Faculty

UConn Health

A 224-bed hospital at UConn Health in Farmington, provides highly specialized inpatient, outpatient and primary care services. UConn Health contains most of the departmental research laboratories as well as the medical, dental and graduate schools.

Lisa M. Chirch, M.D.

Lisa M. Chirch, M.D., FIDSA
Director, Infectious Diseases Fellowship Training Program; Associate Professor

Areas of Interest: HIV/AIDS, Viral Hepatitis, Travel Medicine, Primary Care in HIV

  1. Anal cancer screening in the HIV-infected population, including cytology and HPV testing; predictors of anorectal dysplasia and carcinoma in HIV;
  2. HIV/hepatitis C coinfection; treatment with triple therapy, including protease inhibitors, predictors of response rates and toxicities;
  3. Understanding the magnitude and frequency of viral “blips” in HIV-1 viral load testing utilizing different testing technologies; clinical and economic implications of viral “blips”;
  4. The use of formal simulation programs to objectively and sequentially evaluate interpersonal communication and professionalism in graduate medical education.

Kevin Dieckhaus, M.D., FIDSA

Kevin Dieckhaus, M.D., FIDSA
Chief, Division of Infectious Diseases; Key Clinical Faculty Infectious Diseases Fellowship Training Program; Associate Professor

Areas of Interest: HIV/AIDS Retention in Care, Therapeutics, and Adherence, Global Health and Development Travel Medicine, Nosocomial Infections, HIV-Related Education

  1. Several areas of investigation related to clinical management of HIV are possible at UConn Health including adherence/compliance issues, development of resistance mutations, and resource utilization.
  2. Investigation of international health issues through the ongoing clinical programs in southwestern Uganda including but not limited to HIV testing, syphilis testing, malaria control, Brucella, clinical microbiology in resource-limited settings, and other aspects of public health in the developing world.

Jeffrey Aeschlimann, Pharm.D.

Jeffrey Aeschlimann, Pharm.D.
Associate Professor of Pharmacy

Areas of Interest: Antimicrobial Pharmacokinetics, Resistance Mechanisms

David B. Banach, M.D., M.P.H.

David B. Banach, M.D., M.P.H.
Key Clinical Faculty, Infectious Diseases Fellowship Training Program; Assistant Professor of Medicine; Head of Infection Prevention; Hospital Epidemiologist

Areas of Interest: Health Care Associated Infections, Infections in Immunocompromised Patients, Infection Control and Prevention

Nina Carley, M.D.

Nina Carley, M.D.
Assistant Professor

Areas of Interest: HIV/AIDS, Travel Medicine, Primary Care

Mauricio Montezuma-Rusca, M.D.

Mauricio Montezuma-Rusca, M.D.
Core Faculty, Infectious Diseases Fellowship Training Program; Assistant Professor of Medicine

Justin D. Radolf, M.D.

Justin D. Radolf, M.D.
Professor of Medicine

Areas of Interest: Lyme Disease/Borrelia burgdorferi; Syphilis/Treponema pallidum

Lyme Disease/Borrelia burgdorferi: The Lyme disease spirochete B. urgdorferi is maintained in nature via an enzootic cycle in which it is transmitted by the nymphal stage of its vector, the deer tick Ixodes scapularis, to a mammalian host (typically the white-footed mouse Peromyscus leucopus) and then is acquired when a naïve larval tick feeds on an infected mouse. Infection of humans with B. burgdorferi is accidental and is not required for persistence of the spirochete in nature. In order to transit between its arthropod and mammalian hosts, spirochetes must decipher complex environmental cues delivered at the feeding site and, in response, undergo dramatic changes in their transcriptomes and proteomes. The principal objective of Lyme disease research conducted in the Radolf Laboratory is to understand these processes.

Syphilis/Treponema pallidum: The syphilis spirochete T. pallidum harbors many resemblances to B. burgdorferi but actually employs a markedly different parasitic strategy. Whereas B. burgdorferi is an enzootic pathogen, T. pallidum is an obligate pathogen of humans which cannot be cultivated in artificial medium. Our general strategy is to use bioinformatics algorithms to identify outer membrane protein candidates that then must be cloned, expressed, purified, structurally characterized, and localized in live treponemes. Why is this quest important? Two reasons. First, outer membrane proteins provide channels through which bacteria obtain nutrients. Second, we believe that these surface-exposed proteins, few as they are, are likely vaccine candidates. Given the explosive increase in syphilis cases in the United States and the world during the past decade, a vaccine would be a major weapon in our battle against this centuries old affliction of humans. 

