2021 News and Updates

Upcoming Event: Virtual Meet and Greet for URM Fellowship Applicants. Saturday, October 23rd, 2021. More information to follow

2021 Awards and Recognitions

Florence Momplaisir, MD

Congratulations to Florence and the entire team on another publication!

"Racial/Ethnic Differences in COVID-19 Vaccine Hesitancy Among Health Care Workers in 2 Large Academic Hospitals."

Lauren Dutcher, MD

Congrats to Lauren Dutcher (and team including Keith Hamilton) on their abstract accepted for an oral presentation at ID Week.

Dutcher L, Li Y, Lee G, Grundmeier R, Hamilton KW, Gerber JS; For the CDC Prevention Epicenters Program. The Impact of the COVID-19 Pandemic on Antibiotic Prescribing in Pediatric Primary Care. ID Week 2021 Annual Scientific Conference, Oct 2021, Virtual Event 

Of note, Lauren was also the recipient of the ID Week 2021 Program Committee Choice Award. Per ID Week, “This award is given to the four best accepted abstracts overall. The ID Week Program Committee selected you as a recipient based on your outstanding scientific research.”

Congrats Lauren!

Jim Harrigan, MD

Jim led analysis of a longitudinal cohort study that defined how the respiratory microbiome changes during prolonged critical illness and features of the respiratory microbiome that best predict risk for bacterial pneumonia. His work resulted in a first-author manuscript that was just released in CID: 

https://academic.oup.com/cid/advance-article-abstract/doi/10.1093/cid/ciab678/6345365?redirectedFrom=fulltext

Steve Gluckman, MD

Steve took second place in his age group at the Steelman Triathlon!! As Steve said, “…was nosed out by a youngster of 71. Too many years to give away…”

The Outstanding Infectious Diseases Clinical Fellow Award

Daniel Escobar, MD, MS received his Bachelor’s degree from The Johns Hopkins University with a double major in Biology and Romance Languages & Literature in 2008. He received a Master’s degree in Cell & Molecular Biology from Johns Hopkins University in 2009 and received his medical degree from the Lewis Katz School of Medicine at Temple University in 2014. He completed a residency in Internal Medicine at the University of Maryland Medical Center, and was Chief Resident of Patient Safety and Quality Improvement from 2017-2018. Prior to enrolling in fellowship, Dr. Escobar was a hospitalist in Honolulu, Hawaii. He is enrolled in the Infectious Diseases Hospital Epidemiology/Antibiotic Stewardship track and is also currently completing a Certificate in Clinical Epidemiology through the Center for Clinical Epidemiology and Biostatistics. His primary research interests involve hospital epidemiology, infection prevention, antibiotic stewardship, and patient safety/quality improvement initiatives. Upon completion of his fellowship in the summer of 2021, Dr. Escobar will be joining the faculty at UCSF as an Assistant Professor of Medicine in the Division of Infectious Diseases.

The Robert Austrian Outstanding Infectious Diseases Research Fellow Award

Cedric Bien-Gund, MD received his BA from Wesleyan University with Highest Honors and his MD from Mount Sinai School of Medicine with Distinction in Research. During medical school, he spent a year as a Doris Duke Clinical Research Fellow in China where he fostered an interest in HIV and other infectious diseases. He completed his residency in the Primary Care and Social Internal Medicine track at Montefiore Medical Center in the Bronx before coming to the University of Pennsylvania where he completed a fellowship in Infectious Diseases in 2020. He is currently pursuing additional training in the MSCE program at Penn and is leading several research projects, including a study to increase COVID-19 testing among underserved populations in Philadelphia.

The Infectious Diseases Faculty Teaching Award (tie) - Peter Liu, MD & Anne Norris, MD

Peter Liu, MD is an Assistant Professor of Clinical Medicine in the division of Infectious Diseases. Peter earned his medical degree from Wake Forest School of Medicine (2013) before moving to the University of Virginia where he completed residency training in Internal Medicine (2013-2016) and spent an additional year as a Chief Resident (2016-2017). Peter subsequently completed the Measey Medical Education fellowship during his Infectious Diseases fellowship at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania (2017-2019). He has maintained a passion for teaching throughout and was the recipient of the Outstanding Infectious Disease Clinical Fellow award in 2019. Peter is actively involved in both undergraduate and graduate medical education as a faculty member and regularly attends on the Infectious Disease consult service at PPMC.

