Microbiology is the science that deals with the study of microorganisms and the effects of diseases that microorganisms produce. Microbiology students study the shape, structure (morphology), genetic and metabolic processes that occur in microscopic and sub-microscopic organisms. Two main branches of microbiology are bacteriology and virology, which deals with the study of viruses and diseases. Other sub-disciplines of microbiology include: immunology, biotechnology, industrial microbiology, public health microbiology, environment microbiology and genetic engineering.
The science of microbiology is relatively young and offers practical applications for different areas of human activity including medicine, agriculture, nutrition, biotechnology and more. Studying microbiology touches upon the elements of chemistry, biomedicine, public health, environmental impacts and human health.
Students have the opportunity for self-directed and faculty-directed research at Keystone. Past students have presented their research findings at state and local conferences, and two microbial-based research projects were awarded the Keystone Innovation Award at the Spring Undergraduate Research and Creativity Celebration.
- Mikayla Wright – The Inhibitory Effects of Medihoney on S. aureus, P. aeruginosa and K. pneumoniae (2017)
- Taylor Viviano – Antibacterial Effects of Turmeric (2016)
Working in the field of Microbiology
Many microbiologists work in research and development conducting basic research or applied research. The aim of basic research is to increase scientific knowledge. An example is growing strains of bacteria in various conditions to learn how they react to those conditions. Other microbiologists conduct applied research and develop new products to solve particular problems.
The median annual wage for microbiologists was $66,850 in May 2016. More microbiologists will be needed to contribute to basic research, solve problems encountered in industrial production processes, and monitor environmental conditions to ensure the public’s health and safety.
Students in the Microbiology major will be prepared find employment in a variety of industries, or continue on to graduate school.
Real World Experience
From internships and experiential learning opportunities to travel and conferences, you’ll have many opportunities to conduct real-world experiences, work with your peers and mentors in your chosen field, and learn first-hand the latest skills to succeed in the real world.
Professor of Biology
Assistant Prof. of Biology, Program Director of Forensic Science, and Faculty Coord. for Undergraduate Research
Assistant Professor of Wildlife Biology and Program Director of Wildlife Biology and Environmental Studies
Associate Professor of Public Health and Chair of Biological and Physical Sciences and Mathematics