The Department of Immunology at Mayo Graduate School is strongly committed to facilitating our students' development into independent biomedical research leaders in academia, industry and government. Approximately 100 students have graduated from our Ph.D. program and 85 percent of them currently have their own labs in either academia or industry.
Currently, we have about 25 students in our Ph.D. and M.D.-Ph.D. programs, each personally mentored by at least one of our 24 faculty members. Although they have independent research laboratories, our faculty have created a highly interactive research environment for our students, with many opportunities for both formal and informal interactions. In particular, the entire department comes together every Thursday for our noon seminar series to hear presentations by the department's students and faculty as well as invited distinguished researchers.
The Department of Immunology graduate students spend most of their graduate school years engaged in world-class research in their chosen mentor's lab, leading to presentations at national/international scientific meetings and publications in high-quality journals. Graduate and undergraduate student research opportunities in the Department of Immunology can be broadly divided into three main (and overlapping) themes: (1) Molecular and Cellular Immunology, (2) Immunopathophysiology and (3) Immunotherapeutics.
Molecular and Cellular Immunology research focuses on the mechanisms of differentiation, signal transduction, and activation in several immune cells, including T and B lymphocytes, NK cells, dendritic cells, monocytes, and eosinophils. Immunopathophysiology research includes determining the pathophysiology and molecular basis for several human diseases, including asthma, arthritis, autoimmune diseases, cancer, multiple sclerosis, myasthenia gravis, HIV, inflammatory bowel disease, and transplantation complications.
Our research is focused on developing therapeutics for immune disorders and disease. Finally, immunotherapeutic research is focused on developing strategies to treat immune disorders and diseases, especially autoimmunity and cancer. Therapeutics currently being developed include gene therapy, recombinant and chimeric soluble receptors and ligands, and lymphocyte or antibody derived immunotherapy.
The field of immunology is coming of age. We are entering a time when fundamental understanding of the immune system is being applied rationally to the treatment of disease, and Mayo Clinic is at the cutting edge of this translational research.
The Department of Immunology offers research opportunities from molecules to humans and everything in between, and we are ideally positioned to take advantage of the unique opportunities that come from being part of a premier medical institution. We invite you to become a part of this exciting field.
Hirohito Kita, M.D.
Professor and Director