Dr. Marcia Firmani has more than 25 years of experience in teaching and research. She is currently the Chair of the Biomedical Laboratory Sciences department within the School of medicine and Health Sciences at George Washington University. She is also the director of the MSHS in Clinical Microbiology program. In addition to her administrative duties, Dr. Firmani both directs and teaches several courses within the BLS department, including Clinical Bacteriology, Molecular Diagnostics, Molecular Epidemiology, and Plagues, Pandemics & Epidemics. She also mentors undergraduate and graduate research projects and has published peer-reviewed articles with students
Prior to her arrival at GW, Dr. Firmani was a principal investigator at the National Biodefense Analysis and Countermeasures Center (NBACC), where she conducted and managed several research projects involving biothreat agent characterization. During her time at NBACC, she worked in BSL-2, BSL-3, and BSL-4 containment levels and much of her research was focused on Burkholderia species.
Prior to NBACC, Dr. Firmani held two previous faculty appointments. From 2002–2007 she was an assistant professor in the CLS department at Louisiana State University Health Sciences Center (LSUHSC) in New Orleans. She taught lecture and laboratory courses and directed a research lab where she performed basic and applied research on Mycobacterium tuberculosis and MRSA and mentored master’s student thesis projects.
From 2007–2010, Dr. Firmani was an assistant professor at the University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee (UWM) where she taught various undergraduate CLS courses and graduate-level Biomedical Sciences courses and was the chair of the research committee. She also directed a molecular microbiology research laboratory where she conducted NIH-funded research on Mycobacterium tuberculosis and mentored both undergraduate and graduate student research projects.
Dr. Firmani has taught numerous continuing education courses in the laboratory science field, including a DVD for the American Society for Clinical Laboratory Science (ASCLS) on emerging infections. She has authored several chapters focusing on infectious diseases in textbooks and has also published her research in peer-reviewed journals, such as Infection and Immunity, and the Journal of Clinical Microbiology.