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:

 

Allegheny County breakthrough cases increasing, but vaccinated still avoid serious illness

PITTSBURGH POST GAZETTE - The...
Allegheny County breakthrough cases increasing, but vaccinated still avoid serious illness

PITTSBURGH POST GAZETTE - The jab also appears to have a slight reduction in effectiveness against the delta variant compared to prior dominant virus strains, said EPI and IDM's Lee Harrison. But it should still protect people from severe disease if they do become infected. "I think what it tells u... (09/30/2021)

People Living with HIV the focus of two NIH awards to Pitt Public Health researchers

From social stigma to the hig...
People Living with HIV the focus of two NIH awards to Pitt Public Health researchers

From social stigma to the high prevalence of concurrent chronic diseases, people living with HIV (PLWH) are faced with a multitude of challenges.  Two National Institute of Health grants recently awarded to researchers at the University of Pittsburgh Graduate School of Public Health will provide va... (09/28/2021)

Harrison co-authors Conversation piece - Massive numbers of new COVID-19 infections, not vaccines, are the main driver of new coronavirus variants

THE CONVERSATION – The rise o...
Harrison co-authors Conversation piece - Massive numbers of new COVID-19 infections, not vaccines, are the main driver of new coronavirus variants

THE CONVERSATION – The rise of coronavirus variants globally has highlighted the huge influence evolutionary biology has on daily life. But how mutations, random chance, and natural selection produce variants is a complicated process. What EPI and IDM’s Lee Harrison and a Pitt Medicine colleague ha... (09/13/2021)

Harrison talks about when boosters might be available to the general public

PITTSBURGH TRIBUNE REVIEW - "...
Harrison talks about when boosters might be available to the general public

PITTSBURGH TRIBUNE REVIEW - "What they're aiming for is starting September 20, eight months after the second dose. I'm hoping the rollout will go smoothly starting on that date. The process is authorization by FDA for a booster dose, and then ACIP makes the recommendation about the booster dose." s... (08/22/2021)

People who already had COVID-19 should still get vaccinated, scientists like Hartman urge

NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC - For ins...
People who already had COVID-19 should still get vaccinated, scientists like Hartman urge

NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC - For instance, says IDM's Amy Hartman, studies have shown that some recovered patients can mount effective defenses against COVID-19, but antibody levels dropped rapidly in others who were infected. Scientists are still gathering data and racing to answer this key question and ... (08/10/2021)