Wilmore Webley

Wilmore Webley
Position or Job Title
Senior Vice Provost for Equity & Inclusion
Email Address
Phone Number
(413) 577-3139

Dr. Webley is a Professor of Microbiology and Senior Vice Provost of Equity and Inclusion at the University of Massachusetts Amherst. Webley was born in Dry Hill District, Bellas Gate P.O, St. Catherine, Jamaica and was the first in his family to attend high school (Old Harbour Hight School) and college. He completed a Bachelor of Science degree in Medical Technology at Northern Caribbean University. Webley then earned the M.Sc. and Ph.D. in Microbiology at the University of Massachusetts Amherst, with expertise in Immunology, Infectious Disease, Host-pathogen interactions, and a concentration in vaccine development.

Dr. Webley is a Fulbright Scholar, a recipient of the Manning Prize for Excellence in Teaching, and the Distinguished Teaching Award in recognition for outstanding teaching accomplishments. He is also a recipient of the Community Service Appreciation Award, in appreciation for Outstanding Commitment and Dedicated Contributions to Saving Lives During the COVID-19 Pandemic. He has served the UMass community in various capacities including the Director of Pre-Med/Pre-Health Advising. as a faculty senator, a member of the University Health Council, and most recently as the Associate Dean for the Office of Inclusion & Engagement in the Graduate School.

In his role as Associate Dean in the Graduate School, Webley has overseen UMass’s $1.6M investment in the Spaulding-Smith and REAL Fellowship Programs, designed to increase the diversity of our graduate student population through recruitment and retention of students who are traditionally underrepresented in graduate education. He spearheaded UMass joining the National Name Exchange for the first time, giving colleges and departments access to a database of over 600 names. He hosted McNair Scholars on Campus, collaborated with the GEM Conference and GEM GRAD Lab, to recruit underrepresented students to campus. Webley has also hosted receptions, and community luncheons/dinners for fellows in order to build community and worked with the Dean of Graduate School to institute a Well-Being Fund to support mental health care for fellows in the program.

Dr. Webley’s research focuses on infectious disease mechanisms and the role of infections in chronic diseases. Specifically, the Webley Lab has pioneered work in Chlamydia vaccine development using gas vesicle nanoparticles for delivery and the role of pathogenic microbes in causing an “infectious asthma” phenotype. His recent work has demonstrated the efficacy of antibiotics in successfully treating a subset of severe asthmatics. Dr. Webley’s work has been published in reputable international journals and has made significant contributions to the field of microbiology, vaccinology, allergy and immunology.

Dr. Webley serves on the editorial boards of the International Journal of Vaccines & Immunization, Vaccines, the Journal of Medical Microbiology & Diagnosis and Microbiology & Experimentation. He is a member of the International Society for Vaccines, American Society for Microbiology and the Chlamydia Basic Research Society.
Over the course of the pandemic, Dr. Webley made almost 200 presentations to various groups on the Coronavirus Pandemic, including radio shows, TV shows, YouTube and Facebook live events. He has devoted significant amount of time to providing accurate information to counter myths and better explain the COVID-19 outbreak and vaccine safety and efficacy, since the spring of 2020.
In the community, Webley has worked with the Black Springfield COVID Coalition and the Men of Color Health Awareness (MOCHA), in Springfield Massachusetts, He is a recipient of the UMass Community Salute Award for mentoring and contributing to the community.

Webley firmly believes that every individual, no matter what your identity or intersectionality, should have the opportunity to pursue a quality higher education, and reap the life-changing benefits and outcomes. His current work in diversity, equity, inclusion, justice and belonging is to ensure that this opportunity is always available here at UMass Amherst.