Director and Chief Undergraduate Advisor, PreMed/PreHealth
Wilmore Webley, associate professor in Microbiology, is the director of PreMed/PreHealth Advising, and oversees advising for 1,500 undergraduates across campus exploring careers in the medical, dental, and health fields.
Webley is a longtime advocate for effective student mentoring and a leader in student success initiatives. He has a passion for helping students reach their highest potential and is excited to share that passion with the pre-med/pre-health community.
Born in Jamaica to farmers, Webley completed his undergraduate degree in medical laboratory technology at Northern Caribbean University, Mandeville, Jamaica, and received a PhD in microbiology at UMass Amherst in 2003 with expertise in immunology, pathogenic bacteriology, and host-pathogen interactions.
His research focuses on infectious disease mechanisms and the role of specific infections in chronic diseases. Specifically, the Webley Lab is pioneering work in Chlamydia vaccine development and the role of pathogenic microbes in asthma initiation and exacerbation. The laboratory was the first to culture Chlamydia from bronchoalveolar lavage samples taken from pediatric patients with chronic, severe asthma and has since shown that early-life chlamydial infection increases the risk for asthma onset and results in a unique asthma phenotype.
Webley’s recent work has demonstrated the efficacy of antibiotics in treating a subset of severe asthmatics. His work has been published in reputable international journals and has made significant contributions to the field of microbiology, vaccinology, allergy, and immunology.
He is a Fulbright Scholar, a recipient of the Distinguished Teaching Award, a recipient of the Black Student Union Award for Outstanding Devotion & Dedication to Profession, and a recent Commonwealth Honors College Faculty Lecture Series award-winner and presenter. He serves the UMass Amherst community in capacities including chair of the campus's Health Council, chair of the microbiology department's curriculum committee, the honors program director for microbiology, and as a member of the department's personnel committee.
Webley serves on the editorial boards of the Journal of Medical Microbiology & Diagnosis and the Journal of Microbiology & Experimentation and is a member of the International Society for Vaccines, the American Society for Microbiology, and the Chlamydia Basic Research Society.