Track Director: Blair C. Weikert, MD

Given the growth of transplantation in the United States, there is increasing interest in specialized training in transplant infectious diseases. The University of Pennsylvania is well-positioned to provide this training. The Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania, with its Transplant Institute, is a national leader in the field of solid organ transplantation with very active programs in cardiac, lung, liver and kidney, pancreas and composite graft transplants that attract recipients and living donors from around the world. Similarly the Abramson Cancer Institute at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania provides world renowned care and research in the field of hematological malignancies and stem cell transplantation. Fellows will benefit from the long standing clinical and research partnerships between these institutions and the Division of Infectious Diseases. This practical training in transplant infectious diseases also may be combined with an advanced degree research training program such as the Master of Science in Clinical Epidemiology (MSCE) or the Master of Science in Health Policy Research (MSHP), if desired.

Clinical Training

The Transplant ID track combines diverse experiences in both inpatient and outpatient management of transplant candidates and recipients with infectious diseases issues with exposure to other transplant subspecialties and donor management.

The out-patient experience emphasizes both pre and post transplant management as fellows participate in screening candidates as well as living donors for transplant, and manage infectious diseases complications in the post transplant setting. Unique experiences include the management of HIV infection in transplant recipients, complex mycobacterial disease management, treatment of resistant bacterial and viral infections and chronic fungal infections, management of hematopoetic stem cell transplants, and treatment of patients with infections related to ventricular devices. Fellows will also be involved in the diagnosis and treatment of the full range of general ID in the immunocompromised host.

The inpatient consult service will be divided between the solid organ transplant ID service and the hematological malignancy/stem cell transplant service. During these rotations, the fellow will work closely with non-ID transplant providers in the other transplant programs. In addition, fellows will also have the opportunity to rotate on non-infectious disease services involved in transplantation.

In addition to these patient-focused rotations, fellows will have enhanced exposure to pertinent diagnostics, including microbiology, virology, and immunology. In addition, fellows will spend time at Gift of Life (one of the oldest and largest organ procurement organizations in the country), where they will have the opportunity to experience first hand the complexities of screening donors rapidly and effectively for communicable diseases.

In addition to the full array of conferences sponsored by the ID division, Transplant ID focused fellows will be invited to participate in conferences pertaining to transplant, including those sponsored by our division and those organized by medical and surgical transplant programs. These include recipient selection conferences, guideline development meetings (e.g., vaccines, prophylaxis antimicrobial use as it pertains to transplant), journal clubs, case conferences, and morbidity and mortality presentations.

Research Experience

The fellow will design and conduct an independent clinical research project with support from their primary mentor and other collaborators on a transplant ID-related topic. For fellows who do not intend to pursue training in a degree granting program (e.g., MSCE, MSHP), but would like to learn the fundamentals of research methodology, there is the opportunity to obtain a certificate in clinical research.

Fellows may work with members of the ID division or other faculty at the University of Pennsylvania in other specialties as appropriate for their interests. In addition, there are a number of ongoing clinical trials of particular interest for transplant recipients and fellows may choose to participate in those as well.

Mentorship

The fellow will be assigned a primary mentor to help develop career goals and design research project(s), and identify potential additional mentors.

Core Faculty Mentors

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