Fellowship

Applications for the Division of Infectious Diseases Fellowship Program are accepted only through the Electronic Residency Application Service (ERAS). 

Division of Infectious Diseases
Department of Internal Medicine
MSC10-5550
1 University of New Mexico
Albuquerque, New Mexico 87131
Phone: (505) 272-5666
Fax: (505) 272-4435

Research

“This is a truly low-cost, low-tech approach, but it works remarkably well,” says Ravi Durvasula, MD, an infectious diseases researcher at the UNM School of Medicine’s Center for Global Health. Dr. Durvasula is referring to the use of lemongrass oil to control the Zika virus. Rather than treating the virus directly, lemongrass oil kills the larvae of the mosquito that transmits the virus. The use of the lemongrass oil provides a very low cost solution for Zika virus in developing nations where the virus has become widespread. The video clip is from a KRQE news story filmed in the lab of Dr. Durvasula while research into methods to control Zika outbreaks.

Research Categories

Global Health

In close collaboration with Center for Global Health, ID faculty participates in extensive research projects in Africa, South America, East Asia. Most projects focus on basic and translational research but also bio-informatics and predictive epidemiology. Multiple research opportunities exist for future ID fellows.

Douglas Perkins, PhD has extensive well -funded projects in Africa looking at severe malaria and interactions between malaria and other infections e.g. HIV, various bacteremias etc.

Ravi Durvasula, MD coordinates research on three continents pertaining to epidemiology, pathogenicity and potential therapeutics in Leishmanioses and Trypanosomiases.

Eric (Sam) Loker, PhD studies schistosomiasis and schistosome biology, focusing on trematode-snail interactions, comparative immunology and host-parasite relationships.

Gregory Mertz, MD has collaborations in South America to better delineate the ecology, epidemiology and treatment of hantavirus cardio-pulmonary syndrome.

Marcos Burgos, MD and Vojo Deretic, PhD participate in tuberculosis research across multiple countries and areas of interest covering epidemiology, co-morbidities, resistance patterns and also therapeutic trials.

Bruce Struminger, MD works closely with the Vietnam National TB Program, the UCSF Curry Center, and the CDC Division of Global HIV/AIDS to develop ECHO medical consultation and training programs for global MDR TB, HIV, and HCV.

Steven Bradfute, PhD specializes in hemorrhagic fever viruses. His current project is trying to develop a pan-Ebola virus vaccine.

Parkasha Kempaiah, PhD uses bioinformatics to gain insights into the host genetic diversity and disease susceptibility especially in tropical diseases.

Ariel Rivas, PhD focuses on geo-epidemiology and dimensionless indicators and bio-informatics with applicability in global health.

Ivy Hurwitz, PhD specializes in leishmaniasis vector control and molecular targeting of parasites.

Bacterial and Fungal Pathogenesis

Multiple scientific labs at UNM work with old or new pathogens trying to discover new pathogenesis aspects that will lead to better diagnostic techniques and therapeutics.

Samuel Lee, MD focuses on Candida pathogenesis and extensively studies Candida filamentation, biofilm formation and virulence. His lab also investigates drug discovery and repurposing of different agents for use as novel antifungal therapy and as antifungal lock therapy.

Ivy Hurwitz, PhD: Ivy’s lab explores pathogenesis of C. difficile. Current projects consist of new theraputics but also use of genetically modified probiotic lactococcus to combat C difficile infections.

Thomas Byrd, MD : Dr.Byrd’s main research interest is in non-tuberculous mycobacteria pathogenesis describing the role of iron- transporting molecules and interaction with immune molecules.

Renee Mercier, PharmD: Dr. Mercier’s research encompasses MRSA characteristic that contribute to treatment failure.

Douglas Perkins, MD : Dr. Perkins’ research focuses on interaction between bacterial species and malaria.

Julie Lovchik, PhD : works with B anthracis in establishing determinants of virulence and immunity.