Anne Norris, MD earned a BS in Chemistry at St. Joseph’s University in Philadelphia followed by an MD at Temple University. She is an Associate Professor in the Department of Medicine in the Division of Infectious Diseases. She is the Medical Director of the Penn Community Infectious Diseases Practice at PPMC and the PPMC Infectious Diseases Transition Service. Her clinical focus has been HIV infection, tick borne diseases, and the delivery of outpatient IV antimicrobials. She has precepted over 20 Infectious Diseases fellows in the ambulatory clinic and mentored numerous other residents and students in research and quality improvement projects.

The Harvey M. Friedman Infectious Diseases Faculty Mentoring Award

Vincent Lo Re, III, MD, MSCE is Associate Professor of Medicine and Epidemiology in the Perelman School of Medicine. Dr. Lo Re earned a BS in Chemistry from Georgetown University in 1992, and an MD from the University of Pennsylvania in 1997. He stayed at Penn for residency in Internal Medicine from 1997- 2001, serving as Chief Medical Resident in his final year. He then completed an Infectious Diseases Fellowship at Penn from 2001-2003, during which time he also earned a Master of Science in Clinical Epidemiology (MSCE) degree. Dr. Lo Re’s research program, continuously funded by the NIH since 2004, has focused on the epidemiology of chronic viral hepatitis, pharmacoepidemiology of antiviral therapies, and identifying cofactors of liver disease progression, particularly among HIV-infected patients. He teaches multiple courses for graduate students in the Penn Center for Clinical Epidemiology and Biostatistics and has served as primary research mentor to 26 pre- and post-doctoral students since 2008. In 2018, he became Co-Director of the MSCE degree program, which trains approximately 30 students annually in epidemiological and biostatistical methods and helps launch their research careers. Dr. Lo Re takes great satisfaction in mentoring junior investigators and helping to develop their careers.

Robert Dunning Dripps Award for Excellence in Graduate Medical Education

Todd Barton, MD - This award was established in 1983 by the Department of Anesthesia to honor Robert Dunning Dripps, a former Chairman of the Department and a pioneer in the specialty of anesthesia. It is awarded to a member of the medical faculty to recognize excellence as an educator of residents and fellows in clinical care, teaching or administration.

Provost’s Award for Teaching Excellence by Non-Standing Faculty

Keith Hamilton, MD - “This award is in recognition of your commitment to teaching at Penn. The selection committee has chosen you from a highly competitive nomination pool based on the letters written on your behalf by your peers and students. Thank you for all you do for the Penn Community, and congratulations.  In a year like we have had, your commitment to your students is all the more deserving of congratulations and thanks!”

Special Deans Award - Neil Fishman, MD & Kathleen Murphy, MD

Neil Fishman, MD - The Special Dean's Awards, established during the 1989-90 academic year, honor special achievements by Penn faculty members, particularly in the development of new and innovative educational programs. The Senior Vice Dean for Medical Education, in consultation with the Teaching Awards Selection Committee, identifies faculty members who have made unique contributions to medical education at Penn during the previous year. Neil is receiving this award for exceptional support and innovative planning for all educational programs during COVID-19.

Kathleen Murphy, MD - The Special Dean's Awards, established during the 1989-90 academic year, honor special achievements by Penn faculty members, particularly in the development of new and innovative educational programs. The Senior Vice Dean for Medical Education, in consultation with the Teaching Awards Selection Committee, identifies faculty members who have made unique contributions to medical education at Penn during the previous year. Kathleen is a recipient of this award for exceptional support and innovative planning for all educational programs during COVID-19.

