Basic, translational, clinical, and epidemiologic research
Research training occupies the majority of the second and third years of fellowship. Fellows are supported in identifying a mentor and may select from a broad range of research opportunities in basic, translational, clinical, epidemiologic, education, or outcomes research within Infectious Diseases (ID), the Weill Department of Medicine, other departments within the Medical College (e.g. Department of Microbiology and Immunology, Department of Population Health Sciences) or at affiliated institutions (Rockefeller University, Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, Cornell University (Ithaca), and Hospital for Special Surgery). Faculty mentorship from within these institutions allows a wide range of research opportunities.
Our division has an NIH-sponsored T32 training grant to support developing physician-scientists during fellows' research years (AI007613; Gulick, 1999-2025). The objective is to train physician-scientists in biomedical research, with an emphasis on the pathogenesis of infectious diseases. Weill Cornell also has an NIH-funded Clinical and Translational Science Center (CTSC; TR00457; Imperato, 2007-2022) with state-of-the-art facilities for conducting translational and clinical research. The ID Division facilities include over 12,000 square feet of research and administrative space. There are 10 research laboratories (7,500 sq. ft.) in the medical college and the Belfer Research Building equipped for basic and translational molecular, microbiological, and immunologic studies. Current annual funding for sponsored research and training in the ID Division in 2019-2020 exceeded $17 million.
Several departmental and medical school-wide programs are available to support fellows interested in research careers with the transition to junior faculty. These opportunities include the Weill Department of Medicine’s Fund for the Future, the JumpStart Research Career Development Program and CTSC’s KL2 Career Development Awards.
The following pathways are intended to serve as a guide for the 2nd/3rd years and are meant to be flexible and adaptable to match individual fellows' interests.
Research pathways in years 2/3
Basic science/lab research
- WCM has a strong track record of training laboratory based Infectious Disease physician scientists.
- There is a wide range of high quality basic science laboratories that focus on pathogenesis, immunology, host immune response, and vaccine and drug development.
- Our fellows have worked with researchers within the division and across the Tri-Institutional campus (See list of additional T32 Research Training Faculty in other Departments & Institutions).
- Weill Cornell Physician-Scientist Academy led by Kyu Rhee to support physicians without doctorates interested in lab-based research through career development activities.
- Major laboratory-based research and potential mentors in the ID division may include:
- Genetic variation and drug resistance of Plasmodium falciparum and Babesia microti (Laura Kirkman).
- HIV latency and cure (Douglas Nixon and Brad Jones)
- HIV neuroinflammation and CNS reservoirs (Lishomwa Ndhlovu).
- Influenza (Mirella Salvatore).
- Cerebral malaria and malaria diagnostics (Linnie Golightly).
- Tuberculosis and antibiotic drug development (Kyu Rhee).
- Potential supplementary education: Clinical and Translational Science Center courses in Bioinformatics, Grant Writing, Data Management, Professional Development Courses, Master’s in Clinical and Translational Investigation.
Example fellow publications
- Vorkas CK, Wipperman MW, Li K, Bean J, Adamow M, Wong P, Jean Juste MA, Aubé J, Bucci V, Fitzgerald DW, Glickman MS. Mucosal-associated invariant and gd T cells respond to initial Mycobacterium tuberculosis infection. JCI Insight. 2018 Oct 4;3(19). pii: 121899. doi: 10.1172/jci.insight.121899 https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/30282828/
- Saito K, Warrier T, Somersan-Karakaya S, Kaminski K, Mi J, Jiang X, Park S, Shigyo K, Gold B, Roberts J, Weber E, Jacobs WR, Nathan C. Rifamycin action on RNA polymerase in antibiotic tolerant Mycobacterium tuberculosis results in differentially detectable populations. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 2017; 114:E4832-E4840 https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/19151157/
- Isa F, Collins S, Lee MH, et al. Mass Spectrometric Identification of Urinary Biomarkers of Pulmonary Tuberculosis. EBioMedicine 2018;31:157-65 https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/29752217/
- Fellows will develop clinical/translational research skills and expertise using a variety of methodologies including observational studies, clinical trials, large database analysis, laboratory analysis of patient-derived samples, cost-effectiveness analysis, informatics, or qualitative research methods.
- Depending on the research area, fellows may have more than one mentor from within and/or outside of the Division of Infectious Diseases who offer complementary expertise.
- Major research areas and potential mentors include:
- Antimicrobial resistance (Michael Satlin, David Calfee, Thomas Walsh).
