As a department, we have two main goals: (1) exploring novel research and (2) sharing with students our fascination and knowledge of dynamic disciplines in microbiology, including bacteriology, epidemiology, fungal biology, immunology, molecular biology, parasitology, and virology. We work to achieve excellence in these areas by creating a student-centered environment that values diversity and encourages discovery, ingenuity, integrity, and collegiality.

All the Places You'll Go

The MICR 354 Scientific Writing students have taken over the homepage for the fall semester. Stay tuned as they profile alumni and share fun, inspiring, micro-related videos. For now, catch up with...

Aneesa Noormohamed, M.S. (Microbiology)

Dr. Noormohamed was taken with microbiology as a young child living in Africa. But it was a high-school biology project that helped her see that microbiology would be the perfect fit for her. It was this revelation that led her to Concordia College in Moorhead where she earned a B.S. in microbiology. She then jumped the river to work on her Master's degree in the lab of Dr. Catherine Logue (who is now a professor at Iowa State University). Here, she studied the foodborne pathogen, Campylobacter. Although this is her favorite microbe, Streptococcus pyogenes takes a close second ("...because I love the name!"). Aneesa went on to earn a Ph.D. in the lab of Dr. Mohamed Fakhr (who is a former VMS postdoctoral researcher) at the University of Tulsa.

Aneesa is currently in Africa with her family and is on a mission to secure a postdoc position. Although her passion is research, Aneesa takes part in many activities outside the lab: reading, painting, dabbling with other crafty things, hanging out with friends, and traveling. Her best piece of advice for aspiring microbiologists is to make sure you love what you do and to not be afraid to take on the challenges. They may be tough, but they can be the most rewarding parts of an education and a career.

By Katie Kelsven

Chantal Nde, '07 Ph.D. (Food Safety)

Dr. Nde came to NDSU after completing her undergraduate studies at the University of Buea in Cameroon. Her doctorate work was funded by a USDA grant and focused on risk analysis of Salmonella in turkeys. Dr. Catherine Logue (currently a professor of vet microbiology and preventive medicine at Iowa State University) advised her through this project and is still her mentor in life. Chantal currently serves as a Senior Scientist in the Microbiology and Food Safety department of Kraft Foods in Chicago. She loves Zumba and yoga, and she'll travel anywhere she can get a ticket. Her scientific idol is Rosalind Franklin, for her key role in discovering the double helical nature of DNA, and her advice to aspiring microbiologists is to "go out into the field and find out what you like."

By Michael Mann

Alumni Profiles Archive

The Micro Highlight Reel

Extremophiles are microorganisms that not only survive, but thrive in places where most living creatures can’t. They are resistant to extremes of temperature, pressure, salinity, acidity, limited nutrient availability, and radiation. Some can survive without sunlight or oxygen. This means they can be found everywhere from glaciers to thermal vents under the ocean.

Many planets are potential havens of extremophile life. Mars is considered to have potentially had life at one point. This is because there is past evidence of water on Mars, which may at one point have held life within it. There are other bodies within our solar system that currently have water. Three moons (Titan, Enceladus, and Europa) are all thought to harbor oceans underneath their frozen surfaces. It is possible that life could be living inside these oceans, possibly feeding off of thermal vents at the bottom. While nothing has been found yet, this remains a promising avenue of microbiological research.

In this video, Louisa Preston walks us through what it might mean to be a living creature on another planet. As it turns out, many celestial objects in our own solar system might fit the bill – provided these creatures are hardy enough to weather extreme conditions.

By Grace Cabarle