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Oxford's contribution to infectious disease has been enormous. Penicillin and the related cephalosporin antibiotics were discovered and developed here. More recently Oxford has played a key role in the introduction of artemisinin-related drugs for malaria and in the development of new vaccines for bacterial meningitis and Ebola.

Oxford is rated the top University in the UK in the area of Infection and Immunity. It has a strong core of microbiological expertise ranging from fundamental through to translational research and clinical trials. Areas of strength in basic research include microbial structure-function relationships, aspects of viral, bacterial and parasite pathogenesis, and interaction of pathogens with the immune system including immune evasion strategies. Areas of strength in translational research include study of the mucosal microbiota in health and disease, development of vaccines against parasitic, bacterial and viral pathogens and screening for novel drugs against viral infections. Much translation research is done in Oxford’s Tropical Medicine research units in Africa and Asia. Microbiology research is performed in a number of University Departments including the Nuffield Department of Medicine, Sir William Dunn School of Pathology, Paediatrics and Biochemistry. Institutes include the Weatherall Institute for Molecular Medicine, the Kennedy Institute of Rheumatology, the Jenner Institute and the Institute for Vaccine Design.

Researchers in Oxford form part of the MRC Centre for Genomics and Global Health, an international collaboration that integrates genomic and population genetic data with clinical and epidemiological data to understand and combat globally important infectious diseases.

Supervisors in Microbiology, Infection and Tropical Medicine