Division of Infectious Diseases and Immunology
The Division of Infectious Disease & Immunology is committed to the three core missions of the Department of Medicine: Research, Teaching and Clinical Care. Our dedicated faculty are engaged in cutting edge research on innate immunity and host:pathogen interactions. In addition, we are passionately dedicated to educating the next generation of physicians and scientists to meet the many challenges involved in fighting infectious disorders. Our clinical faculty are equally devoted to providing the best medical care possible for our patients and the best education possible for medical students and doctors in training.
Our research faculty are internationally recognized as leaders in the field of innate immunity. We are engaged in various lines of research designed to identify fundamental aspects of host defenses against infectious diseases. As these immune mechanisms are highly conserved throughout the animal kingdom, we employ a variety of approaches, including studies of Drosophila melanogaster, genetically altered mice, cell culture systems and human patients to characterize innate immune mechanisms. The work encompasses a variety of human diseases that represent many of the most important bacterial, parasitic and viral diseases. These include, but are not limited to, diseases caused by Plasmodium (malaria), Listeria, Leishmania, Group-B streptococci, Neisseria gonorrhoeae, Neisseria meningitidis, West Nile Virus, Dengue Fever Virus, Influenza, Herpes Viruses, Candida, Cryptococcus neoformans, Aspergillus fumigatus, Yersinia pestis (plague), Papilloma virus, Pox viruses. In addition to working on pathogens, we have developed approaches to studying important infectious syndromes, such as septic shock and sexually transmitted infections. Finally, we have made major discoveries concerning non-infectious (sterile) inflammatory disorders including autoimmune diseases such as Systemic Lupus Erythematosis, Atherosclerosis and Alzheimer’s Disease.
The educational commitment of the Division includes training and mentoring of the next generation of scientists, physicians and physician-scientists. Our activities include didactic course work for graduate students in the Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences, as well as hands-on mentoring of students and post-doctoral fellows in the laboratory. In addition, Division faculty are actively involved in courses through all four medical school years, and played a major role in developing the Medical School’s new Learner-centered Integrated Curriculum (LInC). In addition, Division faculty participate in courses for the Graduate School of Nursing. The Division has an active clinical training program in Infectious Diseases, and lectures ID fellows on a regular basis on the fundamentals of Infectious Diseases, in part to prepare them for their board examinations. Fellows also receive a comprehensive education in hospital based epidemiology and clinical microbiology. Those fellows who are interested in research are actively supported in their career development, not only through their work at the bench but as participants in important programs in the medical school such as the Millennium Program.
Clinical specialists offer consultation in all areas of infectious disease and in preventive medicine for international travelers. Our faculty and fellows provide care for patients with general infectious diseases, and for those with immunocompromising conditions such as bone marrow and solid organ transplantation, and HIV. We also provide consultative care for patients with Tuberculosis at the Getchell Clinic. Trainees have the opportunity to receive exceptional training in all of these areas.