Division of Infectious Diseases & Geographic Medicine

in the Department of Medicine

Division News and Recognition

  • November 2019: Dr. Julie Parsonnet one of three professors elected to National Academy of Medicine. More info here.
  • September: 2019: More cheers for Dr. Paul Bollyky on his promotion to Associate Professor!
  • August 2019: congrats Dr. Marisa Holubar on your promotion to Clinical Associate Professor!
  • August 2019: Cheers to Dr. Jenny Aronson for joining the Infectious Diseases faculty.
  • July 2019: Our antimicrobial stewardship program (SASS – Stanford Antimicrobial Safety and Sustainability) has been named a World Health Organization Collaborating Centre for Antimicrobial Resistance and Stewardship – the first such designation by WHO for antimicrobial stewardship.  SASS members include Marisa Holubar, Stan Deresinski, Amy Chang, Emily Mui, and Lina Meng.
  • July 2019: Cheers to Dr. Amy Chang for joining the Infectious Diseases faculty!
  • February 2019: Hooray for Dr. Paul Bollyky on his lab's paper being accepted by Science!
  • February 2019: Stanford Health Care received the IDSA Antimicrobial Stewardship Centers of Excellence. Congrats to Drs. Stan Deresinski and Marisa Holubar and the ASP team for their commitment to optimizing antimicrobial use and combating antimicrobial resistance. 
  • February 2019: Dr. Catherine Blish and Dr. David Relman are among the recipients to represent Stanford for the Chan Zuckerberg Biohub Initiative aimed to help doctors prevent, cure, or manage all diseases in our children's lifetimes.
  • January 2019: Congrats to Dr. Shirit Einav and her research team for identifying the gene prediction for illness severity in patients infected with dengue

Read some articles in Division News.

The Stanford ID team won the BugBowl trivia game during the IDSA IDWeek conference in San Francisco in October 2018.

In the Press

Many of our Principal Investigators are quoted in news outlets. Read additional mentions in our In the Press page!

Here’s How Bad Antibiotic Resistance Has Gotten Over the Past 20 Years

Written by Julia Ries on October 21, 2019

Over the past decade, antibiotic resistance has emerged as one of the greatest public health threatsTrusted Source.

AntibioticsTrusted Source have been used to prevent and treat bacterial infections since the 1940s when doctors first discovered the powerful drugs could save people’s lives.

But in recent decades overuse and misuse has resulted in infectious bacteria becoming resistantTrusted Source to these common drugs. Today, researchers have more details on just how severe antibiotic resistance has become and found evidence that we’ve reached a frightening new milestone.

New research published in the journal Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy today discovered that resistance to one of the last resort drugs used to treat extremely drug-resistant Pseudomonas aeruginosa can develop a lot more quickly than we originally thought.

Fewer Sick Kids When Water Pump Gets Chlorine Dispenser


Installing an automatic chlorine dispenser at shared community water points reduces rates of diarrhea in children, a new study in Bangladesh shows.

Diarrhea kills a child under the age of five every minute on average. Diarrheal disease, the second leading cause of death for children globally, could become even more difficult to control as poor urban areas with limited clean water access expand.

Researchers call the new dispenser, described in The Lancet Global Health, an improvement over other purification strategies.

Researchers Identify Gut Microbes to Help Malnourished Kids Recover

Calories aren’t enough to correct malnourishment, but eating foods that spur specific microbes to grow in the gut can.

Jul 12, 2019 | ASHLEY P. TAYLOR

Even once they have enough to eat, kids that have suffered from malnutrition do not grow and develop as well as kids that have always had healthy foods to eat. Two studies published today (July 12) in Science identify differences between the microbiomes of malnourished and healthy kids as well as a combination of foods that, both in animals and in a proof-of-principle study in children, helps shift the microbiome toward a healthier state.

Providing food aid tailored to microbiome health “could be a key to new strategies for improving global public health and human potential,” David Relman, a microbiologist at Stanford University School of Medicine in Palo Alto, California, who was not involved in either study, tells Science.

Viruses act as decoys, study finds, helping bacteria evade the immune system

By ERIC BOODMAN @ericboodman

MARCH 28, 2019

These viruses weren’t supposed to affect humans. They were supposed to ride along inside bacteria — unobtrusive hitchhikers taking advantage of another microbe’s machinery. But that wasn’t what Dr. Paul Bollyky and his colleagues saw in their lab dishes three or four years ago. The viruses seemed to be changing the behavior of human immune cells. Instead of gobbling up bacteria as they normally did, white blood cells just sat there.

“They basically don’t eat anything. They don’t move around much either,” said Bollyky, an immunologist and infectious disease specialist at Stanford University. “They would just ignore … the bacteria that were in the dish with them.”

Now, with a paper published Thursday in Science, what began as a chance observation has yielded a startling window into the inner lives of infections — one in which viruses tag-team with bacteria to trick the immune system by providing a decoy. Bollyky describes it as having someone trip the fire alarm so that the rest of the team can pull off a robbery in the chaos that ensues.

Scientists: US military program could be seen as bioweapon

By  Candice Choi and Seth Borenstein - October 4, 2018

NEW YORK (AP) — A research arm of the U.S. military is exploring the possibility of deploying insects to make plants more resilient by altering their genes. Some experts say the work may be seen as a potential biological weapon.

In an opinion paper published Thursday in the journal Science, the authors say the U.S. needs to provide greater justification for the peace-time purpose of its Insect Allies project to avoid being perceived as hostile to other countries. Other experts expressed ethical and security concerns with the research, which seeks to transmit protective traits to crops already growing in the field.

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Welcome to the Division of Infectious Diseases and Geographic Medicine website. 

Our goals are to provide excellent clinical care, educate the next generation of academic Infectious Disease specialists, and make seminal research discoveries as they relate to the broad and dynamic field of infectious diseases.