UC Davis Study Abroad, Summer Abroad Belgium, Microbiology Program, Header Image

Summer Abroad Belgium - Instructor

Microbiology in Europe's Capital—Belgium

Mitch Singer

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Microbiology and Molecular Genetics

Mitch Singer is a Professor and Vice-Chair of the Department of Microbiology and Molecular Genetics and has been at UC Davis since 1995.  He received his Ph.D. from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, and he did his Post-Doctoral work at Stanford University Medical School in the departments of Biochemistry and Developmental Biology. His research has focused on understanding the transcriptional control of fruiting body development in the social soil bacterium Myxoxcoccus xanthus for over 25 years. Dr. Singer has lived and visited Brussels many times and his experiences and interest of the Benelux countries is one of his passions. He is excited to lead this new study abroad program.

A Message to Students and Parents

I have a long history with Brussels starting when I was a high school exchange student many years ago. I still have a close relationship with my Belgian host family, whom I visit often. My love of microbiology goes back even further, and I have always been interested in the incredible world that lies just below our sight, a world that can protect us from disease as well as cause us great harm. As a trained classical and molecular bacterial geneticist, I am fascinated by the intricate details of how so many different organisms evolved novel and different methods of overcoming common problems. 

So, why Brussels, besides my love for this amazing overlooked jewel? It sits about half way between the two of the most important cities in modern microbiology: Delft and Paris. Delft and Leiden in the Netherlands is where Antoine van Leeuwenhoek designed and built the first microscopes back in the mid- 17th century. Jump ahead 100 years to Louis Pasteur and his work on the principles of vaccination, microbial fermentation and pasteurization in the heart of Paris."