Infectious diseases fellows are actively involved in research projects. During the fellowship, eight months are available for required research. Fellow projects depend on previous experience, research interests and projects that are in progress in the laboratories of the faculty members.
Fellows rotate through all of the laboratories during a separate research orientation month early in their fellowship so that they can make informed decisions about their research efforts.
The UC Division of Infectious Diseases has a wide range of research activities in which fellows can participate. Whether your interest is clinical investigation, cellular immunology or molecular microbiology, there are faculty members actively involved in ongoing research in these areas.
Currently, there is NIH-funded research in immunology, mycology and host-pathogen interaction. The major research programs in the division are concerned with medical mycology, opportunistic infections and clinical management of AIDS.
The UC College of Medicine has a long tradition of excellence in the pathological and clinical aspects of fungal diseases. The geographic location of Cincinnati places it directly in an endemic region for Histoplasma capsulatum and Blastomyces dermatitidis.
Since 1980, there has been a concerted effort to develop a core of investigators dedicated to basic and clinical research in medical mycology. This team consists of investigators with primary appointments in three departments: internal medicine, pathology, and molecular genetics, biochemistry and microbiology.
The current projects include:
- Analysis of the immunogenic determinants from H. capsulatum that activate murine and human T-cell clones. Analysis of T-cell receptor repertoire among Histoplasma-specific T-cells. Studies of cytokine-mediated immunity to H. capsulatum. Examination of apoptosis as a host defense mechanism to H. capsulatum
- Studies of the interaction between human phagocytes and H. capsulatum yeast and microconidia including characterization of modulators of phagolysosomal conditions involved in yeast inhibition and killing
- Sequencing the genome of P. carinii and genetic profiling of the organism in response to antimicrobial agents; understanding the signaling mechanisms associated with attachment
- Analysis of the epidemiology of P. carinii infections in animals and transmission of P. carinii species and strains. Molecular characterization of species and strains of P. carinii. In vitro cultivation of P. carinii and drug susceptibility testing of P. carinii
- Studies examining aspects of human P. carinii infection including epidemiology, development of in-vitro assays of viability and drug susceptibility, cell-mediated and humoral-immune responses
- Studies of the pathogenesis of Aspergillus species
- Studies of population genetics of HIV
The University of Cincinnati is a regional referral center for patients with HIV infections. An active clinical and basic research program related to HIV infection and complicating opportunistic infection is based within the Division of Infectious Diseases.
There also is a program to study human papilloma virus in HIV-infected individuals.
We are active participants in the AIDS Clinical Trials Group (ACTG) of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases. Members of the faculty are engaged in studies of hyperlipidemia and cardiovascular events in AIDS patients. In addition to ACTG-sponsored clinical trials, the program participates actively in pharmaceutical studies. The Infectious Diseases Center of University Hospital, a multidisciplinary clinic for HIV and general ID, facilitates these research endeavors.
Interdepartmental cooperation allows opportunities for interaction with faculty within the departments of molecular genetics, biochemistry and microbiology; pathology, and other divisions within the internal medicine department. Allied research interests include basic and clinical immunology, molecular microbiology and health-outcomes research.