Pitt Public Health is one of the few graduate schools of public health with a department dedicated to the study of infectious diseases, which are at the root of some of the world’s most pressing health issues.

The Department of Infectious Diseases and Microbiology (IDM) is committed to training the next generation of scientists and public health professionals to enhance the control of infectious diseases in the human population. Our integrated microbiology graduate programs are devoted to the education and training of graduate students in various molecular, immunologic, epidemiologic, and biologic aspects of microbial pathogenesis, as well as infectious disease control, prevention and education.

Pitt Public Health has made major contributions in defining, preventing, and treating some of the most devastating diseases of the past 60 years. Among the pioneering scientific breakthroughs made by IDM researchers are...

  • Prevention of poliovirus with gamma globulin, which helped in the development of the Salk polio vaccine
  • Identification of dengue viruses and the hemorrhagic fever caused by them
  • Discovery of adeno-associated virus
  • Linking the transmission of cytomegalovirus to infected organs in transplantation
  • Evidence showing HIV load in the blood is a strong predictor of disease progression
  • Establishing the Pitt Men's Study, a part of the ongoing, greater than 30 year nationwide Multicenter AIDS Cohort Study on the natural history of HIV infection
  • Establishing The Mid Atlantic AIDS Education and Training Center (MAETC) which has provided HIV/AIDS education, consultation, technical assistance and resource materials to health care professionals for over 30 years

Degrees

The IDM Department is committed to high-quality graduate education that is consistent with our cutting-edge research and behavioral and community education programs. Drawing on the disciplines of molecular biology, immunology, epidemiology, medicine, health education, and community intervention, our graduate programs encourage students to engage in cross-disciplinary research of multiple aspects of infectious diseases.

Doctoral and master level degree programs offered include...

Within the MPH program two concentrations are available:

 

‘Déjà vu’: HIV-positive Pittsburghers say we have much to learn about COVID by comparing it to our other deadly epidemic

PUBLIC SOURCE — Pittsburghers...
‘Déjà vu’: HIV-positive Pittsburghers say we have much to learn about COVID by comparing it to our other deadly epidemic

PUBLIC SOURCE — Pittsburghers who have lived with HIV for decades say the COVID pandemic echoed many of the scariest and most dangerous parts of living through the HIV and AIDS epidemic, including confusion about the science, social isolation, a reluctance to adopt public health measures, and a lac... (02/22/2021)

COVID-19 Update: As Pa. cases decline, did state avoid post-holiday surge?

PITTSBURGH POST-GAZETTE — Lee...
COVID-19 Update: As Pa. cases decline, did state avoid post-holiday surge?

PITTSBURGH POST-GAZETTE — Lee Harrison, a Pitt epidemiologist and chairman of the Allegheny County Board of Health, said that the drop in the positivity rate was encouraging, but warned that the state is not done with the winter surge. “We’re in the middle still of a raging pandemic,” he said.  "I ... (01/26/2021)

Amanpour & Salk: Vaccine lessons from history (video)

CNN — Christiane Amanpour dis...
Amanpour & Salk: Vaccine lessons from history (video)

CNN — Christiane Amanpour discusses with IDM's Peter Salk the 97% drop in polio prevalence within a few years of initial vaccine adoption. In 1953, Dr. Peter Salk was one of the first to receive a polio vaccine—from none other than his father, Jonas Salk. They go on to discuss herd immunity and vac... (01/13/2021)

Editorial | Ramp up vaccinations to protect individuals, community

TRIBUNE-DEMOCRAT - As we did ...
Editorial | Ramp up vaccinations to protect individuals, community

TRIBUNE-DEMOCRAT - As we did in wearing masks and taking other precautions to slow the spread of COVID-19, we should focus together on getting inoculated to move toward what scientists and doctors call “herd immunity” – a collective level of protection that blocks the spread of the virus. Herd immu... (01/12/2021)

If I obtained the vaccine, do I need to quarantine away from my 70-year-old husband?

TRIBUNE-DEMOCRAT - Pitt Publi...
If I obtained the vaccine, do I need to quarantine away from my 70-year-old husband?

TRIBUNE-DEMOCRAT - Pitt Public Health alumna Jill D. Henning (IDM ’08), associate professor of biology at Pitt Johnstown, and fellow experts answer the public's questions about COVID-19.  For starters: The Pfizer and Moderna vaccines for COVID-19 contain mRNA and not any virus, which means that you... (01/04/2021)