The center comprises research scientists and their students/fellows who share a common interest in understanding the molecular mechanisms of infectious diseases and host defenses against them.

Our group of research scientists comprises 30 principal investigators, their students, postdoctoral fellows and laboratory staff. Together, these PI’s currently hold more than $60 million in research grants and have multiple collaborations both within and outside the Center.

Research Areas

Research topics naturally sort into bacterial, parasitic, viral and immunological categories. Our investigators share a global perspective based on their common interest in the molecular details of each organism’s life cycle and host interactions.

Our application of genetic, biochemical and immunological concepts and technologies melds the diverse research foci into a single interactive unit.

Strong Collaboration

There is a shared recognition among individual investigators that future success is largely dependent upon cooperation and the development of productive collaborations.

Membership in this large and diverse scientific community, and physical proximity within adjacent laboratories, promote the development of close and fruitful interactions.

Proof of this notion is evident in the multiple collaborative projects initiated since the present center was instituted.

Research Opportunities

Graduate and postdoctoral training opportunities abound in the center. Students may choose challenging research topics in areas as diverse as the fundamentals of protein structure and function or nucleic acid replication to immunological interplay between a pathogen and its host at the organismal level.

Many collaborative projects permit close interaction between students and multiple principal investigators. 

Common scientific interchanges are fostered by a monthly research exchange. Exposure to current research happenings is provided by additional departmental seminars and the medical school’s Distinguished Scientist Program.

Sponsored Research Meetings

The center also hosts annual regional conferences in microbial pathogenesis and DNA replication and repair, featuring distinguished guest lecturers, each attended by approximately 100 participants from the Western New York/Niagara Frontier region — and beyond.

A Long History and Vibrant Future

The Witebsky Center for Microbial Pathogenesis and Immunology was formed in 2000 by merging the previous Center for Microbial Pathogenesis (itself started in 1995) with the former Witebsky Center for Immunology (which was established in 1967).

The center is well positioned to play a leading role in the biomedical research enterprise of the University at Buffalo, and to have significant impact on the challenging problems of emerging and familiar infectious diseases and humanity’s defenses against them.

Contact Us

Witebsky Center Director

Melendy, Thomas

Thomas Melendy, PhD

Associate Professor of Microbiology & Immunology, and Biochemistry

5116 Jacobs School of Medicine & Biomedical Sciences Department of Microbiology & Immunology 955 Main Street Buffalo, NY 14203-1121

Phone: (716) 829-3789


Witebsky Center Administrator

Karen Hardaway.

Karen M. Hardaway

Witebsky Center Administrator/Grants Manager

955 Main Street, Suite 5102 D, Buffalo, NY 14203-1121

Phone: (716) 829-3831