201312993280 head shot s06On February 7, 2014, the University of Alabama System Board of Trustees appointed John F. Kearney, Ph.D., distinguished professor in the UAB School of Medicine Department of Microbiology. This is one of the University’s highest honors bestowed on faculty by the Board.

Kearney’s work has brought worldwide recognition to UAB. He is an internationally recognized expert in monoclonal antibodies and their source: immune cells known as B cells that produce the antibodies necessary to fight off infections and other immune threats.

Kearney came to UAB as a postdoctoral fellow in 1974 and joined the microbiology faculty in 1977. In addition to his primary faculty appointment in the microbiology department, Kearney holds several other appointments at UAB including senior scientist in the UAB Comprehensive Cancer Center and UAB Center for Disease Preparedness, as well as a professor in the Division of Developmental and Clinical Immunology.

Committed to the study of infectious and immune-mediated diseases

The UAB Department of Microbiology is consistently ranked amongst the best microbiology departments in the country, and faculty currently hold more than 50 grants and $13 million in extramural grant funding. We are a vibrant highly collaborative research community actively serving the university mission of excellence in research, service and teaching. 

It is an exciting time to be a scientist at UAB and in the Department of Microbiology. The department is actively recruiting new faculty members and with our existing cadre of investigators and the new faculty who join us, we plan to capitalize on the department’s strong foundation and heritage to build a scientifically rich environment that will allow us to meet our twin missions of carrying out cutting-edge, fundamental basic and translational research to improve human health and educating the next generation of scientists who will lead the fight against infectious and immune-mediated diseases.


We are improving human health by carrying out cutting-edge, fundamental basic and translational research focusing on the bacteria, viruses and parasites that cause human disease. Faculty in the Department of Microbiology have research programs in five broad yet interconnected areas; Microbial Pathogenesis, Immunology, Virology, Structural Biology and Cancer.


We are educating and training the next generation of scientists, educators and entrepreneurs who will lead the fight against infectious and immune-mediated diseases. Department of Microbiology faculty participate in teaching classes to undergraduate, graduate and medical students and serve as the organizers and course directors for a number of the graduate level classes.