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RSV hospitalization rate for seniors is 10 times higher than usual for this point in the season

Tuesday, November 15, 2022

Speaking to CNN, Ann Falsey, M.D., a professor of medicine and co-director of the Medical Center’s Vaccine Treatment and Evaluation Unit who has published research on RSV in adults, said RSV rose somewhat in children in the summer and early fall last year, but the US did not see the usual proportional increase in RSV in older adults at the time. 

“I think that older adults were more cautious to continue public health measures like masks and social distance last year because they were still worrying about Covid,” Falsey says. “But this year, we’re starting to see older people ending up in the hospital again with RSV, because everyone is throwing caution to the wind.”

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Members from the Division of Infectious Diseases Have Strong Presence at International ID Week in Washington, D.C.

Wednesday, October 26, 2022

ID Week is an annual meeting that brings together the Infectious Diseases Society of America (IDSA) and several other prominent societies focused on infectious diseases, microbiology, and global health. Infectious disease health care professionals from around the world gather to share updates on state-of-the-art technology and advancements in clinical care. This recent meeting was the first live event in three years, offering a hybrid program for those unable to attend in person.

URMC was well represented at the meeting with posters, presentations, and live sessions. You can explore the interactive program for further details on presenters and their sessions.

Session / Presentation Speakers

Edward Walsh, M.D. (view his speaker profile)

Ann Falsey, M.D. (view her speaker profile)

  • Efficacy and Safety of Bivalent Respiratory Syncytial Virus Vaccine in Older Adults – Walsh and Falsey
  • Affiliated event panel discussion Viral Respiratory Infections in Adults: Examining Evolving Seasonal Trends and Updates in Vaccine Research – Walsh and Falsey
  • Long term immunogenicity of Ad26.RSV.preF/RSV preF protein vaccine against RSV in a phase 2b study by age and risk level – Falsey

Angela Branche, M.D. (view her speaker profile)

  • SARS-CoV2 Variants: Preparing for the Inevitable
  • Staying a Step Ahead: Can Vaccines Keep Up with Variants?
  • Toward a Universal SARS-CoV-2 Vaccine
  • Covering the SARES-CoV-2 Antigenic Landscape: The COVAIL Trial and Beyond

Ghinwa Dumyati, M.D. (view her speaker profile)

  • Antibiotic resistant gram negative bacterial infections among persons with or without a prior positive test for SARS-CoV2 in 10 US sites, 2020
  • Hospitalizations and Antibiotic Use in the Year Prior to an Incident C. difficile Infection for Medicare Beneficiaries in Four States, 2016-18

Ted Louie, M.D. (view his speaker profile)

  • Drainage Pus and Slough: Oh My! The Role of ID Physician in Wound Care

Poster Presentations

Falsey: Biofire Film Array Pneumonia Panel

Sonal Munsiff, M.D. and Michael Croix, M.D.

  • Clinical Characteristics and Management of Nontuberculous Mycobacterial Infections in the Finger Lakes Region of New York – Munsiff and Croix
    • Croix was recognized with ID Week Trainee Award for this poster
  • Cost Effectiveness of rectal screening for ESBL producing organism in preventing urosepsis following transrectal prostate biopsy – Munsiff

Brenda Tesini, M.D. and Katie Vermilye, M.D.(from the division of Pediatric Infectious Diseases)

  • Epidemiology, virulence and antimicrobial resistance of hypervirulent K. pneumoniae western New York, 2017-20 – Tesini and Vermilye
  • Antibiotic Allergy Delabeling in Pediatric ID Clinic: Missed Stewardship Opportunities – Vermilye and Tesini, with Jessica Stern, M.D. from the division of Allergy, Immunology & Rheumatology

Rodolfo Alpizar-Rivas, M.D. and Paritosh Prasad, M.D.

  • Incidence and outcomes of infections in liver transplant recipients during first year post-transplant
    • Alpizar-Rivas was recognized with ID Week Trainee Award for this poster

Louie and Tyler Stephen, M.D.

  • Formulary Edits and Consistent Messaging for Unproven COVID-19 Therapeutics
    • Stephen was recognized with ID Week Trainee Award for this poster

Angela Branche Named Fellow of National Society

Thursday, September 8, 2022

Angela Branche, M.D., associate professor of Medicine, Director of the Infectious Disease Research Clinic, and co-Director of the URMC Vaccine Treatment Evaluation Unit, has been named a Fellow of the Infectious Diseases Society of America. Fellows are nominated by their peers and meet specific criteria in the field, including national/regional recognition and publication of scholarly work.

Learn more about this prestigious honor.

Angela Branche Co-Chairs NIH Study of Second COVID Booster

Thursday, March 31, 2022

University of Rochester Medical Center researchers are leading a new national COVID vaccine study that will evaluate a second booster dose. The study will include the current approved vaccine and new doses that target the Beta, Delta, and Omicron variants.  The goal of the study is to determine which individual or combination variant vaccine provides the broadest protection during potentially future outbreaks.

“For the past two years, we have been playing catch-up with the virus as new variants emerge,” said Angela Branche, M.D., an associate professor of Infectious Diseases and co-director of the URMC Vaccine Treatment and Evaluation Unit (VTEU).  “COVID will continue to evolve over time, potentially leading to new variants that cause periods of higher incidence of symptomatic disease.  The goal of this study is to move from responsiveness to preparedness.” 

Branche – along with Nadine Rouphael, M.D., with Emory University – is national co-chair of the phase 2 clinical trial, known as the COVID-19 Variant Immunologic Landscape (COVAIL) trial. The study is funded by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), part of the National Institutes of Health, and will seek to recruit up to 600 volunteers at 24 sites across the U.S., including Rochester. 

The approved COVID vaccines provided durable protection against severe COVID during the Omicron wave, but were less effective in preventing infection and mild illness. The concern is that a new variant could build upon Omicron, other variants, or even emerge from new branch of mutations altogether.  Omicron demonstrated that existing vaccines provide a foundation of protection, leading researchers to believe that strengthening this existing immunity, or even broadening it, could help boost protection against emerging variants and future waves of infection. 

NIAID is racing to collect this data in part to help inform policy decisions, including which versions of the vaccine to recommend for future booster doses in the fall, when the combination of waning immunity, a return to school, and congregating indoors often spark the reemergence of respiratory viruses.

The COVAIL study is open to volunteers 18 years and older who already have received a primary COVID vaccination series and booster shot.  Researchers will randomly assign volunteers to receive a second booster dose of either the original vaccine, doses engineered against the Beta, Delta, and Omicron variants, or doses that combine variants.  Moderna will supply vaccines for the first stage and the clinical trial will expand over time to include vaccines produced by other manufacturers.

The study is being conducted through the Infectious Diseases Clinical Research Consortium, a network of NIAID-supported research sites, including the URMC VTEU, that have been at the forefront of the national scientific response to the COVID pandemic.  The URMC VTEU is led by Branche and Ann Falsey, M.D.

For more information, visit:

Angela Branche Featured as One of Five Inspiring Women in Science

Friday, February 11, 2022

Angela Branche, M.D., associate professor of medicine in infectious diseases and co-director of the URMC Vaccine and Treatment Evaluation Unit, reflected on her role as a woman in research as the University of Rochester Medical Center celebrated International Day of Women and Girls in Science on February 11. She was one of five researchers at URMC who shared their advice to other women and girls interested in science.  “I’ll never accept the idea that I’m somehow starting off with a disadvantage because I’m a woman and I dare anyone to treat me otherwise. The only limitations I have are the ones I create and accept for myself,” Branche said. 

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