Microbiology and ImmunologyDoctor of Philosophy (PhD)
Supervisor: Dr. John McCormick
Why did you come to Western for your graduate degree?
There were many reasons why I selected Western to undertake my graduate studies. Having completed my undergraduate education here, I was aware of the world-class faculty, amazing facilities and numerous funding opportunities that awaited me at Western. I was also aware that Western was a research-intensive school which I valued very highly.
Where is “home” for you?
What’s the best advice you could give to someone considering applying to your graduate program?
Apply early and do not be shy about contacting professors before you are accepted. Make sure you are interested in their research, and be sure to read up on it and convey your interest.
Describe your research in 100 words or less.
I study the human-specific bacterial pathogen Streptococcus pyogenes, best known for causing the illness ‘strep throat’. This organism also causes a myriad of other deadly disease, such as toxic shock syndrome, flesh-eating disease and rheumatic heart disease. This bacterium is a top-ten pathogen in terms of mortality due to an infectious agent worldwide, and primarily infects children in developing and indigenous populations. It is the goal of my research to study the host-pathogen interactions of this organism, and to use these findings to generate a vaccine against this organism, something that has yet to be accomplished in the scientific community.
What is your “dream” career?
My dream career is to be a professor at a research-intensive university where I can follow my two passions; teaching and research.
What are you most passionate about?
Ethical and accurate research as well as teaching the next generation of scientists.
What one thing would you like people to know about you?
I would like people to know that I am an easy going, approachable person always interested in helping people and giving advice.
Program ContactUmera Ali (email@example.com)
Graduate Program Assistant
Department of Microbiology and ImmunologyWestern University
Dental Sciences Rm 3014
London, Ontario N6A 5C1
t. 519-661-2111 ext. x83228
Western’s Graduate Program in Microbiology and Immunology offers research-intensive, thesis-based graduate training at the Masters' and the Doctoral level. We possess world class facilities and a motivating training environment, with high profile research programs overseen by internationally distinguished faculty members. The Graduate Program of the Department of Microbiology and Immunology revolves around two major fields of scientific endeavor: i) The molecular and cellular biology of microorganisms, and ii) The molecular and cellular biology of the immune system. These fields involve studies on bacteria, virus, parasites, cancer cells, and immune cells with an emphasis on molecular biology, biochemistry, and pathogenesis.
The Own Your Future doctoral professional development program creates career-ready graduates with the Power Skills necessary to excel in their studies and achieve their future goals. Assess your own strengths and opportunities for growth and focus on what you want to get out of your time here at Western. To learn more, visit www.uwo.ca/ownyourfuture.
- 12 Terms (4 years)
- Full-time study
Applicants (domestic and international) are encouraged to apply for the following scholarships:
- Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council (NSERC)
- Canadian Institutes for Health Research (CIHR)
- Ontario Graduate Scholarship (OGS)
- Honours Bachelor degree, or equivalent, in Microbiology, Immunology or some other biological sciences program. Holders of MD, DDS, or DVM degrees are also eligible to apply.
- Minimum high B average from the undergraduate degree.
English Language Proficiency
Applicants whose first language is not English must furnish evidence of their proficiency in the use of the English language:
- February 1 - Fall Term
- July 31 (pending spots remaining) - Fall Term
- March 31 - Summer Term
- November 1 - Winter Term
Fields of Research
- Cellular and Molecular Biology of Microorganisms
- Cellular and molecular Biology of the Immune System