Monday, July 19, 2021

Erica Weinstein, MD

Erica Weinstein just received notification that her paper demonstrating the accuracy of a diagnostic coding algorithm for prosthetic joint infections was accepted by Pharmacoepidemiology and Drug Safety. This was crucial preliminary data requested by the NIH/NIAID reviewers of her F32, which scored a terrific 25. I was incredibly impressed with Erica’s diligence and perseverance in pushing this over the goal line and wanted all in the ID Division to know.

  Vin Lo Re

Lauren Dutcher, MD, Keith Hamilton, MD, Kathleen Degnan, MD, Michael David, MD, David Pegues, MD, et al.

Congratulation to Lauren Dutcher, Keith Hamilton and crew for their recent publication focusing on an initiative to improve antibiotic prescribing in outpatient respiratory tract infections. This was a major project funded by the CDC Prevention Epicenters program here at Penn/CHOP.

Dutcher L, Degnan K, Adu-Gyamfi AB, Lautenbach E, Cressman L, David MZ, Cluzet V, Szymczak JE, Pegues DA, Bilker W, Tolomeo P, Hamilton KW; CDC Prevention Epicenters Program. Improving Outpatient Antibiotic Prescribing for Respiratory Tract Infections in Primary Care; a Stepped-Wedge Cluster Randomized Trial. Clin Infect Dis. 2021 Jul 2:ciab602. doi: 10.1093/cid/ciab602.

- Ebb Lautenbach

Monday, July 12, 2021

Dovie Watson, MD, MSCE

CFAR Ending the HIV Epidemic Supplement “Perspectives in HIV biomedical prevention among racially/ethnically diverse transgender and gender diverse adults in the United States”. Tackling a component of the PrEP care continuum to complement with her Diversity Supplement. Another brick in building her career path!

- Robert Gross

Katie Bar, MD

Congratulations Dr. Katie Bar for her 2 new funded R01s!

Award #1: 1R01AI162646-01A1

Title: Characterizing the viral and host effector mechanisms that govern HIV-1 rebound 

A functional cure of HIV-1, or the establishment of antiretroviral therapy (ART)-free remission, requires novel approaches to prevent or delay rebound viremia following ART cessation. A critical barrier to developing such strategies is the lack of understanding of the viral and host effector mechanisms that control HIV-1 reactivation in vivo. We recently discovered that viruses that rebound from latency following treatment interruption display the highest levels of IFN-I resistance observed at any time during the infection course. In collaboration with Dr. Beatrice Hahn, they will characterize the viral factors that contribute to this phenotype and dissect key host defense mechanisms that place pressure on the rebounding virus pool. Harnessing these defenses may translate into more effective HIV/AIDS cure strategies. 

Award #2: R01 MH128155-01 

Title: Novel macrophage-tropic transmitted/founder SHIV model of CNS persistence to evaluate CRISPR/Cas9 gene editing 

Characterization of the CNS reservoir and empiric testing of novel cure strategies require physiologically relevant animal models of HIV persistence in the brain. The study will integrate major advances from our roups in transmitted/founder (TF) SHIV NHP models and AAV-delivered CRISPR/Cas9 editing to delineate key features of the CNS reservoir and assess a promising approach to eradicative cure. In coordinated NHP experiments, they will use barcoded, macrophage-tropic TF SHIV.D to elucidate the mechanisms of CNS persistence and test the efficacy of global and myeloid-specific CRISPR/Cas9 gene editing to cure HIV  

- Liani Santini

May 24, 2021

Florence Momplaisir, MD

I wanted to recognize all the work Florence has done in putting together the Summer Scholars program. Plans for this program were started relatively late in the year and despite this, we have two fantastic students working with the division this summer. Nice work!

- Ebb Lautenbach

Nancy Aitcheson, MD

Congratulations to Nancy for having her Penn LDI-CFAR-Philadelphia Department of Public Health (PDPH) “Ending the HIV Epidemic” pilot project on HIV testing in the ED selected to move on to the next step. Nancy will need to present her project to a review committee of Penn LDI, CFAR, and health department representatives for final selection!

