Imperiale is the Arthur F. Thurnau Professor of Microbiology and Immunology at the University of Michigan Medical School and a member of the National Science Advisory Board for Biosecurity. He was elected a fellow of the American Academy of Microbiology in 2010 and a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science in 2011. Imperiale's work has been funded by the National Institutes of Health and other federal and private agencies and has been published in leading journals in the field. He has also served on numerous NIH grant review panels and National Research Council committees. A native of New York City, Imperiale received his undergraduate and graduate training at Columbia University, earning a B.A. in 1976, an M.A. in 1978, and a Ph.D. in 1981, all in Biological Sciences.