Infectious Diseases Education

Faculty members in the infectious diseases division provide medical students, internal medicine house staff and ID fellows with the opportunity to learn about clinical diagnosis and management of infectious diseases, basic and diagnostic microbiology, host factors important to pathogenesis of infection, infection control procedures for the prevention of nosocomial infections, appropriate use of antimicrobial agents, antibiotic stewardship and quality improvement.  Regular student/house staff/fellow lectures and conferences (see “Conferences” section) are conducted to provide medical students, internal medicine residents and ID fellows with more didactic teaching about the principles of diagnosis and management of infectious diseases.

Patient care learning opportunities:

Busy consultative services in general ID provide hands-on patient care and bedside teaching primarily in 2 locations.  One of these is Memorial Hermann Hospital-Texas Medical Center where 1-2 fellows in infectious diseases, 1-3 medical residents, and often a fourth-year medical student make up a team under the direction of one of the faculty members. MHH is one the nation’s busiest trauma hospital and the flagship, tertiary referral hospital for the Memorial Hermann Hospital System, the largest private hospital network in Texas, with multiple ICUs, a specialized burn unit, and solid organ transplantation; MHH is also the site for our 1-year Transplant Infectious Diseases fellowship.  Faculty members are also active in teaching at LBJ hospital, a large county hospital with its diverse, often lower resource or immigrant population.  Our ID colleagues at the UT M.D. Anderson Cancer Center (MDACC, the #1 ranked oncology hospital in the US) are all faculty for our joint ID fellowship with MDACC); their four consultative teaching services (Hematology, Solid Tumors, ICU, and Leukemia) which provide ID fellows with additional, diverse educational opportunities.

In the outpatient setting, teaching occurs at Thomas Street Health Center, one of the nation’s largest, free standing HIV clinics and the site for our HIV fellowship and NIH funded clinical research); at the UT Professional Building (outpatient general ID); at LBJ Outpatient Center (general ID and home IV antibiotics) and the West Loop Clinic (outpatient general ID and travel medicine).

In addition to teaching rounds, didactic lectures, and case conferences specifically related to infectious diseases, ID Division faculty members also teach in the basic sciences curriculum and on General Medicine, and have frequently been awarded the Dean’s Teaching Award for teaching excellence.

Research opportunities:

Faculty of the Division of Infectious Diseases conduct a wide range of well-funded research in basic, translational and clinical research (see RESEARCH section for additional details). Basic and clinical research in the division includes studies of the mechanisms and molecular epidemiology of antimicrobial resistance, fungal diseases, bacterial pathogenesis, diarrheal diseases, pharmacokinetics, and HIV/AIDS. Funding sources for this research include NIH, industry and other grants. Colleagues at UT MD Anderson Cancer Center are likewise well funded and productive in research.

The Division also has strong collaborative relationships with colleagues in other schools and departments that bring together multi-disciplinary research teams to investigate the problems of infectious diseases. One of our cross collaborative efforts is the Center for Antimicrobial Resistance and Microbial Genomics (CARMiG).  CARMiG encompasses researchers across the Texas Medical Center, one of the largest clusters of health care institutions in the world, including the Gulf Coast Consortia, Rice University, Baylor College of Medicine, Texas A&M’s Institute of Biosciences and Technology, University of Houston, as well as extensive collaborations across the USA and international sites in Latin America. CARMiG seeks to apply state of the art genomic and bioinformatics tools to study antimicrobial-resistant pathogens and track their local and worldwide spread and includes a diverse portfolio of research programs such as basic bacteriology and molecular genetics/genomics, biochemistry, pharmacology, clinical infectious diseases, bioinformatics and epidemiology, among others. This integration of expertise connects scientific discovery to patient care.

Infectious Diseases Fellows are encouraged to pick a research mentor early in their fellowship. Fellows are expected to complete a project during their first year in time to submit an abstract to either IDWeek (the annual meeting of the Infectious Disease Society of America, SHEA, PIDS and HIVMA) or MICROBE, the annual meeting of the American Society of Microbiology. Fellows’ abstracts are frequently accepted for presentation and travel grants are commonly awarded.  Fellows (in Infectious Diseases, in Transplant Infectious Diseases, and in HIV) (see “Fellowshipssection) generally attend at least one national/international conference per year to present their research and/or to attend a variety of sessions including presentations of original research, overview symposia, and Meet-the-Professor sessions, among others.

Conferences (see Conferences section)

Masters in Clinical Research: a program within the Department of Medicine offers a two year curriculum that can be attended with or without the thesis required for the Masters degree.