- Florence Momplaisir

May 17, 2021

Florence Momplaisir, MD

Congratulations to Florence on a recently published paper that she worked on using data from IMPAACT P1025. This is a very nice and important paper that identifies a population at high risk for viral failure and a potential intervention that may have an impact (treatment of depression).

https://academic.oup.com/cid/advance-article/doi/10.1093/cid/ciab416/6274991?guestAccessKey=b9255428-6efa-41dc-b2fe-2587b624c772

Perinatal Depressive Symptoms, HIV Suppression, and the Underlying Role of ART Adherence: A Longitudinal Mediation Analysis in the IMPAACT P1025 Cohort

- Pablo Tebas

Monday, May 3, 2021

Rahul Kohli, MD

Congratulations! A new R01 has been awarded to Dr. Rahul Kohli for his project “Engineering Efficient and Controllable Base Editors.” DNA deaminase enzymes can generate purposeful genomic mutations and play important immune defense roles, but are naturally constrained in various manners that make them suboptimal as biotechnological tools. This project will leverage knowledge of DNA deaminase structure and function to engineer CRISPR/Cascoupled base editors that are capable of generating targeted genomic changes in an efficient and controllable manner. The outcome of this work will be an enhanced understanding of the base editing mechanism and a suite of editing tools with properties necessary to study, diagnose, or treat diseases involving precise genomic changes.

- Courtney Faber

2020 News

Implementation Science Grant Eyes New Role for Community Health Workers in HIV Intervention – Two Game-Changing Facts Increase Potential to Control Disease Spread

https://ldi.upenn.edu/news/implementation-science-grant-eyes-new-role-community-health-workers-hiv-intervention

Penn Medicine Launches COVID-19 Convalescent Plasma Study

https://penntoday.upenn.edu/news/penn-medicine-launches-covid-19-convalescent-plasma-study

Why risk behaviors, not orientation, should decide who gives blood  In a Q&A, Katharine Bar, an assistant professor of medicine at the Perelman School of Medicine, explains why the blood donation restrictions against men who have sex with men are not evidence-based. 

https://penntoday.upenn.edu/why-blood-donation-restrictions-on-gay-men

A new herpes vaccine leaves no trace of infection or disease  A novel vaccine developed at Penn Medicine protected almost all animal subjects exposed to the virus.

https://penntoday.upenn.edu/news/new-herpes-vaccine-leaves-no-trace-infection-or-disease

New vaccines to protect infants from infections

https://penntoday.upenn.edu/news/new-vaccines-protect-infants-infections

Racing to deliver a vaccine to the massesWhile the world works to flatten the curve, scientists at Penn and Wistar hope to deliver the COVID-19 pandemic’s silver bullet: a vaccine that effectively protects people from infection.

https://penntoday.upenn.edu/news/racing-deliver-vaccine-masses-coronavirus

2019 Awards and Recognition

Richard P Shannon Trainee Award

Jessica Meisner, MD, MSHP was selected as the 2019 Richard P Shannon Trainee Award for Outstanding Leadership in Quality & Safety in the Department of Medicine.  This annual award recognizes a resident or fellow from the Department of Medicine for outstanding leadership and dedication to continuous quality improvement and patient safety efforts within the residency program and department.

Dr. Meisner completed her undergraduate work at the University of Southern California earning dual Bachelor’s degrees in International Relations and Biological Sciences (2007). She subsequently completed a Master of Science degree in Biohazardous Threat Agents and Emerging Infectious Diseases from Georgetown University (2008). Additionally, she completed an internship at the Defense Threat Reduction Agency under the Department of Defense in the Biological Threat Reduction Program (2008). In 2009, she was selected to serve as a Mirzayan Science and Technology Policy Fellow at the National Academies with the Committee for International Security and Arms Control. Dr. Meisner graduated from Drexel University College of Medicine in 2013, receiving The Dr. Elias Abrutyn Award for excellence in Infectious Diseases. She went on to complete an internal medicine training program at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center where she was in the HIV primary care and global health tracks (2016). During her internal medicine residency she also completed a Certificate in Global Health Delivery at the Harvard School of Public Health (2014). In 2016, Dr. Meisner achieved certification in HIV medicine through the American Academy of HIV Medicine. Dr. Meisner completed an Infectious Diseases (ID) fellowship training program at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania (2016-2018). During fellowship she was selected by the Center for Healthcare Improvement and Patient Safety to serve as a Fellow and was also nominated as an Associate Fellow at the Leonard Davis Institute for Health Economics. In September 2019, Dr. Meisner will be appointed to the faculty of UT Southwestern Medical School as an Assistant Professor of Medicine in the Division of Infectious Diseases and Geographical Medicine.

