Research areas

Microbiology is an interdisciplinary science that crosses the traditional definitions of basic and applied.  Microbes are the most abundant life forms in our biosphere and create the chemistry of every environment on the planet; they also interact favorably and sometimes in disease states with essentially every other life form on Earth.  NC State University faculty from departments across campus, in the colleges of Agriculture & Life Sciences, Engineering, Sciences, Veterinary Medicine and others, are addressing the grand challenges of disease, sustainable food production, energy production, and protecting our environment.  Our programs engage faculty, students and researchers in collaborative, interdisciplinary projects, many of which fall under five major focus areas.

Energy -  Harnessing microbial processes through molecular, cellular and engineering technologies, to develop novel and improved fuels

Environment -  Sustaining high quality habitats and remediating impacted soils, water and indoor environments through applied microbial processes and new technologies

Food production and safety -  Ensuring high quality and safe food production through microbial fermentation, pre- and probiotics, pathogen minimization and safe practices

Human and animal health and disease -  Understanding host-pathogen interactions and unraveling fundamental microbial, cellular and viral processes that impact human and animal health

Microbial diversity and biotechnology -  Exploring the microbial world for new insights and opportunities for deriving new resources for biotechnology