- Clinical trials of COVID-19 and HIV/AIDS (Roy Gulick, Marshall Glesby, Timothy Wilkin, Kristen Marks).
- Clinical trials of therapeutics in immunocompromised hosts (Catherine Small, Michael Satlin).
- Hepatitis/substance use treatments, policy, and cost-effectiveness (Kristen Marks, Shashi Kapadia, Bruce Schackman). See Center for Health Economics of Treatment Interventions for Substance Use Disorder, HCV, and HIV (CHERISH).
- HIV/AIDS observational studies (Marshall Glesby).
- HIV translational research (Teresa Evering, Lishomwa Ndhlovu).
- Human Papillomavirus (Timothy Wilkin, Grant Ellsworth).
- Transplant Oncology ID (Michael Satlin, Catherine Small, Thomas Walsh).
- Potential supplementary education: Master’s in Clinical and Translational Investigation, Master’s in Clinical Epidemiology and Health Services Research, Preventive Medicine Residency and/or Master’s programs in the Department of Population Health Science.
Example fellow publications
- Magleby R, Westblade LF, Trzebucki A, Simon MS, Rajan M, Park J, Goyal P, Safford MM, Satlin MJ. Impact of SARS-CoV-2 Viral Load on Risk of Intubation and Mortality Among Hospitalized Patients With Coronavirus Disease 2019. Clin Infect Dis. 2020 Jun 30 [Epub ahead of print]. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/32603425/
- Johnston CD, Ifeagwu KC, Siegler EL, Derry H, Burchett CO, Rice MC, Gupta SK, Choi ME, Glesby MJ. Elevated cardiac risk score by ASCVD calculation is associated with albuminuria in older people living with HIV. AIDS. 2020 Feb 5;. doi: 10.1097/QAD.0000000000002492. [Epub ahead of print] https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/32271253/
- Kapadia SN, Johnston CD, Marks KM, Schackman BR, Martin EG. Strategies for Improving Hepatitis C Treatment Access in the United States: State Officials Address High Drug Prices, Stigma, and Building Treatment Capacity. J Public Health Manag Prac. 2019 May/Jun;25(3):245-52 https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/29927900/
Healthcare epidemiology/antimicrobial stewardship
- For interested fellows, there is opportunity to receive intensive training in this exciting field. Fellows are invited to actively participate in departmental activities, initiatives, and meetings to gain practical experience in all aspects of healthcare epidemiology, such as healthcare-associated infection surveillance, reporting, outbreak investigation, antimicrobial stewardship, and hospital policy development and implementation. The IP&C Department is integrated across all NYP campuses, allowing fellows to gain experience in coordinating an IP&C program and an antimicrobial stewardship program (ASP) across a large healthcare system.
- The primary goal of the research program is to improve patient safety by reducing the risk of healthcare-associated infections and antimicrobial resistance. Observational studies can be carried out utilizing infection control surveillance data, clinical microbiology data, and a robust hospital-based clinical database, which can be queried electronically. There is potential for collaborative projects, including observational as well as individual and cluster randomized trials, with Columbia University Medical Center and other NYP hospitals.
- Potential mentors include: David Calfee, Matthew Simon.
- Major research areas:
- Epidemiology of healthcare associated infections and/or multi-drug resistant infection.
- Epidemiology and management of multi-drug resistant infections.
- Environmental cleaning/disinfection.
- Antimicrobial stewardship.
- Rapid molecular diagnostics and diagnostic stewardship.
- Potential supplementary education: General Preventive Medicine Residency and/or Master’s in Clinical and Translational Investigation.
Example fellow publications
- Wang TZ, White KN, Scarr JV, Simon MS, Calfee DP. “Preparing Your Healthcare Facility for the New Fungus Among Us: An Infection Preventionist's Guide to Candida Auris.” 2020 Jul;48(7):825-827 https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/32591096/
- Kondo M, Simon MS, Westblade LF, Jenkins SG, Babady EN, Loo AS, Calfee DP on behalf of the SHEA Research Network. “Implementation of Infectious Diseases Rapid Molecular Diagnostic Tests and Antimicrobial Stewardship Program Involvement in Acute Care Hospitals” Accepted at the 6th Decennial International Conference on Healthcare Associated Infections 2020. Under Review.
