Infectious Diseases Fellowship: Investigator Track
Fellows who wish to enter the investigator track must develop a formal training proposal that must be approved by the division. This can be done either before or after acceptance in the ID fellowship program. The formal training proposal must identify:
- a formal research or training plan for the 12 months of protected time during the initial 2-year fellowship,
- a plan for mentored training or advanced degree work (MPH/PhD) following the initial 2-year fellowship, and long-term career goals as an investigator.
Fellows in the investigator track have 10 months on the inpatient consult service and one month each on clinical microbiology and hospital epidemiology rotations. Electives in pediatrics and ambulatory ID are available.
Fellows in the investigator track are expected to apply with their mentor for training support in order to continue their research training following completion of the 2-year fellowship. This support may be from national funding agencies such as the NIH (K23), VA (Career Development Award) or from private foundations. Alternatively, trainees may be eligible for funding through one of several institutional training awards, which include the Infectious Diseases a nd Inflammation T32 training award (for US citizens and residents) and one of two Fogarty International Center training grants (for international trainees).
Research Opportunities in for UNM ID Fellows
Trainees in the clinical track should choose a research mentor in the ID division, whereas trainees in the investigator track may choose a primary research mentor either within the ID division or from a related department such as Molecular Genetics and Microbiology (MGM) and Pathology. Information about individual faculty members is available at the ID Division or departmental web sites, and individual faculty profiles are also available.
There are several research themes within the ID division. The largest is the Program in Global Health, which is co-directed Drs. DJ Perkins and Ravi Durvasula. Research interests include the interaction of malaria, HIV and severe anemia in children in Kenya (DJ Perkins); a paratransgenic approach to prevention of Chagas disease and visceral leishmaniasis (Ravi Durvasula); ecology, epidemiology and treatment of hantavirus cardiopulmonary syndrome in Chile and Panama (G Mertz) and treatment of tuberculosis (Marcos Burgos). Opportunities for international research experience include sites in Bolivia, Chile, India, Kenya, Panama and Peru.
A second major theme is in pathogenesis and molecular epidemiology. Dr. Samuel Lee studies the molecular pathogenesis of invasive candidiasis and investigates translational aspects of Candida infection, including mechanisms of echinocandin resistance and molecular epidemiology of oral candidiasis in immunosuppressed patients. Dr. Tom Byrd’s research is focused on host defense against intracellular bacterial pathogens, including Mycobacterium tuberculosis and M. abscessus, and Dr. Marcos Burgos is actively involved in studies of the molecular epidemiology of Mycobacterium tuberculosis in New Mexico.
Several ID faculty members also participate in the Infectious Diseases and Inflammation Program (IDIP), and the VA Center for Excellence in Cellular and Molecular Biology (which is currently comprised of the 5 physician-scientists in the new building 10 at the VA).
Finally, several division members are involved in outcomes research. Areas of interest include Hepatitis C treatment and outcomes in rural areas through Project ECHO (Karla Thornton), evaluating quality of care and other outcomes in the outpatient antibiotic treatment setting (Michelle Iandiorio), antimicrobial stewardship and implementation of guidelines for control of MRSA in healthcare settings (Susan Kellie).