The Outstanding Infectious Diseases Clinical Fellow Award

This award, voted by the faculty, recognizes the most outstanding ID fellow pursuing an academic clinical career.

Peter Liu, MD received his Bachelors of Science degree in Biological Sciences from the University of Southern California (2009). As a senior he was the recipient of the Milo Don Appleman Award, a highly competitive honor given to a student each year who is determined to be the most outstanding graduate pursuing a career in health sciences as determined by faculty and lab directors. In 2013, he obtained his Medical Degree from Wake Forest University School of Medicine. During his time as a medical student, Peter was elected to the Alpha Omega Alpha medical honors society (2012) and was nominated into the Gold Humanism Honor Society (2012). After three years of regular volunteer work at Delivering Equal Access to Care Clinic (DEAC) at Wake Forest University, a student-run clinic which focuses on providing primary care to under-served populations, Peter was selected to serve as their Operations Director. Dr. Liu completed his internship in (2014) and residency (2017) in Internal Medicine at the University of Virginia (UVA). In 2015, he was nominated into the UVA chapter of the Gold Humanism Honor Society and selected to be a chief resident (2016-2017). Dr. Liu is completing his Infectious Diseases fellowship at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania (HUP) in June (2017-2019). In August 2019, he will join the faculty of the ID Division as an Assistant Professor of Clinical Medicine.

The Robert Austrian Outstanding Infectious Diseases Research Fellow Award

This award, voted by the faculty, recognizes the most outstanding ID fellow pursuing a career as an independent investigator.

Matthew Ziegler, MD research focuses on the prediction and prevention of healthcare-associated infection in patients with hematologic malignancy. He has been extremely productive during his fellowship in Infectious Diseases, during which time he enrolled in the MSCE program and rapidly completed his thesis project. He has also implemented several quality improvement projects on our hematology-oncology units, presenting his findings at the Richard P. Shannon Lecture in Quality and Safety. He was the recipient of the Jonathan Freeman Scholarship from the Society for Healthcare Epidemiology of America (SHEA), finalist in the 2018 SHEA Epi-Competition, and recipient of multiple fellow from the Infectious Diseases Society of America (ISDA). Dr. Ziegler will soon be expanding his research program, investigating the role of the patient and environmental microbiome in the transmission of multidrug-resistant organisms.

The Infectious Diseases Faculty Teaching Award

This award, voted on by the ID fellows, recognizes the ID faculty member who most exemplifies commitment to, and excellence in, teaching.

Janet Hines, MD earned her M.D. at the University of Alabama School of Medicine in 1990. After she completed her Internal Medicine residency training at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center in 1993, she was appointed as Instructor in the Department of Emergency Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania, serving as the Director of the Emergency Fast Track. She completed an Infectious Diseases (ID) fellowship in the Department of Medicine in 1997. She also completed a fellowship in Clinical Microbiology through the Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine in 1997. Upon completing ID fellowship, Dr. Hines became an Instructor in Medicine in the ID Division.  Then in 1998, she was appointed to Assistant Professor of Medicine at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania in the Standing Faculty-Clinician-Educator. She quickly established herself as an outstanding clinician and educator and was reappointed in 2001. Then in July of 2004, Dr. Hines changed faculty tracks and was appointed to Assistant Professor of Clinical Medicine in the Academic Clinician track assuming an administrative role serving as the Medical Director of the MacGregor Infectious Diseases Clinic at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania (HUP). In 2009, Dr. Hines was promoted to Associate Professor of Clinical Medicine.

