Microbiology is a field fundamental to all of biology. Microbes are found in every environment on our planet. They contribute to the ecology of each niche and supply the basis of our food chain. Microbes control population growth via infectious disease and provide us with biological machinery to genetically engineer a plethora of products. The metabolic pathways and genetic systems within bacteria have served as the stepping stones for discoveries in other systems. Studies of these simple yet elegant life forms have provided us the tools that fueled the evolution of biotechnology and genomics.
Specialization in the field of microbiology encompasses not only study of the fundamental processes of bacteria, but also the examination of animal, plant, and bacterial viruses, as well as animal and plant defense systems that counter infection and invasion by microorganisms.
Microbiology, including the sub fields of virology and immunology, continues to be at the forefront of scientific investigation. Microbiological principles are being applied in ecology, biotechnology, medicine, agriculture and the food industry. With new knowledge of DNA sequence data for many bacterial species, the questions to basic biological questions is even more compelling than in recent years.
Students of microbiology
will find opportunities in academia, industry, medicine, public health
biotechnology and law.