Division of Infectious Diseases and International Medicine Research

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The faculty members of the Division of Infectious Diseases and International Medicine are involved in a great variety of clinical and basic research projects.

The major research programs at the three major teaching hospitals include:

University of Minnesota Medical Center

Faculty members at UMMC are involved in a variety of research projects focused primarily on infections that afflict immunocompromised patients. Given the high priority of HIV infection in the United States and abroad, several faculty members are carrying out studies related to this important disease.

The Infection and Immunity Research Conference is located on the University of Minnesota campus and is the research site for the division’s Neuroimmunology Research Program. Human Kaposi's Sarcoma Virus (HKSV) pathogenesis and immune disorders related to HIV-1 infection are also understudy at the Program in Infection and Immunity. 

  • Timothy Schacker, Paul Bohjanen and David Boulware are involved in cutting-edge research on mechanisms of pathogenesis of HIV and the immure reconstitution inflammatory Syndrom (IRIS), respectively.
  • Irina St. Louis is breaking new ground in studies of Identification of molecular biomarkers of cryptococcal meningitis immune reconstitution inflammatory syndrome.
  • Winston Cavert heads up an HIV clinical trials research project in India.
  • Jo-Anne Young has developed a major clinical research program dedicated to improving management of infections in bone marrow and organ transplant recipients, with an emphasis on studies of new antifungal drugs. She also collaborates with members of the Department of Microbiology on basic mechanisms of fungal pathogenesis.
  • In addition to her work on Infection Control and Antibiotic Decision Support systems, Susan Kline is interested in the nosocomial epidemiology of infections in the developing world. 

Hennepin County Medical Center (HCMC)

HCMC is an inner-city teaching hospital serving a large number of immigrants and other patient groups with health problem related to sociopolitical problems that plague urban America. Thus, major emphasis in the research programs of the HCMC faculty is on HIV/AIDS and infections in immigrants.

  • Keith Henry, as director of the Clinical HIV Research Program, together with Ronald Schut, Jason Baker and Margaret Simpson, is involved in a large number of clinical trials. Also, natural history studies of HIV and of special problems of immigrants who are HIV-infected are under study by Dr. Henry and his colleagues.
  • Dean Tsukayama and David Williams have led a number of clinical research projects related to infections in the immigrant population, such as tuberculosis and malaria.

Minneapolis VA Health Care System (MVAHCS)

  • The VAMC serves as a primary care facility for veterans from most of Minnesota, and a tertiary-care facility for Minnesota and four other upper Midwestern states.
  • Gregory Filice has been leading efforts to improve antimicrobial use and is currently involved in CDC-funded collaborative studies with the Minnesota Department of Health on antimicrobial resistance.
  • James Johnson's research involves the molecular epidemiology, virulence mechanisms, evolution, ecology, and antimicrobial resistance of extraintestinal pathogenic E. coli.
  • Joseph Thurn is heavily involved in clinical care of HIV-infected patients and participates in diverse research projects involving infections in HIV infected patients.. He also directs the infection control department and does research on nosocomial infections and their prevention.
  • Kent Crossley has been a leader in the field of infections in patients in chronic care institutions and has been a long-term scholar of Staphylococcus aureus infections.
  • Vicki Morrison is a clinical researcher involved in the field of infections in patients with malignancy, on chemotherapy and those with systemic fungal infections.

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