As research faculty with expertise in the area of host-pathogen interactions (HPI), we used a research group model to effect our professional development as scientific educators. We have established a working hypothesis: The implementation of a curriculum that forms bridges between our seven HPI courses allows our students to achieve deep and meaningful learning of HPI concepts. Working collaboratively, we identified common learning goals, and we chose two microorganisms to serve as anchors for student learning. We instituted variations of published active-learning methods to engage students in research-oriented learning. In parallel, we are developing an assessment tool. The value of this work is in the development of a teaching model that successfully allowed faculty who already work collaboratively in the research area of HPI to apply a "research group approach" to further scientific teaching initiatives at a research university. We achieved results that could not be accomplished by even the most dedicated instructor working in isolation.