- Baker TM, Rogers W, Chavda KD, Westblade LF, Jenkins SG, Nicolau DP, Kreiswirth BN, Calfee DP, Satlin MJ. Epidemiology of Bloodstream Infections Caused by Escherichia coli and Klebsiella pneumoniae That Are Piperacillin-Tazobactam-Nonsusceptible but Ceftriaxone-Susceptible. Open Forum Infect Dis 2018; 5:ofy300. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/30568979/
- The goal of the Weill Cornell Center for Global Health (CGH) is to improve health care in low and middle income countries through the conduct of research, clinical service, and training. The three priority research areas are infectious diseases, women’s health, and cardiovascular diseases.
- The Division of Infectious Diseases collaborates closely with the CGH, with multiple faculty members shared between the two groups, including full-time faculty who are based at or travel frequently to programs in Brazil, Haiti, India, Tanzania, or Uganda.
- The CGH has 16 core faculty members who conduct NIH-funded research and have a track record of advancing the careers of postdoctoral fellows. Six of the Center’s junior faculty currently have NIH K career development awards.
- Postdoctoral fellows interested in conducting mentored research in global health are encouraged to reach out to the Center’s faculty to learn more about their research.
- Major research areas and potential mentors may include:
- HIV and hypertension (Robert Peck).
- HIV testing in Uganda (Radhika Sundararajan).
- Host immune response to Mycobacteria (Kathryn Dupnik).
- Pathogenesis, prevention, and treatment of HIV and TB in Haiti and Tanzania (Daniel Fitzgerald, Jean Pape).
- Schistosomiasis and mucosal immunity in Tanzania (Jennifer Downs).
- TB, pregnancy and women’s health in India (Jyoti Mathad).
- Potential supplementary education: Master’s in Clinical Epidemiology and Health Services Research, Vanderbilt-Emory-Cornell-Duke (VECD) Consortium for Global Health Fellows.
Example fellow publications
- Batavia AS, Severe P, Lee MH, Apollon A, Zhu YS, Dupnik KM, McNairy ML, Pape JW, Fitzgerald DW, Peck RN. Blood pressure and mortality in a prospective cohort of HIV-infected adults in Port-au-Prince, Haiti. J Hypertens 2018;36:1533-1539. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/29634661/
- Dupnik KM, Bair TB, Maia AO, Amorim FM, Costa MR, Keesen TSL, Valverde JG, Queiroz MAP, Medeiros LL, de Lucena NL, Wilson ME, Nobre ML, Johnson WD, and Jeronimo SMB. Transcriptional changes that characterize the immune reactions of leprosy. J Infect Dis. 2015;211:1658-76. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/25398459/
- Mathad JS, Bhosale R, Sangar V, Mave V, Gupte N, Kanade S, Nangude A, Chopade K, Suryavanshi N, Deshpande P, Kulkarni V, Glesby MJ, Fitzgerald D, Bharadwaj R, Sambarey P, Gupta A. Pregnancy differentially impacts performance of latent tuberculosis diagnostics in a high-burden setting. PLoS One 2014; 9:e92308. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/24658103/
Transplantation-Oncology ID Program
- Fellows interested in a career in Transplant Oncology ID will be able to gain expertise in the field during their fellowship. Fellows will rotate both on our solid organ transplant and bone marrow transplant service. Interested fellows will participate in multidisciplinary rounds with our transplant and oncology colleagues, perform pre-transplant evaluations, manage infections in the post-transplant period, and develop research projects with mentors in the field.
- Potential mentors include: Thomas Walsh, Catherine Small, Michael Satlin, Priya Kodiyanplakkal.
- Major research areas:
- Invasive fungal infections.
- Multi-drug resistant bacterial infections.
- Viral infections.
- HIV and transplantation.
- COVID-19 in immunocompromised hosts.
Example fellow publications
- Isa F, Saito K, Huang YT, Schuetz A, Babady NE, Salvatore S, Pessin M, vanBesien K, Perales MA, Giralt S, Sepkowitz K, Papanicolaou GA, Soave R, Kamboj M. Implementation of Molecular Surveillance After a Cluster of Fatal Toxoplasmosis at 2 Neighboring Transplant Centers. Clin Infect Dis 2016;63:565-8.
- Jacobs SE, Lamson DM, Soave R, Huertas B, Shore TB, Ritchie EK, Zappetti D, Satlin MJ, Leonard JP, Van Besien K, Schuetz AN, Jenkins SG, St. George K, Walsh TJ. Clinical and molecular epidemiology of human rhinovirus infections in patients with hematology malignancy. J Clin Virol 2015;71:51-58. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/26370315/
- McCarthy M, Rosengart A, Schuetz AN, Kontoyiannis DP, Walsh TJ. Mold infections of the central nervous system. N Engl J Med 2014; 371:150-60. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/25006721/