News and Achievements


We Welcome Five Incoming Faculty Members

The Division is Growing. In July we will be 72 faculty members strong. A fifth inpatient service will soon start at University of Colorado Hospital. We are delighted to officially announce five new ID Division faculty members who will join us in mid-2020. They collectively bring a wealth of talent, training and diverse experiences to our three-shield missions:

Yiannis Koullias, MD comes to us from the Partners ID fellowship at Harvard Medical School/Brigham & Women’s Hospital/MGH, with subspecialty training in Transplant ID at Dana-Farber/Brigham and Women’s Cancer Center. He is a graduate of Harvard College, Duke Medical School, and the Brigham’s Internal Medicine Residency Program. His has broad interests in Transplant ID, including viral and fungal infections in heme-onc/BMT populations.

Sarah Mann, MD joins us from our ID fellowship here at the University of Colorado School of Medicine. She is a graduate of Cornell University, George Washington University Medical School and the Harbor UCLA internal medicine residency. She has interests in HIV Medicine and works on stewardship of anti-retroviral agents.

Aakriti Pandita, MD joins us from the Infectious Disease Fellowship at Warren Alpert Medical School of Brown University. She is a graduate of the Sher-i-Kashmir Institute of Medical Sciences in Srinagar, India, and the SUNY Upstate Medical University internal medicine residency. She is jointly appointed with the Division of Hospital Medicine. She is currently working on a meta-analysis of decades-long time trends in Staphylococcus aureus bacteremia. She also has a strong interest in tuberculosis and advocacy.

Rebecca Rwubusisi MSN, BSN, is our new APP for the Transplant ID (TID) service on the AMC. She is an Acute Care Nurse Practitioner whose valuable experience includes 15 years of bedside experience as an RN in the Department of Surgery, on the UC Health Inpatient Transplant Unit. She also has medical experience in East Africa and is fluent in Spanish.

Sias Scherger, MD also joins the division from our ID fellowship. He is a graduate of the University of Nebraska, the University of Nebraska College of Medicine and the Wake Forest internal medicine residency. He has interests in transplant ID and is working on understanding associations between anti-cytokine antibodies and endemic fungal infections.

Responding to COVID-19. The CU Infectious Diseases Division Continues to be Deeply Involved in Institutional Preparations for the Coronavirus Pandemic

Drs. Michelle Barron and Larissa Pisney (University of Colorado Hospital Infection Control and Prevention) are at the head of a multi-faceted campaign to ready our UCH providers and trainees and have been coordinating with state and national authorities. Drs. Mary Bessesen and Heather Young have been performing similar roles at the VA Medical Center and Denver Health. Dr. Brian Montague is involved in managing employee health for both the School of Medicine and UCH. Numerous other ID faculty members have participated in patient care, screening and testing, contingency planning, guidelines preparation, communications and community outreach, scientific discussions, idea generation, and teaching.  Division scientists are working on various research aspects of understanding, preventing and treating viral infections. The Infectious Disease Fellows are involved in consulting on COVID-19 issues and they will also be working with the Colorado Dept. of Public Health in the coming month to learn about the role of epidemiologists and about public health policy.  The Division website aggregator contains much practical information, both local and international.

Dr. Michelle Barron Speaks at UCHealth Town Hall on COVID-19 Response

Dr. Barron, Medical Director of Infection Control and Prevention, discussed COVID-19 basics, screening and treatment guidelines, and infection control measures. The entire town hall can be watched here.

Drs. Robert Belknap, David Cohn and Randall Reves Participate in Multi-institutional Team to Update Guidelines for Treatment of Latent Tuberculosis.

Their participation is part of the important role that Denver Health ID faculty continue to play in M. tuberculosis treatment and control, in Colorado and internationally. See Sterling et al. in MMWR in "Recent Publications" below for full details of the team's report.

Dr. Lakshmi Chauhan Receives the Outstanding Quality Award at 2nd Annual UCH Quality & Safety Symposium

Dr. Chauhan was awarded for her outpatient stewardship project “Approaches to Decrease Inappropriate Antibiotic use in Acute Respiratory Conditions in a Geriatric Clinic.” She will present her project on March 11, 2020. Her goals are to work with the antimicrobial stewardship team to help expand outpatient stewardship programs to other UCH clinics. Quality improvement projects such as this are important areas for academic contribution and grant funding opportunities in the division.

Dr. Sarah Rowan Discusses Colorado's Ongoing Fight to End HIV with 5280 Magazine.

Dr. Rowan spoke about her work on a local HIV task force to expand testing and treatment of the virus and about other efforts by the Colorado medical community to combat HIV.

Congratulations to Fellowship Program Director Dr. Carlos Franco-Paredes and Education Coordinator Kelly Rico for Highly Positive ACGME Annual Program Review.  

The Review Committee found no concerns and commended the program for its demonstrated excellent compliance with the ACGME's Program Requirements.

ID Fellows Greg Canfield and Sarah Mann Publish a Striking Example of Cutaneous Blastomycosis.

Drs. Canfield and Mann published their results in Clinical Infectious Diseases.  The case exhibited numerous interesting features including the classic - and in this case, quite developed - verrucous lesion with raised, sharply demarcated borders. 

