Infectious Diseases Fellowship Program Research

submenu

We are committed to providing our fellows with the training and support needed for them to become future leaders in the academic infectious disease community and to stay abreast of rapid advances in medicine and research.

As an Infectious Diseases fellow in our program, you will have access to leading research labs and investigators covering a diverse range of research topics, and support from three potential sources: 

  1. a multidisciplinary, NIH-supported T32 Training Program "Infectious Disease Training in Clinical Research" which draws upon a large number of University of Minnesota faculty members and colleagues at the Minnesota Department of Health;
  2. the Global Health Fellowship Program which funds 11 months of international research time, which is supported by our program’s involvement in the Northern/Pacific Global Health Research Fellows Training Consortium; and
  3. VA Clinical Chief Resident Positions designed for VA-based research projects.

Investigations range from basics sciences, utilizing the latest biomedical research techniques, to clinical trials, both locally and internationally, to epidemiological investigations, using the resources of arguably the best Public Health Department in the nation. Active research includes mucosal immunity to HIV, pathogenesis of cardiovascular disease in HIV-infected patients, vaccine development for CMV, investigations in cerebral malaria, cryptococcal meningitis, and HIV-associated immune reconstitution syndrome in East Africa, molecular epidemiology of antibiotic resistance in E. coli, immigrant and refugee health, and agents of bioterrorism, to name a few. If you are a fellow who is committed to rigorous research training and an investigative career, then you will find an excess of opportunities at our program.

Preparing for Your Research Project

While some incoming fellows may have a project in mind or even a project started, we provide protected time (up to two months) during the first year of fellowship to enable the fellow to thoroughly evaluate the available research mentors, select a mentor, and design and initiate the projects that will allow the fellow to ‘hit the ground running’ in year 2. As mentors, faculty members with diverse areas of expertise are available both within the division and in affiliated programs.

Part of the orientation process will also include several lectures/discussions on selecting a mentor, IRB process, research ethics, and other lectures pertaining to the responsible conduct of research.

Academic Research Track

Designed for fellows who have demonstrated an interest and aptitude for research, and who desire a research-focused academic career. Fellows have the option to pursue either basic laboratory, clinical or epidemiological research. Research time occurs in years 2 and 3 of fellowship. The fellow is expected to complete one large research project along with 1-2 smaller research projects. Funding for research is provided by the NIH-sponsored T32 training grant (domestic or international research) or the Global Health Fellowship Training grant (international clinical research). The fellow will select among the many primary ID research mentors available based on the project they wish to initiate. The fellow will be supported by a three-member research committee and oversight of the research progress will be performed by the Scholarship Oversight Committee for the duration of the fellowship. Applicants with J-1 visa status are not eligible for this track based on funding restrictions.

Clinician-Scholar Track

Designed for fellows who seek to become educators, scholars, and/or academically based clinicians. Fellows have the option to pursue observational clinical studies, quality improvement/patient safety projects, infection control projects, or translational studies involving clinical-laboratory correlation. Research time occurs in year 2 of fellowship. The fellow is expected to complete one research project. The project size is limited primarily on the inclusion of only one year of research time. Funding for research is provided by VA Clinical Chief Resident Positions (VA-based research project).The fellow will select among the many primary ID research mentors available based on the project they wish to initiate. The fellow will be supported by a three-member research committee and oversight of the research progress will be performed by the Scholarship Oversight Committee for the duration of the fellowship. The fellow is also encouraged to take additional inpatient and outpatient rotations during the second year to further enhance their clinical skills.

Regardless of their track or research topic, fellows are provided with the opportunity to acquire essential, practical skills in scientific inquiry through formal didactic sessions, research conferences, and supervised individual research.

Fellows are encouraged to present their individual research at the University’s annual Medicine Research Day, the annual meeting of the UMN/Mayo Clinic Infectious Diseases Fellows Forum, and the Infectious Diseases Society of America annual meeting.