Allergy, Immunology and Infectious Disease

Research and education in the Allergy, Immunology and Infectious Diseases (AIID) concentration in the PhD Program in Integrated Biomedical Sciences is focused on interdisciplinary approaches to the study of how microbes interact with the host to cause disease and how the immune system responds to allergens, infection and neoplasms. Students in the program are currently pursuing research projects in areas including emerging infectious diseases, bacterial pathogenesis, cancer immunotherapy, microbial drug resistance, malaria, Lyme disease, Clostridium difficile infections, regulation of immunity and inflammation, oncogenic viruses and respiratory viruses in acute and chronic diseases. The mission of our program is to promote and foster outstanding research by facilitating increasing collaboration between researchers within the Morsani College of Medicine and beyond, thus improving the health and life of patients.


In addition to the coursework required for all students in the PhD Program in Integrated Biomedical Sciences, students will take courses in their chosen concentration. 


  • GMS 6103  Foundations in Medical Microbiology and Immunology
  • GMS 6101  Molecular and Cellular Immunology
  • GMS 7939  Graduate Seminar

Sample of Electives

  • BCH 6746 Structural Biology
  • BCH 6135 Methods in Molecular Medicine
  • GMS 6701 Advances in Virology
  • GMS 6114 Vaccines and Applied Immunology
  • GMS 6110 Microbial Pathogenesis and Host-Parasite Interactions
  • GMS 6940 Supervised Teaching 
  • GMS 6115 Medical Parasitology and Mycology 

Faculty & Research

Current research interests include: 

  • Immune Regulation
  • HIV 
  • Viral Infections
  • Environmental Pollution and Lung Disease
  • Arthritis & Inflammation
  • Emerging Infectious Diseases
    • Lyme disease
    • Clostridium difficile infections
    • Biofilm formation by Bartonella henselae 
  •  Neuroimmunology

Learn more about our faculty and their research interests here.

Affiliated Institutes & Facilities

USF Health Byrd Alzheimer's Institute 

Florida Infectious Disease Center 

Diabetes Center

Concentration Spotlights


Presentation during retreatThis Spring, the Department of Molecular Medicine hosted a retreat at the Patel Center for Global Solutions. The event provided faculty, staff, and students the opportunity to listen to scientific talks and explore research posters, as well as network with colleagues.

Click here to view more photos from the retreat. 

Watch an interview with USF AIID faculty, Xingmin Sun, as he discusses his research into a possible vaccine for Clostridium difficile. 

Helena Hernandez-Cuervo presents at research day  Udoka Okaro presents at research day 
PhD students, Helena Hernandez-Cuervo and Udoka Okaro, gave oral presentations at the 29th Annual USF Health Research Day. 


2019 - Udoka Okaro graduated and received a Chemical & Biological Defense Fellowship funded through the NRC Research Associate Program. She will be conducting research at the US Army Medical Research Institute in Maryland.
2019 - Ishani Wickramage was selected to participate in the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation Travel Award for Scientists from Low & Low-Middle Income Countries at the American Society for Microbiology Meeting in San Francisco in June. 
2019 - Caroline Simmons received the USF Federal Credit Union Infectious Disease Research Award at USF Health Research Day.

Recent Publications 

  • Muthumani K, Marnin L, Kudchodkar SB, Perales-Puchalt A, Choi H, Agarwal S, Scott VL, Reuschel EL, Zaidi FI, Duperret EK, Wise MC, Kraynyak KA, Ugen KE, Sardesai NY, Joseph Kim J, Weiner DB. Novel prostate cancer immunotherapy with a DNA-encoded anti-prostate-specific membrane antigen monoclonal antibody. Cancer immunology, immunotherapy : CII. , 2017.
  • Lockey RF, Teng MN. Human passive cutaneous anaphylaxis in the 21st century: Worth the risk? The Journal of allergy and clinical immunology. , 2017.
  • Okaro, U., A. Addisu, B. Casanas, B. Anderson. 2017. Bartonella species, an emerging cause of blood-culture-negative endocarditis. Clin. Microbiol. Rev. 30:709-746..
  • Ouyang Z, Zhou J, Norgard MV. Evidence that BosR (BB0647) Is a Positive Autoregulator in Borrelia burgdorferi. Infection and immunity. 84(9) : 2566-74, 2016.

More Information

For information about the PhD Program in Integrated Biomedical Sciences, contact 813-974-2836 or 

Apply Now 

Please note, students do not apply directly to a concentration. Interested students should submit an application for the PhD in Medical Sciences. Concentrations are typically selected during the first year of study.