We have brought together experts in microbiology from both the University of Toronto and Public Health Ontario to provide a unique learning experience.


William Wiley Navarre, Ph.D. (Lead instructor)

Dr. William Wiley Navarre is an internationally recognized expert in the biology of disease-causing bacteria including Staphylococcus aureus, E. coli, and Salmonella.  He is an Associate Chair of the Department of Molecular Genetics.

Dr. Navarre obtained his Ph.D. in 1999 at UCLA studying Staphylococcus aureus.  He was a Damon Runyon Postdoctoral Fellow and did post-doctoral work in the lab of Ferric Fang at the University of Washington in Seattle on how bacterial can sense and avoid the human immune system.  He joined the Department of Molecular Genetics as an Assistant Professor in September of 2007 and was a CIHR New Investigator.  In 2012 he was promoted to Associate Professor and became head of the departmental undergraduate program.  He is the lead instructor in the major bacteriology course on campus.

More about his research and teaching can be found here

Alexander W. Ensminger, Ph.D.

Dr. Ensminger is an expert at the biology of Legionella pneumophilla, the bacteria that causes Legionnaire's disease.   Dr. Ensminger obtained his Ph.D. from MIT in 2006 and did postdoctoral work on Legionella with Dr. Ralph Isberg (Tufts University School of Medicine/HHMI). During this time, he developed a powerful experimental evolution approach to uncover new genes involved in host range and bacterial virulence. Based upon these foundations, he started his independent research program in the Department of Molecular Genetics at the University of Toronto in 2011 with a joint appointment at Public Health Ontario. 

More about Dr. Ensminger can be found here


Scott Gray-Owen, Ph.D.

Dr. Gray-Owen is a specialist in the biology of Neisseria bacteria, a cause meningitis and of the sexually transmitted disease gonorrhoea.  


Sadhna Joshi, Ph.D.

Dr. Joshi is an expert on HIV and does research on genetic technologies to prevent infection.