Fellows in the first year are exposed to the research activities of the Infectious Diseases Division in monthly research conferences and participation in a Fellows' Research Day. Fellows select a faculty preceptor and an area of research. Two 2-week blocks are dedicated to research during first year which affords fellows the opportunity to define a research project which the trainee will pursue during the majority of the second year. While trainees are strongly encouraged to participate in a research experience, those who wish to focus on clinical training may elect to pursue additional clinical rotations in the second year. A third year of fellowship is possible for those trainees with special interest and aptitude in research.
The major research interests and expertise of the faculty are in the areas of basic and clinical virology, viral immunology and pathogenesis, and evaluation of viral vaccines and antiviral agents. The Infectious Diseases Division includes several research programs supported by the National Institutes of Health (NIH), including a Vaccine and Treatment Evaluation Unit, an HIV Vaccine Trials Unit (HVTU), and an AIDS Clinical Trials Unit (ACTU). The VTEU is directed by Drs. Falsey and Branche and the HVTU and ACTU are directed by Dr. Michael Keefer and Catherine Bunce. Clusters of investigators address several viral infections with regard to both basic (e.g. molecular virology, viral immunology), and clinical (e.g. evaluation of candidate vaccines) studies. These include COVID-19, human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), influenza virus, and human papillomavirus (HPV) infections. Other vaccines (e.g., herpes simplex virus, varicella-zoster virus, vaccinia, avian influenza, plague, anthrax) are also studied.
Additionally, the University of Rochester is one of 10 active sites in the CDC's Emerging Infections Program (EIP). The department is directed by faculty member Dr. Ghinwa Dumyati who is actively involved in surveillance programs specifically for C. difficile, nursing home infections, COVID, influenza/RSV, and invasive staphylococcal disease.
Additional areas of interest and expertise are indicated in the roster of our faculty. Thus, there are opportunities for basic and/or clinical research training in several areas of infectious diseases, with an emphasis on viral infections.
Other Research Opportunities for Fellows