Division of Microbiology

Division of Microbiology

Infectious diseases will kill more people worldwide than any other single cause. A core purpose of the Division of Microbiology is to empower medical students with a functional understanding of microbes, microbial-host interactions, and infectious disease etiologies needed for integration with other medical disciplines and competent clinical practice. The microbiology curriculum at PNWU is aligned with the core knowledge objectives formulated by the Association of Medical School Microbiology and Immunology Chairs on the national level and is implemented via the seven Core Competencies of Osteopathy, as identified by the National Board of Osteopathic Medical Examiners. Visit the current curriculum of the Division of Microbiology.

Division Educational Resources
  • Bacteriology Resources
  • Virology Resources
  • Mycology Resources
  • Parasitology Resources
  • Prion Resources
Division Research

The Taylor Lab:  

Dr. Kim Taylor’s research interest has historically rested in the area of global climate change and its impact on communicable disease with a particular emphasis on the occurrence and distribution of vector- and water-borne pathogens as global warming advances. Most recently, the Taylor Lab has begun research addressing the newly identified odontopathogen Scardovia wiggsiae. Scardovia wiggsiae was identified in 2010 as a potential main etiology for Early Childhood Caries (ECC) or “bottle caries”–an element of the most common chronic disease of childhood: cavities. According to the U.S. Surgeon General’s Report on Oral Health (2000), childhood dental caries in general is five times more common than asthma and seven times more common than hay fever. It is also well established that ECC disproportionately affects socioeconomically disadvantaged groups. The Taylor Lab seeks to study the incidence of ECC and ultimately the presence of Scardovia wiggsiae as an etiology of ECC in Yakima County, WA. The Taylor Lab predicts a distinctly high incidence of ECC in the geographical area under study due to the fact that it fits the overall socioeconomic predictors of incidence for ECC. Yakima County private medical and dental providers serve approximately 68,000 Medicaid recipients with only four out of ten children accessing dental services. There is a shortage of dental care providers in the county with only approximately 75 general dental practitioners–that is one provider for every 3,475 individuals. This is twice the number of possible patients per dentist as compared to the state average. Additionally, 26% of county children live in poverty. The overall percentage in WA is 14% and the national benchmark is 11%.


Kimberly Taylor, PhD
Chief, Microbiology
Associate Professor of Microbiology