The Harvey M. Friedman Infectious Diseases Faculty Mentoring Award

This award, named after Dr. Harvey Friedman, former Chief of the Division of Infectious Diseases from 1990-2012, recognizes dedication and excellence in mentoring of Infectious Diseases trainees.

Pablo Tebas, MD is Professor of Medicine at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania. He is the Director and PI of the AIDS clinical trial unit (ACTU) of the University of Pennsylvania. He is one of the founding members of the HIV Reservoirs and Viral Eradication (Cure) Transformative Science Group (TSG) of the AIDS clinical trial group.  His clinical interest focuses on the treatment of HIV infection and associated infections like hepatitis C. He also has a particular interest in the clinical manifestations and treatment of atypical mycobacterial infections. Dr. Tebas attends on the general infectious disease service of the hospital of University of Pennsylvania every year.

2018 Awards and Recognitions

Helen Koenig 2018 awardHelen C. Koenig, MD, MPH received the Harvey M. Friedman Infectious Diseases Faculty Mentoring Award. This award named after Dr. Harvey Friedman, former Chief of the Division of Infectious Diseases from 1990-2012, recognizes dedication and excellence in mentoring of Infectious Diseases Trainees.

Brendan Kelly 2018 awardBrendan J. Kelly, MD, MSCE received the Harvey M. Friedman Infectious Diseases Faculty Mentoring Award. This award named after Dr. Harvey Friedman, former Chief of the Division of Infectious Diseases from 1990-2012, recognizes dedication and excellence in mentoring of Infectious Diseases Trainees.

 

Kathleen Murphy 2018 awardKathleen Murphy, MD received the Outstanding Infectious Diseases Clinical Fellow Award. This award, voted on by the ID faculty, recognizes the most outstanding ID fellow pursuing an academic clinical career.

William Short 2018 awardWilliam R. Short, MD, MPH recipient of the Infectious Diseases Faculty Teaching Award. This award, voted on by the ID Fellows, recognizes the ID faculty member who most exemplifies commitment to, and excellence in, teaching.

Leslie Stewart 2018 awardLeslie Stewart, MD received the Outstanding Infectious Diseases Clinical Fellow Award. This award, voted on by the ID faculty, recognizes the most outstanding ID fellow pursuing an academic clinical career.

Jessie Torgensen 2018 awardJessie Torgersen MD, MHS received the Robert Austrian Outstanding Infectious Diseases Research Fellow Award. This award, voted by the faculty, recognizes the most outstanding ID fellow pursuing a career as an independent investigator.

Drew Weissman, MD, PhD celebration of Innovation, sponsored by the Penn Center for Innovation (PCI): Deal of the Year Award.

Ebbing Lautenbach, MD, MPH, MSCE received University of Pennsylvania Leonard Berwick Memorial Teaching Award.

Rahul M. Kohli, MD, PhD elected to The American Society for Clinical Investigation (ASCI).

Vincent Lo Re, MD, MSCE appointed to Scientific Program Chair, International Conference on Pharmacoepidemiology & Therapeutic Risk Management.

Pablo Tebas, MD clinical Research Forum’s Top 10 Clinical Research Achievements Award in recognition of Pablo and his team’s work on the anti-Zika virus vaccine.

Mindy G. Schuster, MD, MSCE elected to Academy of Master Clinicians.

2016 Awards and Recognitions

Ebbing Lautenbach, MD

Division chief, Ebbing Lautenbach, MD, MPH, MSCE, has received the Society for Healthcare Epidemiology of America's 2016 Senior Scholarship Award, recognizing the work of an investigator/practitioner including breadth and quality of contributions to infection prevention/healthcare epidemiology.

Vincent Lo Re III,  MD,  MSCEVincent Lo Re III, MD, MSCE, FIDSA, was honored with the 2016 HIV Medicine Association (HIVMA) Research Award for his significant contributions to the field of HIV medicine. The award was presented as part of IDWeek 2016 in New Orleans, and recognizes researchers who have made outstanding contributions to HIV medicine in clinical or basic research early in their careers.

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