The Department of Microbiology and Immunology has 16 senior faculty members and over 50 graduate students. It is responsible for the teaching of microbiology, immunology, parasitology, molecular biology and cell biology to medical, laboratory sciences, nursing and life science students. Faculty members are employed either by the Ben-Gurion University of the Negev or the Soroka University Medical Center. In addition to research, the Soroka faculty members are responsible for providing diagnostic and other clinical services in the fields of clinical immunology, parasitology and mycoplasma, and for the skin bank.
The Department is involved in the following research projects: Cancer research, infectious diseases, immunology and cell biology.
1. The major research topics in cancer and immunology are: The mechanisms of the formation of metastasis and how they evade the immune system. Development of vaccines for the treatment or prevention of tumors. The mode of action of anti-cancer drugs. Various types of infectious bacterial signal transduction in T-lymphocytes and NK cells and the effects of sex hormones on the onset of autoimmune diseases.
2. Infectious diseases: scientists in the department are involved in basic and applied research related to AIDS, HTLV virus (leukemia), CMV, mycoplasma, malaria, leishmaniasis and other life threatening diseases that are affecting hundreds of millions of people throughout the world.
3. Additional research topics include: The role of protein kinases in the regulation of cell division and cellular responses to external growth factors. Development of new treatments to accelerate wound healing using visible light irradiation and controlled released drug delivery systems.