Bacteriology was first offered as a separate course at OSU during the 1899-1900 academic year under Emile Pernot. Bacteriological research was conducted in the Experiment Station's bacteriology lab. Beginning in 1909, the department was housed for many years in Agriculture Hall. In 1970 the department moved to new facilities in Nash Hall designed specifically for microbiology. The department has had several names: Bacteriology; Bacteriology and Hygiene (1946-1961), Microbiology and Hygiene (1961-1968) and Microbiology (1968-).
Department chairs have included Pernot (1899-1911), Theodore D. Beckwith (1912-1918), Godfrey V. Copson (1921-1949), Joseph E. Simmons (1949-1951), Paul R. Elliker (1953-1976), John Fryer (1976-1996), Jo-Ann Leong (1996-2001), and Dennis E. Hruby (2001-). The Microbiology Department is jointly administered by the College of Science and the College of Agricultural Sciences.
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