Host - Microbe Interaction

University of New Mexico benefits greatly from the presence of Center for Infectious Disease and Immunity that oversees multiple research projects targeting the host-microbe interaction. Also researchers for Center for Global Health focus on aspects of immunity related to atypical pathogens.

Julie Lovchik, MD tries to establish new factors of virulence and links to immunity in infections caused by B anthracis.

Steven Bradfute, PhD works with hemorrhagic fever viruses trying to develop a pan-Ebola virus vaccine.

Prakasha Kempaiah, PhD uses bioinformatics trying to gain insights into the host genetic diversity and disease susceptibility.

Samuel Lee, MD PhD is part of a multi-center study looking at Cryptococcus pathogenesis and link to immune defects.

Pharmacology Research and Therapeutics

Many labs at UNM focus on discovering new targets for therapeutic agents and also on developing novel agents that can be used in curing infectious diseases.

Samuel Lee, MD PhD studies drug repurposing of different agents for use in antifungal lock therapy.

Renee Mercier, Pharm D: Dr. Mercier’s lab uses in-vitro model of MRSA endocarditis to assess interactions between various pharmacologic agents. Her work also encompasses clinical research targeting combination therapies using new anti-staphylococcal drugs.

Larry Sklar, MD collaborates with Infectious Diseases faculty and his lab works on drug discovery including novel antimicrobials.

Douglas Perkins, PhD Dr. Perkins’ team has a continued project covering malarial drug discovery.

HCV and HIV/AIDS

UNM has created Project ECHO (Extension for Community Healthcare Outcomes) to develop safe means to treat chronic and complex diseases in underserved areas. Part of project ECHO, ID Department contributed to implement HIV ECHO and HCV ECHO.

Karla Thornton, MD pioneered the ECHO system along with Sanjeev Arora, MD (gastroenterology). She participates in multiple studies looking at different treatment regimens and care delivery models for HCV across multiple disadvantaged populations.

Michelle Iandiorio, MD runs the New Mexico AIDS Education and Training Center and her work focuses on HIV in adolescents and young adults.

Renee Mercier, PharmD also researches drug interactions in patients with HIV.

Hospital Epidemiology, Health Outcomes, Service Delivery, Big Data Research

Both at UNMH and VA hospital, ID faculty run the hospital epidemiology, antimicrobial stewardship and infection control departments delivering a wealth of research opportunities to interested fellows.

Susan Kellie, MD is interested in establishing a connection between acquisition of MRSA colonization and invasive MRSA infections. She is also working o emergence of new in-hospital strains of MRSA and C difficile.

Meghan Brett, MD develops clinical decision protocols for various infections at UNMH.

Marcos Burgos, MD collaborates with centers across the world to better define the epidemiology of tuberculosis especially MDR and XDR TB.

Karla Thornton, MD pioneered the ECHO system along with Dr. S Arora (gastroenterology). She participates in multiple studies looking at care delivery models for HCV across multiple disadvantaged populations.

Nicole Klein, MD tries to describe the new epidemiology of Chagas disease as seen with globalization.

Bruce Struminger, MD is interested in Implementation Science and Operations Research; Continuous Quality Assessment/Improvement trying to develop ECHO medical consultation and training programs for global MDR TB, HIV, and HCV.

Prakasha Kempaiah, PhD uses bioinformatics to gain insights into the host genetic diversity and disease susceptibility.

Ariel Rivas, PhD focuses on geo-epidemiology and dimensionless indicators and bio-informatics to detect inflammation in real time.

Douglas Perkins, PhD uses a novel approach combined with multi-disciplinary team to develop capabilities in diagnostics and predictive epidemiology. His team integrates clinical and geo-spatial data with novel diagnostics and pathogen-characterization data to create an enhanced predictive epidemiological model.

Christophe Lambert, PhD will soon join UNM faculty. He brings on tremendous expertise in software development with medical applications. His projects span big medical data research, genomics, cheminformatics, bioinformatics and systems modeling.