Welcome to the Department of Microbiology in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences (CALS)!  

Microorganisms drive the fundamental processes on which all life on Earth depends.  We are born into a world dominated by microorganisms.  As a consequence, we have innumerable intimate microbial associations; many enhance our lives, some are essential to our very existence, while others present us with potentially lethal challenges.  Research on all aspects of microbial biology can provide a deeper understanding of basic cellular and evolutionary processes, foster sustainable and practical approaches to maintain healthy ecosystems, and inform better practices to promote plant, animal and human health. 

Our faculty and staff have a primary responsibility for teaching undergraduate microbiology which includes our introductory microbiology lecture course (BioMi 2900) and associated laboratory (BioMi 2911).  We also offer numerous specialized and advanced courses as well as undergraduate research experiences.

Research in the Department of Microbiology is internationally recognized and focused on diverse aspects of microbial biological processes, with specific expertise in:

  • molecular genetics and gene regulation
  • microbial cell biology, and genome evolution
  • host/microbe interactions and co-phylogeny
  • pathogens and pathogenicity
  • bioremediation
  • globally relevant, microbially mediated ecosystem functions
  • (meta)genomics, transcriptomics, proteomics and metabolomics


Looking to Donate to the Department of Microbiology?  DONATE HERE

Wing Hall

Our Department home, and most of our faculty, are located in Wing Hall, a historic 1912 building of the Classical Revival style, typified by the massive columns marking its front façade.  Additional faculty labs are located elsewhere on the Ithaca Campus. 


affiliated faculty member

A community of scholars

The department provides a center of expertise for microbial biology at Cornell. 

The Department of Microbiology acknowledges that Cornell University's Ithaca campus is located on the traditional homelands of the Gayogo̱hó꞉nǫ’ (the Cayuga Nation). The Gayogo̱hó꞉nǫ’ are members of the Haudenosaunee Confederacy, an alliance of six sovereign Nations with a historic presence on this land. The Confederacy precedes the establishment of Cornell University, New York State, and the United States of America. We acknowledge the painful history of Gayogo̱hó꞉nǫ’ dispossession, and honor the ongoing connection of Gayogo̱hó꞉nǫ’ people, past and present, to these lands and waters. We encourage all who engage with us to learn more about the Gayogo̱hó꞉nǫ’, their history, and people, and to take meaningful action to support indigenous scholars and their communities.