Juan C. Salazar, M.D., M.P.H.

Juan C. Salazar, M.D., M.P.H.
Professor of Pediatrics and Immunology
Chair, Department of Pediatrics
UConn School of Medicine
Executive Vice President of Academic Affairs
Physician-in-Chief
Director, Pediatric and Youth HIV Program
Connecticut Children’s Medical Center

Dr. Salazar’s basic translational research interest includes the analysis of the immunologic interactions between syphilis and HIV and the pathogenesis of spirochetal diseases including Lyme disease. Dr. Salazar is an expert in pediatric and youth HIV clinical care.

He has been principal investigator for an international clinical trial for HIV-infected children and adolescents, conducted in collaboration with the Pediatric AIDS Clinical Trials Group (PACTG), which led to the licensure of a new antiretroviral medication for children (tipranavir) in the United States, Europe, and several Latin American countries.

He has been highly successful at securing research support for his translational research activities in the field of spirochetal biology, including a K-23 award from the NIAID and R0-3 from the Fogarty Institute, a Bridge Award (R-56) from NIAID, and an R0-1 from NIAID to conduct a translational research project on Lyme disease pathogenesis. Dr. Salazar is NIH funded to 1. conduct a translational study of syphilis in Colombia and 2. to assess the role of the innate immune responses in humans to Borrelia burgdorferi, the causative agent of Lyme disease. He has been the principal investigator for a variety of pharmaceutical industry sponsored clinical trials, including childhood vaccines and antibiotics.

Dr. Salazar has published peer-reviewed manuscripts in such prestigious and impactful journals as Pediatrics, Pediatric Infectious Diseases, Infections and Immunity, PLoS Pathogens, and the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

Maroun M. Sfeir, M.D., M.P.H., M.S.

Maroun M. Sfeir, M.D., M.P.H., M.S.
Assistant Professor of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine

Mary E. Snayd, M.D.

Mary E. Snayd, M.D.
Assistant Professor of Medicine

Areas of Interest: HIV/AIDS, Hepatitis C, Sexually Transmitted Diseases

Hartford Hospital 

Sharing an extensive medical campus with the Connecticut Children's Medical Center, Hartford Hospital is an 850-bed acute care, regional, medical center providing care in all medical specialties. The Institute of Living provides comprehensive care and treatment for psychiatric and chemically-dependent patients.

Jack Ross, M.D.

Jack Ross, M.D.
Chief, Division of Infectious Diseases; Site Director, Infectious Diseases Fellowship Training Program

Areas of Interest: HIV/AIDS, Hospital Epidemiology

Robert Levitz, M.D.

Robert Levitz, M.D.
Associate Professor

Areas of Interest: Hepatitis, Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, Herpes Viruses

Antonie Auguste, M.D., M.P.H.

Antonie Auguste, M.D., M.P.H.
Assistant Professor

Areas of Interest: Hospital Epidemiology, HIV/AIDS, Hepatitis C, Bacterial Infections/MRSA, Mycobacterium Tuberculosis, Travel Medicine

Shaheena Shan, M.D.

Shaheena Shan, M.D.

Areas of Interest: Complex Infectious Diseases, HIV, and Travel Medicine

Shaheena Shan, M.D., completed her fellowship in infectious diseases from UConn Health in 2003. After that, she joined one of the largest federally qualified health centers in Hartford area, where she served in various capacities including medical director, infectious diseases and Ryan White Program director. Dr. Shan joined the Department of Infectious Diseases at Hartford hospital in August 2012.

Stephanie Wright, M.D.

Stephanie Wright, M.D.
Assistant Professor

Areas of Interest: Epidemiology, HIV/AIDS

Robin F. Deutsch, M.D.

