Seminars, Meetings, and Events



The Department of Molecular Genetics and Microbiology Scientific Retreat will be held on Friday, September 6th - Saturday September 7th, 2024 at the Sheraton Greensboro at Four SeasonsThis 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: (919) 613-8636 or

These meetings occur the second Monday of each month from 4pm-6pm.






October 9, 2023

Lawrence David

Clare Smith Lab

Tom Petes Lab

November 13, 2023

David Tobin

Joern Coers

Joe Heitman

December 11, 2023

Nick Heaton

Raluca Gordan (Secondary)

John Rawls

January 8, 2024

Dennis Ko

Hiro Matsunami

Matt Scaglione

February 12, 2024

Dong Yan

Craig Lowe

Debby Silver

March 11, 2024

Adrianna San Ramon

Simon Gregory (Secondary)

Doug Marchuk

April 8, 2024

Li Lan

Asiya Gusa

Micah Luftig

May 13, 2024

Jenny Lodge



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:

Asiya Gusa 
Assistant Professor

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

Ashley Chi, MD, PhD
Associate Professor
Box 3382 DUMC
Durham, N.C. 27708
Phone: (919) 668-4759
Fax: (919) 668-4777

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

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

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

The Department of Molecular Genetics and Microbiology will host the forty-third year of the Annual Jim McGinnis Memorial Lecture on April 1st, 2024. This year, we are honored to be hosting Dr. Adolfo García-Sastre, who has made outstanding contributions to science, including in the molecular biology of influenza viruses and other negative-strand RNA viruses.



Dr Adolfo García-Sastre is a Professor in the Department of Microbiology and Director of the Global Health and Emerging Pathogens Institute of Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai in New York. Dr. García-Sastre has made significant contributions to the influenza virus field, including:


  • The development of reverse genetics techniques allowing the generation of recombinant influenza viruses from plasmid DNA;
  • The generation and evaluation of negative-strand RNA virus vectors as potential vaccine candidates against different infectious diseases, including malaria and AIDS
  • Identifying the biological role of the non-structural protein NS1 of influenza virus during infection: inhibiting the type I interferon (IFN) system.

 Additionally, his publication on the reconstruction and characterization of the pandemic influenza virus of 1918 has been awarded the distinction of the Paper of the Year 2005 by Lancet. 


Date: Monday, April 1st, 2024

Time: 4:00pm-5:00pm

Location: Great Hall, Trent Semans  


More information about Dr. Adolfo Garcia-Sastre can be found at and the Jim McGinnis Memorial Lecture below.


About the McGinnis 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., a beloved Duke doctoral candidate working in Bill Joklik’s laboratory who died unexpectedly in a canoeing accident. Since its inception, the McGinnis lecture program has featured thirty-nine exemplary speakers, including five Nobel laureates, eleven Lasker Award recipients, ten recipients of the National Medal of Science, and thirty-four members of the National Academy of Sciences, including leading investigators in the areas of molecular biology, virology, microbial pathogenesis and physiology, genetics, immunology, vaccines, and RNA biology.

To make a gift to the Jim McGinnis Endowment Fund, please visit the Duke Giving Website.

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

McGinnis Student Chairs: Agastya Sharma (Chair), Luz Saavedra Sanchez, Erin Schroeder, Jessica Portillo, Evon DeBose-Scarlett, Marco Gontijo

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

Clare Smith, PhD
Assistant Professor
264 Jones Building
Box 3054 DUMC
Durham, N.C. 27710
Phone: (919) 613-6378
Fax: (919) 684-2790


The Department of Molecular Genetics and Microbiology will host the 14th Annual Joklik Distinguished Lecture in conjunction with the annual MGM departmental retreat, September 13-15, 2023. This year's speaker will be  Sarah Cherry.

Sarah Cherry

September 13th-15th, 2022
Wrightsville Beach, NC

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.

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 4:00 pm 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 NoorMohamed Noor, PhD
Department of Biology
4214 French Science
Box 90338
Durham, N.C. 27708
Tel: (919) 613-8156
Fax: (919) 660-7372

To view all the past lecture posters, please click here.

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

  • Triangle Microbial Interactions Meetings

The MGM Winter Celebration will be held on Friday, January 10th, 2025 rather than in December this year. 

For more information, please reach out to



Our annual MGM social event will be held at Hi-Wire Brewing Durham on October 25th 2023 from 3p-6p.

For further information, please reach out to


To honor the scientific contributions and 70th birthday of Tom Petes, a one-day symposium was held on Saturday, April 29, 2017 at the Hilton Garden Inn in Research Triangle Park. The symposium featured keynote talks by David Botstein and Gerry Fink. There were short talks by Tom’s colleagues and former trainees. See pictures of the event here.

We are MGM's advocacy for graduate and postdoc women in the Molecular Genetics and Microbiology department. WiS serves as a liaison between women science students and the administration. WiS sponsors events in which women faculty members and students in the MGM program can come together and share experiences and ideas for change. Graduate students from the department meet each month to discuss issues of gender and science. Our student chairs are and Co-leader: And faculty advisors: and

For further information, please reach out to