The UAB Undergraduate Immunology Program was developed to provide an intensive, immunology-focused course of study and research opportunities for students interested pursuing careers in immunology and health-related professions, including medicine, biomedical research, science education, policy, and writing. The immunology major gives students the opportunity to learn about and contribute to research in the field of immunology earlier than other general degrees (such as biology and microbiology).

A man in blue gloves and a lab coat prepares a sample. This new interdisciplinary program between the Department of Microbiology in the School of Medicine and the Department of Biology in the College of Arts and Sciences was established in response to the growing interest in immunology among our undergraduate students.

About Immunology

Immunology is an exciting area of science that has relevance to health and disease at many levels:
  • The immune system plays a critical role in protecting us against infectious organisms that cause disease, and can be enhanced through the use of vaccines.
  • Recent studies have shown great promise in harnessing the immune system to fight cancer.
  • The immune system can cause disease as well, including autoimmunity, allergies/asthma, and many chronic diseases such as diabetes, heart disease, and chronic neurological disease due to unchecked inflammation.
For these reasons, understanding how the immune system works is very important for improving health and saving lives throughout the world.

Why Study at UAB?

Students who major in immunology at UAB receive:
  • hands-on research experience,
  • access to faculty mentors who have been recognized for their research in immunology and related fields, and
  • training to address questions related to understanding how the immune system protects us from infectious organisms — including emerging infectious diseases — as well as the role of the immune system in causing diseases like autoimmunity, allergy/asthma, and other chronic diseases (e.g. heart disease, diabetes, cancer, Alzheimer’s disease).
The function of the immune system and its impact on the growth and well-being of the world’s population is a major focus of this curriculum.

Program Directors


Dr. Louis Justement
Dr. Louis Justement
UIP Director
Professor, Department of Microbiology
School of Medicine
Read more about Dr. Justement
Dr. Vithal Ghanta
Dr. Vithal Ghanta
UIP Co-Director
Professor, Department of Biology
College of Arts and Sciences
Read more about Dr. Ghanta