 

Dr. Hillary Dunlevy Awarded Annual CU Hospital Physician Medical Staff Award

Dr. Hillary Dunlevy, Assistant Professor of Medicine, was awarded the Annual University of Colorado Hospital Full-time Physician Medical Staff Award on January 30, 2020. Recipients of this award exemplify the mission and vision of UCH and are recognized for achievement in one or more of the following areas:  Amazing patient care; Outstanding teaching of student physicians; Improvements in services offered/collaboration with other specialties; Community service.

Rebecca Rwubusisi MSN, BSN, RN, CCTN Joins Our Team as the New APP for Transplant ID Service

Her appointment will provide significant assistance to our physician providers and facilitate the patient care, education and research missions of the TID focus group. Rebecca received her BSN Magna Cum Laude from the University of Colorado Denver in 2005. She is an Acute Care Nurse Practitioner whose extensive experience includes 15 years of bedside experience as an RN in the Department of Surgery, on the UC Health Inpatient Transplant Unit. There she gained an in-depth understanding of the multi-faceted transplantation process and close working relationships with transplant providers. She developed a passion for Infectious Diseases as well, prompting her to transition to our Division. During three months in Rwanda, Rebecca also saw and treated patients with multiple infectious problems, including HIV/AIDS. Moreover, she is fluent in Spanish.

 

Debra Best Joins Our Division as Our New Post-Award Administrator

She will begin her role on Monday, February 3rd, 2020.

Dr. Cara Wilson has been appointed Associate Director of the Medical Scientist Training Program

Dr. Wilson will transition into the director role on July 1, 2020. Our MD-PhD program is a critical linchpin in the education of physician-scientists, allowing top-notch students to obtain their PhD alongside their MD. The program provides tuition as well as an annual stipend.

Dr. Michelle Barron Discusses Infection Prevention with Boulder Daily Camera

Michelle Barron, UCHealth University of Colorado Hospital’s medical director of infection prevention and professor of medicine at CU School of Medicine was recently interviewed by  the Daily Camera. She discussed how Boulder County has managed to avoid the worst of a state and nationwide Hepatitis A outbreak.

Dr. Tom Campbell to lead scientific review group on HIV

Dr. Tom Campbell has been nominated to lead the new Section Review Group of the NIH-CDC-HIVMA-/IDSA Guidelines for Prevention and Treatment of Opportunistic Infections in Adults and Adolescents with HIV.

Dr. Kristine Erlandson Announced as Outstanding Early Career Scholar

The University of Colorado Department of Medicine has selected the 2017 recipients for its Outstanding Early Career Scholar Program, HIV/AIDS researcher Kristine Erlandson, MD, and cardiology researcher Kunhua Song, PhD. The program aims to accelerate the careers of promising researchers in the Department of Medicine.

Santiago and Wilson labs frame the gene expression landscape of HIV-1 infected gut T cells exposed to enteric bacteria February 2017

Broncos fever is spreading through Denver and beyond! Have you been exposed? Dr. Michelle Barron talks about the fandemic

Dr. David Beckham discusses his role in the fight against the Zika Virus with the Aurora Sentinel

Dr. Kejun Guo highlighted as being a successful international scholar

Dr. David Wyles, New ID Division Chief at Denver Health

Professor Dinarello publishes review on inflammation and arthritis in Nature Reviews Rheumatology.
Dr. Kristine Erlandson received 2016 ACTG John Carey Young Investigator Award

Dr. David Beckham discusses details surrounding the Zika virus

Arjun Srinivasan, MD, of the CDC, presented a national update on antibiotic stewardship. Dr. Norihiro Yogo, diretor of antimicrobial stewardship at UCH, and Matt Miller, PharmD, were mentioned due to their involvement in developing guidelines for treating common infections

Dr. Michelle Barron discusses mosquito prevention in an article featured in the Denver Post

Q & A with Dr. Michelle Barron- featured on CU Medicine Today through the School of Medicine

Dr. Jose Castillo-Mancilla selected as a Department of Medicine 2016 Rising Star

Dr. Bill Burman, Director of Denver Public Health, named interim CEO of Denver Health

Poeschla laboratory reports newtransgenic model of stably augmented innate immunity in PLoS Pathogens

Dr. Connnie Price named CMO at Denver Health

DOM’s Richard Johnson and Dr.Eric Poeschla Elected to the Association of American Physicians

Beckham Lab discovers that alpha-synuclein, the protein that causes Parkinson’s disease, functions as a neuron-specific restriction factor to inhibit viral infections in the brain

Connick Lab reports novel findings on the roles of follicular regulatory T cells in HIV and SIV disease in Nature Communications

Dr. Elizabeth Connick invited to serve on the Office of AIDS Research Advisory Council

Wilson lab reports in Mucosal Immunology that gut dendritic cell activation links an altered colonic microbiome to mucosal and systemic T-cell activation in untreated HIV-1 infection

Santiago and Wilson Labs report on the role of Interferon-α Subtypes in mucosal HIV-1 Infection

Dr. Cara Wilson appointed DOM Vice Chair for Faculty Development

Dr. Charles Dinarello Named University Distinguished Professor

Dr. Thomas Campbell Awarded Excellence in Global Health

Dr. Charles Dinarello Receives Lifetime Achievement Award

Charles Dinarello Receives Honorary Doctorate