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M-CERV: Microbiology Across Campuses Educational and Research Venture

Research Interests

Host-microbial interactions, microbial ecology, food safety and technology, biotechnology, and biosystems engineering including bioenergy.


  • From the College of Arts & Sciences: Microbiology, Chemistry, Ecology & Evolutionary Biology, Biochemistry, Cellular, & Molecular Biology
  • From the College of Veterinary Medicine: Comparative Medicine, Large Animal Clinical Sciences, Pathobiology
  • From the College of Agricultural Sciences & Natural Resources and UT AgResearch: Animal Sciences, Entomology & Plant Pathobiology, Food Science & Technology, Biosystems Engineering & Environmental Science, Forestry, Wildlife and Fisheries
  • From the College of Engineering: Chemical & Biomolecular Engineering, Civil & Environmental Engineering, Materials Sciences & Engineering
  • From the Graduate School of Medicine: Surgery, Human Immunology & Cancer

Possible Funding Sources

The following are large-scale projects that will be targets for proposals emanating from M-CERV seed grants:

NIH – Microbiome Project: Within the body of a healthy adult, microbial cells are estimated to outnumber human cells by a factor of ten to one. These communities, however, remain largely unstudied, leaving almost entirely unknown their influence upon human development, physiology, immunity, and nutrition. To take advantage of recent technological advances and to develop new ones, the NIH Roadmap has initiated the Human Microbiome Project with the mission of generating resources enabling comprehensive characterization of the human microbiota and analysis of its role in human health and disease.

USDA’s new “Agriculture and Food Research Initiative” that allows multi-integrated long-term projects which include multiple areas for microbiology particularly in:

  • Plant Health & Production
  • Plant Products
  • Specialty Crops
  • Animal Health & Production
  • Animal Products
  • Food Safety
  • Nutrition & Health
  • Renewable Energy
  • Natural Resources & Environment
  • Environmental Pathogens
  • Projects of NIH, NSF
  • Homeland Security

Many governmental agencies are interested in large-scale projects involving the discovery, epidemiology and treatment of epidemics and pandemics caused by microbes in the environment.


Stephen Oliver
Phone: (865) 974-7260

Jeffrey M. Becker
Phone: (865) 974-3006


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