Seminars, Meetings and Events

2014 MGM Annual Retreat

The Department of Molecular Genetics and Microbiology Annual Retreat is scheduled for Friday, September 5 to Sunday, September 7, 2014 at the Blockade Runner Beach Resort in Wrightsville Beach, NC. This annual event offers the opportunity for students, post-doctoral fellows, research assistants, and faculty members to engage in collaborative discussions as well as showcase current scholarship and research.

For further information, please contact Annette Kennett at 613-8636 or


Thursday Series

The Department of Molecular Genetics and Microbiology has combined with the University Program in Cell and Molecular Biology as well as the Department of Cell Biology to create a seminar series we refer to as the "Thursday Series." These seminars are held each Thursday from 12:30-1:30pm in Room 147, Nanaline Duke Building. The MGM portion of the Thursday Series is coordinated by:

Debra Silver, PhD
Assistant Professor


Tuesday Series

The Tuesday Series is co-sponsored by the University Program in Genetics and Genomics (UPGG) and the Institute for Genome Sciences and Policy (IGSP). All seminars take place each Tuesday from 12:30-1:30pm in Room 147, Nanaline Duke Building. The Tuesday Series is coordinated by:

Alejandro Aballay, PhD
Associate Professor
268 JONES Building
Box 3580 DUMC
Durham, N.C. 27710

Tel: (919) 668-1783
Fax: (919) 684-2790

Please visit the UPGG web site for a complete Tuesday Series schedule.


MGM Post-Doctoral Fellow Distinguished Alumnus Seminar

Click here for a complete list of previous MGM Post-Doctoral Fellow Distinguished Alumnus Seminar speakers.


MGM Graduate Student Distinguished Alumnus Seminar

Click here for a complete list of previous MGM Graduate Student Distinguished Alumnus Seminar speakers.


UPGG Distinguished Lecture Series

The Duke University Distinguished Lecturer Series was designed to bring renowned lecturers to campus to illuminate progress and future areas of excitement in genetics and genomics. These seminars take place on specific Thursdays at 4:00pm in Room 103, Bryan Research Auditorium with a reception following the presentation. The Distinguished Lecture Series is free and open to the public and is organized by a UPGG student committee in conjunction with:

Mohamed Noor, PhD Mohamed Noor
Department of Biology
4214 French Science
Box 90338
Durham, N.C. 27708
Tel: (919) 613-8156
Fax: (919) 660-7372

Please visit the UPGG web site for a complete Distinguished Lecture Series schedule.


Jim McGinnis Memorial Lecture

The Department of Molecular Genetics and Microbiology will host the Thirty-Seventh Annual Jim McGinnis Memorial Lecture on March 26, 2015. This year's speaker is Arturo Casadevall, MD, PhD.

Arturo Casadevall, MD, PhD, is the Leo and Julia Forchheimer Professor of Microbiology & Immunology at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine of Yeshiva University in the Bronx, New York. He is Chairman of the Department of Microbiology and Immunology and served as Director of the Division of Infectious Diseases at the Montefiore Medical Center at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine from 2000-2006. Dr. Casadevall received both his MD and PhD (biochemistry) degrees from New York University in New York, New York. Subsequently, he completed internship and residency in internal medicine at Bellevue Hospital in New York, New York. Later he completed subspecialty training in Infectious Diseases at the Montefiore Medical Center and Albert Einstein College of Medicine. Casadevall's major research interests are in fungal pathogenesis and the mechanism of antibody action. In the area of Biodefense Casadevall has an active research program to understand the mechanisms of antibody-mediated neutralization of Bacillus anthracis toxins. He has authored over 490 scientific papers. Casadevall was elected to membership in the American Society for Clinical Investigation, the American Academy of Physicians, and the American Academy of Microbiology. He was elected a fellow of the American Academy for the Advancement of Science and has received numerous honors including the Solomon A Berson Medical Alumni Achievement Award in Basic Science from the NYU School of Medicine, the Maxwell L. Littman Award (mycology award), the Rhoda Benham Award from Medical Mycology Society of America, and the Kass Lecture of the Infectious Disease Society of America. Casadevall is the Editor- in-Chief of mBio, the first open access general journal of the American Society of Microbiology. He serves in the editorial board of the Journal of Clinical Investigation and the Journal of Experimental Medicine. He has served in numerous NIH committees including those that drafted the NIAID Strategic Plan and the Blue Ribbon Panel on Biodefense Research. Casadevall served on the NAS committee that reviewed the science behind the FBI investigation of the anthrax attacks in 2001. He is a member of the National Science Advisory Board for Biosecurity and co-chaired the NIAID Board of Scientific counselors. 

Since he joined the Einstein faculty in 1992, Casadevall has mentored dozens of graduate students, postdoctoral fellows, and junior faculty. Many of his trainees have gone on to have highly successful careers in science and several have become AECOM faculty. From 2000-2006 Casadevall was director of the Division of Infectious Diseases at AECOM-Montefiore and oversaw the expansion of its research program. In 2001 Casadevall received the Samuel M. Rosen outstanding teacher award and in 2008 he was recognized the American Society of Microbiology with the William Hinton Award for mentoring scientists from underrepresented groups.

