The mission of the Division of Infectious Disease and International Medicine is to be an internationally outstanding academic center. Our faculty members conduct research, analyze policy, deliver clinical care, and provide specialized training to healthcare providers locally, nationally and internationally. Our goal is to be a resource for infectious disease identification, prevention and treatment issues, including bioterrorism and the emergence of new pathogens.
Division Director : Kami Kim MD
Associate Director for Operations: Charurut Somboonwit MD
The Healthcare Worker Exposure Response and Outcomes (HERO) study was recently funded by the Patient Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI) and will be led by the Duke Clinical Research Institute in response to the current COVID-19 pandemic. The study will focus on the healthcare workers who are at high risk of contracting this novel coronavirus. It will engage healthcare workers across the nation to understand the impact of COVID-19 on their health and to evaluate whether or not hydroxychloroquine can prevent COVID-19 infections.
USF Infectious Disease doctors Kami Kim, MD and Seetha Lakshmi, MD have worked closely with Tampa General Hospital (TGH) administrators and the OneFlorida consortium to submit their proposal for participation in this important study. As a result of their hard work, TGH has been selected as one of 16 prominent healthcare facilities across the country to participate in the study. Dr. Lakshmi will act as lead investigator for the TGH site.
Click here to learn more about this study.
Dr. Baluch was selected 2019 Charles C. Williams Jr., MD Physician of the Year at the Moffitt Cancer Center annual Faculty Recognition and Award Ceremony held on February 11, 2020.
USF’s Infectious Diseases fellows and faculty were well-represented at the Infectious Diseases Society of America’s annual IDWeek held in Washington, D.C., October 2 -6, 2019. IDWeek is the joint annual meeting of the Infectious Diseases Society of America (IDSA), Society for Healthcare Epidemiology of America (SHEA), the HIV Medical Association (HIVMA), and the Pediatric Infectious Diseases Society (PIDS).
This year the ID Division was collectively responsible for a division record 14 posters that were accepted for presentation. Many faculty, fellows, and medical students were fortunate to attend the conference to present their work as well as attend the daily lecture series, and network with colleagues from across the nation.
From Left to Right: Dr. Andrew Nguyen (bottom), Dr. Carlos Perez, Dr. Aliyah Baluch, Dr. Beata Casanas, Dr. Ju Hee Katzman, Dr. Vidhya Sabapathy, Dr. Sarah Shewayish, and Dr. Greg Teo.
From Left to Right: Dr. Minh Ho, Dr. Beata Casanas, Dr. Sadaf Aslam, Dr. Sarah Shewayish, Dr. Ju Hee Katzman, Dr. Amanda Mercurio, Dr. Cristina Garcia, Dr. Andrew Nguyen, Dr. Carlos Perez, Dr. Shuchi Pandya, and Dr. Flor Sanchez.
From Left to Right: Dr. Sadaf Aslam, Dr. Kullatham Kongpakpaisarn, and Dr. Charurut Somboonwit
Dr. Vidhya Sabathy and Dr. Ju Hee Katzman
Tampa, FL, October 22nd – USF Health’s IDPodcasts Youtube Channel, a production of the Division of Infectious Diseases of the University of South Florida Morsani College of Medicine, announced in October 2019 that it has reached its one millionth lifetime view milestone. Although this number is modest in comparison to top 100 YouTube channel rankings with millions of subscribers, IDPodcasts’ subscriber base is #1 among all YouTube Channels belonging to the University of South Florida or its medical affiliates. IDPodcast’s YouTube channel first went online on January 13, 2012, and now has almost 7,000 subscribers.
Click here to read full article.
This past August 2019, USF hosted Dr. John Bader, Executive Director of the Fulbright Association for a visit to USF Health and the Department of Health in Hillsborough County. Dr. Bader met with USF Leadership to discuss opportunities to increase Fulbright membership within the student community at USF. USF Infectious Disease faculty, Dr. Jamie Morano, hosted Dr. Bader at the DOH where he met with health officials and took a tour of the clinic. USF Health will continue to work with Dr. Bader to promote student involvement in the Fulbright program. Dr. Morano served on the Fulbright National Capital Area Chapter Board of Trustees and served as a Fulbright Scholar to Hong Kong.