Robin F. Deutsch, M.D.
Assistant Professor 

Areas of Interest: HIV/AIDS, Addiction Medicine, Treatment of Opioid Use Disorder

Tilahun A. Gemtessa, M.D., M.Sc, FACP

Tilahun A. Gemtessa, M.D., M.Sc., FACP
Assistant Professor 

Areas of Interest: HIV/AIDS, Hepatitis C Virus, MRSA, and International Health

Saint Francis Hospital and Medical Center

With two campus locations in Hartford and over 600 acute care beds, it anchors a regional health care system which includes the Hoffman Heart Institute of Connecticut, the Saint Francis/Mount Sinai Regional Cancer Center and the Rehabilitation Hospital of Connecticut. An advanced computerized physician order entry system brings added safety to patient care at Saint Francis.

Ulysses Wu, M.D.

Ulysses Wu, M.D.
Chief, Division of Infectious Diseases; Site Director, Infectious Diseases Fellowship Training Program

Areas of Interest: Antibiotic Utilization

  1. Infection control - catheter-associated UTI’s
  2. MRSA transmission in the ICU
  3. Hand hygiene compliance
  4. Dialysis related infections
  5. Contact precaution compliance
  6. Antimicrobial stewardship

Paul Anthony, M.D.

Paul Anthony, M.D.
Assistant Professor

Areas of Interest: HIV/AIDS, Hepatitis C, Global Health, Antimicrobial Stewardship

Harry Conte, M.D.

Harry Conte, M.D.
Assistant Professor

Areas of Interest: Travel Medicine and Infections in the Returning Traveler

Myrla Sajo, M.D.

Myrla Sajo, M.D.
Assistant Professor

Areas of Interest: Bone and Joint Infections Specifically Prosthetic Joint Infections, Implant-Associated Osteomyelitis of the Long Bone and Vertebral Spine, Surgical Site Infections, HIV/AIDS

Lauren Ibrahim, M.D.

Lauren Ibrahim, M.D.
Assistant Professor

Areas of Interest: Bacterial Infections, Peripartum Infections, Empyema/Pleural Infections

Publications:

An Outbreak of Severe Group A Streptococcus Infections Associated with Podiatric Application of a Biologic Dermal Substitute. Ibrahim LA1, Sellick JA1, Watson EL2, McCabe LM2, Schoenhals KA2, Martinello RA3, Lesse AJ1. BMJ Case Rep. 2013 Sep 2;2013. pii: bcr2013200377. doi: 10.1136/bcr-2013-200377.

Non-typeable Haemophilus Influenzae Infective Endocarditis in a Renal Transplant Recipient: Compromised Host or Virulent Strain? Bertelle-Ibrahim LA1, Murphy TF, Kirkham C, Parameswaran GI, Berenson CS. Am J Infect Control. 2013 Nov;41(11):1139-40. doi: 10.1016/j.ajic.2013.01.038. Epub 2013 May 10.

Microorganism Contamination of Mezuzahs in a Tertiary Care Hospital in Brooklyn, New York City. Tiu CT1, Villegas A, Khurshid K, Salinas C, Bertelle L, Ghitan M, Lin YS, Chapnick EK.

The Hospital of Central Connecticut

A 362-bed acute care facility located in a nearby community of more than 70,000 people which provides a full spectrum of medical and surgical services. The hospital is a Connecticut affiliate of the Joslin Diabetes Center in Boston.

Virginia Bieluch, M.D., FIDSA

Virginia Bieluch, M.D., FIDSA
Chief, Division of Infectious Diseases; Site Director, Infectious Diseases Fellowship Training Program

Areas of Interest: Antibiotic Utilization, Infections in ICU Patients

  1. Infection control - catheter-associated UTI’s
  2. MRSA transmission in the ICU
  3. Hand hygiene compliance
  4. Dialysis related infections
  5. Contact precaution compliance
  6. Antimicrobial stewardship

Joseph Garner, M.D., FIDSA

Joseph Garner, M.D., FIDSA
Professor of Medicine

Areas of Interest: Clinical Virology, Hospital Epidemiology

  1. Hospital epidemiology
  2. Hand hygiene compliance

Jennifer Clark, M.D.

Jennifer Clark, M.D.
Hospital Epidemiology

Areas of Interest: Antibiotic Utilization

Henry Anyimadu, M.D., FACP

Henry Anyimadu, M.D., FACP
Assistant Professor

Areas of Interest: Bacterial Infections, Hepatitis C, HIV/AIDS, Global Health

Harold Sanchez, M.D.

Harold Sanchez, M.D. 
Associate Chief, Pathology

Areas of Interest: History of Microbiology, Diagnosis of Bloodstream Infections, Bacterial and Parasitic