[Visit the Casadevall Laboratory website]

Arturo CasadevallArturo Casadevall, MD, PhD  
Chair and Professor, Department of Microbiology & Immunology

Professor, Department of Medicine (Infectious Diseases)
Director, Center for Immunological Sciences
Albert Einstein College of Medicine
1300 Morris Park Avenue
Forchheimer Building, Room 411
Bronx, NY 10461

Seminar: Thoughts on the origin of microbial virulence

March 26, 2015
Venue: Bryan Research Building, Room 103
Reception to follow lecture


The annual McGinnis Memorial Lecture was established by the staff and students of the Departments of Microbiology and Immunology in 1979 to honor the memory of James William McGinnis, Jr.

Jim was born March 13, 1951, in Greensboro, N.C. He grew up in Cary; graduated from Phillips Academy, Andover, Mass.; received a B.S. degree in Chemistry from Stanford University in 1973; completed the first year of medical school at Duke; transferred to the Department of Microbiology and Immunology; and was a doctoral candidate here at the time of his death, March 11, 1978, in a canoeing accident. His research involved in vitro translation and RNase III processing of avian tumor virus (RSV) RNA. The Ph.D. was awarded posthumously. His postdoctoral work was to be with Dr. Fred Sanger, Cambridge, England.

Science was Jim’s first allegiance, but he relished excellence in music, sports, literature, and art. He loved philosophy, enjoyed nature, and prized friendship. Learning was exhilarating to him,
and, to this good end, the lecture is dedicated.


Since its inception, the McGinnis lecture program has brought 36 exemplary speakers to campus, including four Nobel laureates (J. Michael Bishop, David Baltimore, Phil Sharp, and Elizabeth Blackburn), and twenty-seven members of the National Academy of Sciences, including leading investigators in the areas of virology, microbial pathogenesis and physiology, molecular biology, immunology, and RNA biology.

Click here for a complete list of previous McGinnis Memorial Lecture speakers.

The Jim McGinnis Memorial Lecture is organized by a student committee in conjunction with:

Micah Luftig, PhD
Assistant Professor
424 CARL Building
Box 3504 DUMC
Durham, N.C. 27710
Tel: (919) 668-3091
Fax: (919) 684-2790


Joklik Distinguished Lectureship

The Department of Molecular Genetics and Microbiology will host the Fifth Annual Joklik Distinguished Lecture in conjunction with the annual MGM departmental retreat, September 5-7, 2014. This year's speaker is Beatrice Hahn, MD.

Beatrice Hahn, elected to the National Academy of Sciences in 2012, has a longstanding interest in the origins and evolution of human pathogens. She is recognized for deciphering the primate origins of human immunodeficiency viruses types 1 and 2 (HIV-1 and HIV-2) and the malaria parasite Plasmodium falciparum. Hahn has also developed noninvasive methods to study the zoonotic potential of microbes that infect endangered primate species in the wild. At present, Hahn is focused on developing a protective human AIDS vaccine by dissecting the HIV-1 transmission process and studying the biological properties of newly transmitted founder viruses.

Over the years, Hahn has earned numerous honors, from receiving a National Institutes of Health R37 Merit Award in 2008 to election to both the American Academy of Microbiology and the Institute of Medicine of the National Academies. In 2002, Discover magazine named her one of “The 50 Most Important Women in Science.” Hahn credits “a lot of luck, good health, a talented team, and a good husband” for her success. Together with her husband George Shaw, another international leader in human and simian immunodeficiency virus (SIV) research, Hahn continues to make impressive contributions to this field of medical science. Both Hahn and Shaw are now based at the University of Pennsylvania’s Perelman School of Medicine.

Beatrice HahnBeatrice Hahn, MD
Professor of Medicine and Microbiology
Department of Microbiology 
Perelman School of Medicine
University of Pennsylvania 

Seminar: Origins of Human AIDS and Malaria

September 6, 2014
Blockade Runner Beach Resort
Wrightsville Beach, NC
Reception to follow lecture

The Joklik Distinguished Lectureship honors and commemorates the myriad contributions of Dr. Bill (Wolfgang Karl) Joklik to the Department of Microbiology and Immunology at Duke, which he chaired; to the institution, specifically for his role as the co-founder of the Duke Comprehensive Cancer Center; and to the broader microbiology community for his research program in virology, service in founding the American Society for Virology, and for his editorial work for the journal Virology and the seminal text, Zinsser's Microbiology. [Read more]

Click here for a complete list of previous Joklik Distinguished Lectureship speakers.


Other Triangle Area Seminars

  • Triangle Microbial Interactions Meetings


2015 MGM Holiday Celebration

The 2015 MGM Holiday Celebration is scheduled for Saturday, December 6th, from 7-11pm at Kirby Hall, Duke Gardens.  Please mark your calendars.


2014 MGM Softball Game

It's that time of year again for the annual MGM softball game at the Durham Athletic Park (DAP).  The game and cookout are scheduled for Friday, June 6th, from 4-8 pm. Our grill masters will be out in full force cooking up hamburgers and hotdogs with all of the extras. Dust off the bats and gloves, bring your families, and come on out and have some great fun and food!

In order to get a count for food, please RSVP to no later than, Friday, May 30th.

We look forward to seeing you there!
[Download Flyer, PDF, 66KB]