Current Research and Scholarly Interests
My research interest is in viral infections commonly affecting immunocompromised patients, investigating the pathogenesis and anti-viral immunity of these “opportunistic” viruses. I have a special interest in latent and persistent viruses, such as CMV and BK virus, in solid organ transplant patients. I focus on the host immune response to these viral infections with the end goal of improving clinical practices. I collaborate with both individual and core viral and immunology laboratories to conduct my research.
As Co-director of the Pediatric Infectious Diseases Program in Immunocompromised Hosts, I develop and conduct clinical and translational studies to improve identification, treatment and prevention of infectious diseases in the immunocompromised patient population. In collaboration with the clinical teams, we establish best practices from our clinical studies in order to improve our care for this patient population.
My scholarly work extends to medical education. I am the former Curriculum Co-Chair for a multi-institution microbiology and immunology curriculum development project (with the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation) that aims to re-imagine how medical students gain knowledge in medical school. We are pursuing an innovative approach that involves concepts of the “flipped” classroom, and we are studying the outcomes of our students.
I have a broad interest in assessment. Specifically, I have an interest in identifying measurements of success for a new curriculum and success for student learning. I also have an interest in characterizing the expert clinician physician and how that can inform creation of effective assessment tools for students, trainees and practicing clinicians. Part of achieving expertise as a clinician is recognizing and mitigating diagnostic errors. Thus, I have an interest in creating and studying situations where diagnostic accuracy and cognitive biases can be effectively taught to students/trainees and can be implemented and used by practicing clinicians.