Congratulations to Dr. Todd Wills who was recently named Director of USF Health’s Office of Continuing Professional Development (CPD). Dr. Wills currently serves as the Program Director of the USF Health Morsani College of Medicine Physician Assistant Program, and is an Associate Professor of Infectious Disease, in the Department of Internal Medicine.
Dr. Wills will work with deans, faculty, and clinical partners to develop strategic approaches to fulfill the continuing professional education needs of all our healthcare providers. He will work to increase the role of the Office of CPD in supporting USF Health’s interprofessional practice. One of his priorities will be to link the continuing professional development program with USF Health’s focus on quality health outcomes, and he is responsible for ensuring that the continuing professional education programs meet the highest standards of evidence-based health practice.
Preeminent virologist Christian Brechot, MD, PhD, joined the USF Health Morsani College of Medicine part-time in October 2018 as senior associate dean for research in global affairs, associate vice president for international partnerships and innovation, and a professor in the Division of Infectious Disease and International Medicine.
Dr. Brechot is also executive director of the Tampa-based Romark Laboratories Institute for Medical Research. Since 2017, he has served as president of the Global Virus Network, a coalition of the world's foremost medical virologists. To read full USF Health article click here.
Liwang Cui, PhD joins the Division as Cohen Professor in Malaria Research. Dr. Cui received his BS from Shenang Agricultural University, his PhD form Loldova Agricultural University (Former USSR) and his PhD from University of Kentucky. He finished his training at the Walter Reed Army Institute of Research.
He brings ~$14.5m in NIH funding including an International Centers of Excellence for Malaria Research (ICEMR) that is funded by the NIH. He will focus his research on the molecular basis of drug resistance in malaria.
He was the first in successfully cloning P. falciparum and examined its gene regulation. his research is along the China Myanmar border where resistant forms of Malaria are a significant cause of death and have a devastating effect on the economy.
He brings ~$7m in NIH RO1 grants to the Division. He is currently the Director of the Human Pathogen Research Program in the Morsani College of Medicine.
She currently specializes in molecular parasitology, primarily working with apicomplexan parasite Toxoplasma gondii, and important human pathogen that causes lifelong infection in millions of people.
ID Faculty and Fellows Have Record Number of Research Posters and Presentations Accepted for 2018 IDSA IDWeek!
The Infectious Disease Society of America's (IDSA) Annual ID Week was held from October 2-7, 2018 in San Francisco, CA. This year marks a record number of USF ID research projects that were accepted for presentation at this prestigious meeting. A total of 14 research projects were completed this year as a result of collaborations among faculty and fellows. As a result, 9 projects were accepted for presentation at the conference. Congratulations to the ID faculty and fellows who attended the meeting to present their scholarly work and support the USF Infectious Diseases!
USF ID Faculty and Fellows (past and present) enjoyed dinner together at IDWeek
Fellowship Program Director, Beata Casanas, DO, current Fellow, Shylah Moore, MD and ID Faculty, Richard Oehler, MD
ID Fellow, Natan Kraitman, MD, and ID Faculty, Sadaf Aslam, MD, Richard Oehler, MD and Beata Casanas, DO
(from left to right) Kristen Zeitler, PharmD, Richard Oehler, MD, and Mindy Sampson, MD (fellow)
Dr. Charurut Somboonwit, Dr. Beata Casanas, and Dr. Jamie Morano were recently recognized for their commitment and dedication to the patient care at the Florida Department of Health-Hillsborough. ID physicians provide HIV, TB and STD care at the Specialty Care Center at the health department.
(Pictured L to R) Dr. Beata Casanas, Dr. John Toney and Dr. Misbahuddin Syed.
