel problems that take advantage of the expertise of the founding researchers and have important practical applications for human and animal health.

Research topics at the Center for Microbial Sciences will include:

Funding for the Center for Microbial Sciences will come from federal, state, and private sources. To stimulate innovation, seed funding will be available for investigators at the Center to explore new scientific questions and develop new experimental technologies. Seed funding will allow investigators the flexibility to pursue innovative ideas and to respond quickly to new developments by providing the financial support necessary to pursue novel research areas that will lead to outside funding or industrial applications.

Training and Outreach

In addition to scientific research, the Center for Microbial Biology will take an active role in training and outreach for the local and international scientific community. This role will be accomplished in several ways.

Scientific Advisors and Affiliates


Scientific Advisory Board

Academic Affiliates

Industrial Affiliates

Useful Links to the San Diego Microbiology community

Progress of Building

Professor Stan Maloy

Please send questions or comments to

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