Illustration of the molecular mechanisms of immune cells.

The Department of Immunology at Mayo Clinic, the oldest freestanding immunology department in the country, is the academic home for basic and translational scientists studying the immune system in health and disease. As scientists, the members of the department have a common understanding and a passion for advancing knowledge of fundamental mechanisms that cause and regulate inflammation and immune responsiveness.

The department studies wide spectrum of diseases interrelated by the molecular, cellular and genetic regulatory mechanisms that dictate the immune responses associated with them. The department also nurtures a highly interactive approach to basic science that creates knowledge and fosters discovery of new treatments and diagnostic tests for patients with disease-specific problems, such as allergy, autoimmune diseases, chronic inflammation, cancer, infections and tissue transplant.

The research is intertwined with the education and training of the next generation of researchers. The laboratories of approximately 30 faculty members serve as focal points for the training of graduate students seeking Ph.D. or M.D./Ph.D degrees through Mayo Graduate School. The department also mentors postdoctoral research fellows and clinical trainees conducting research and teach courses in Mayo Graduate School and Mayo Medical School. Each summer the Mayo Graduate School Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowship (SURF) program engages undergraduates in a variety of research experiences.

The future of immunology is now. Mayo scientists and physicians are building collaborative teams as never before, making amazing discoveries about how the human immune system works and how to tap immunity to rekindle hope for patients.