See all Profiles
Dr. Moses Bility

Moses Bility

Associate Professor

  • Microbiology
  • College of Medicine


Dr. Moses Bility is a faculty in the Department of Microbiology. Dr. Bility devotes most of his research efforts to studying how myeloid cell polarization and associated iron handling modulate host response, immunity against microbes, and tissue remodeling (fibrosis and cancer). Currently, Dr. Bility’s lab is investigating the role of polarized-myeloid cells and their interactions with other immune cells in HIV persistence, reservoir and immunity in humanized rodent models. Dr. Bility is also investigating the role of myeloid cell polarization and associated iron handling in modulating immune responses in the tumor microenvironment and bacterial infections in humanized rodent models. At the molecular level, Dr. Bility studies the HIV-accessory protein Nef, which modulates cellular iron level, and specifically, investigates its role in abrogating immunity to HIV. Dr. Bility also studies the role of siderophores (iron-binding molecules) in bacterial pathogenesis and immunity. A major contribution of Dr. Bility’s laboratory was the development of a humanized mouse model with human spleen along with thymus, immune cells and other tissues. The incorporation of the human spleen, which plays a significant role in myeloid cell development and associated iron handling opened the door to using these animal models for answering major questions in human immunology and microbiology. At Howard University, Dr. Bility will develop novel humanized rodent models using cord blood-derived neonatal hematopoietic stems cells and other neonatal tissues (i.e. foreskin, spleen and thymus from surgical procedures). Using this humanized mouse model, Dr. Bility proposes to unravel the mechanism of immunity to live, attenuated HIV and evaluate the utilization of myeloid cell-targeting viral vectors as vaccine platforms to induce immunity against HIV.

Dr. Bility also devotes a small portion of his research effort to addressing grand challenges in science, namely, “Interactions of the Earth, its climate, and the biosphere” as outlined by the National Research Council. Dr. Bility is interested in the role of iron oxide within the lithosphere in modulating the biosphere via spin chemistry. Serpentinization is a major regulator of greenhouse gas (carbon dioxide) and Earth's climate. Dr. Bility hypothesize that increased solar-cosmic radiation in weakened geomagnetic field and perturbed climate interacts with serpentinization-derived iron oxide to generate and modulate homochiral life via spin-controlled synthesis (magnetic catalysis). 

Dr. Bility is also passionate about creating a teaching and training environment to develop the next generation of scientists and thought leaders. Dr. Bility has taught courses in microbiology, tumor virology, cell and molecular biology, functional genomics, immunology, vaccinology, biomedical laboratory methods, etc. Dr. Bility has supervised about two dozen trainees, including undergraduate and graduate students, and postdocs. Dr. Bility strives to cultivate critical thinking and appropriate research independence in trainees at the earliest stage. Dr. Bility is also passionate for service within academia and at the national level. Dr. Bility serves as an associate editor at the multi-disciplinary research journal (Scientific Reports). Dr. Bility has served on several study sections for federal and state programs focusing on Infectious Diseases and cancer, including the National Institutes of Health.

Outside academia, Dr. Bility serves as a field-grade (Major), commissioned, Civil Affairs Officer, in the United States Army Reserve, and has over 17 years of service. Dr. Bility currently serves as the Commander of the Headquarters and Headquarters Company (HHC) of a Civil Affairs Command. In his capacity as the HHC Commander, Dr. Bility overseas the administration and training of various sections that provide capabilities for Civil-Military interactions, Foreign Humanitarian Assistance, Foreign Assistance, and Support to Civil Administration, including Public Health, Animal and Wildlife Health. Dr. Bility’s previous military experience includes Combating Weapons of Mass Destruction (chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear weapons) against the homeland and our foreign allies.

In summary, Dr. Bility is committed to developing the next generation of scientists and thought leaders at Howard University, who will stand on the shoulders of intellectual and scientific giants such as Drs. Ernest Just and Charles Drew. Dr. Bility is very passionate about addressing unanswered scientific questions and taking on the seemingly impossible research questions and hopes to inspire students and trainees at Howard University to also pursue such directions.

Education & Expertise



Integrative Biosciences
The Pennsylvania State University


Biochemistry and Molecular Biology
The Pennsylvania State University

Related Articles