(Pictured from L to R) Richard Oehler, MD., Adam Pettigrew, MD., Sandra Gompf, MD., Beata Casanas, MD., John Toney, MD.
(Pictured from L to R) Dr. Sadaf Aslam, Dr. Jamie Morano and Dr. Beata Casanas.
On June 6-8, 2018, USF ID fellows Drs. Mindy Sampson and Anteneh Addisu attended the Eighth Annual IDSA-NIAID Research Careers Meeting (https://www.idresearchcareers.org). The meeting was kicked off by a keynote talk by NIAID Director Dr. Anthony Fauci. Dr. Kami Kim served as Chair of the IDSA working group that organized the meeting, which features talks from prominent ID researchers, career advising panel discussions, and a tour of the NIH Clinical Research Center.
The Division welcomes Dr. Li-Min Ting to our ID Research Team. Dr. Ting received her PhD at the University of Rochester in Microbiology and Immunology. She completed her postdoctoral training at the University of California, San Francisco, and was a principal associate working with USF ID faculty, Dr. Kami Kim in the field of parasitology at Albert Einstein College of Medicine before arriving USF. Her research interests are in understanding the pathogenesis of toxoplasmosis and malaria. She joins the Division of Infectious Disease and International Medicine as an Assistant Professor.
Dr. Ana Velez is an accomplished artist and University of South Florida Associate Professor and Infectious Diseases physician who has practiced at Moffitt Cancer Center among immunocompromised patients since 2006. Although she paints in many different styles, among her favorite subjects are the microorganisms she confronts everyday as a health care provider. With her art, she conveys the complexity and beauty present in even some of the most fearsome pathogens. Her paintings mix bright colors and subtle shades to capture the simple yet elegant nature of fungi, bacteria, and viruses.
Pictured is: Chikungunya
To see more of Dr. Velez’s creations click here
The Division welcomes researcher, Dr. Kami Kim, MD. Dr. Kim comes to us from the Albert Einstein College of Medicine where she ran a basic science and clinical research program in pathogenesis of toxoplasmosis and malaria and attended on the Infectious Diseases consultation service. She earned her Doctor of Medicine degree from Columbia College of Physicians & Surgeons and completed her Internal Medicine residency at Columbia Presbyterian Hospital. She trained in Infectious Diseases at UCSF and then completed a molecular parasitology fellowship at Stanford University. Dr. Kim also holds a joint faculty appointment with the College of Public Health.
We also welcome Dr. Iset Vera as an Instructor of Research. Dr. Vera graduated from UCLA in 2004 with a BS in Microbiology, Immunology & Molecular Genetics. Dr. Vera earned her PhD degree from Albert Einstein College of Medicine where she worked with Dr. Kami Kim focusing her studies on the parasite that causes malaria, Plasmodium spp. To further develop her research in the liver stages of malaria, she joined the laboratory of Dr. Maria Mota (Lisbon, Portugal) as a postdoctoral fellow, studying the host response to malaria infection. Her long-term research interests are the study of parasitic infectious diseases and global health.
Infectious Disease faculty member, Dr. Aliyah Baluch, is featured in Moffitt Cancer Center’s inaugural issue of “Woman in Oncology at Moffitt”. The magazine will feature extraordinary women who overcome huge obstacles and successfully manage demanding careers, along with day-to-day family responsibilities and community involvement.
Click here to read her interview.
An Immunocompetent Male Patient with Dysphagia and Odynophagia” by Shuchi Pandya, MD (ID Fellow - pictured), Sadaf Aslam, MD (ID Faculty), and John Greene, MD (ID Faculty)
(Pictured (L-R): Manuel Castro, MD (Fellow), Beata Casanas, DO (ID Fellowship Program Director), Aliyah Baluch, MD (Faculty), Richard Oehler, MD (Faculty), Shuchi Pandya (Fellow), Jeniffer Torres-Velazco, MD (Past Fellow)
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