Co-Organizers

Buddy Creech, MD, MPH - photo

C. Buddy Creech, MD, MPH

C. Buddy Creech, MD, MPH, is associate professor of pediatric infectious diseases at Vanderbilt University School of Medicine and Monroe Carell Jr. Children’s Hospital at Vanderbilt, and director of the Vanderbilt Vaccine Research Program. Dr. Creech’s research focuses on the evaluation of new vaccines and immunotherapeutics, including candidate vaccines for influenza, pertussis, and S. aureus, and using systems biology tools to characterize the circulating and tissue-specific immune response to vaccination. He also has a longstanding interest in defining the clinical and molecular epidemiology of S. aureus colonization and disease in children, particularly among children with musculoskeletal infections. Dr. Creech is principal investigator of the National Institutes of Health-funded Vanderbilt Vaccine and Treatment Evaluation Unit and co-principal investigator for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention-funded Clinical Immunization Safety Assessment site at Vanderbilt. He serves as secretary-treasurer on the Board of Directors of the Pediatric Infectious Diseases Society (PIDS) and is chair of the PIDS Research Affairs Committee.

Elaine I. Tuomanen

Elaine I. Tuomanen

Elaine I. Tuomanen, M.D., C.M. is Member and Chair of the Department of Infectious Diseases at St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. She received her B.Sc., M.D., C.M. from McGill University (Montreal, Canada). After pediatric training at Montreal Children’s Hospital, she was an infectious diseases fellow at the University of Virginia and a research fellow at Rockefeller University in New York City. Subsequently, she was appointed Assistant Professor, Associate Professor and Head of the Molecular Infectious Diseases Laboratory at Rockefeller University. In 1997, she joined the faculty at St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital as Member and Chair of the Department of Infectious Diseases. She has received the E. Mead Johnson Award and the Maxwell Finland Award for excellence in research and is a Fellow of the American Academy of Microbiology and Association of American Physicians. Dr. Tuomanen’s primary area of expertise is in pneumococcal infections. She has elucidated the interactions of pneumococci with the innate immune response and the molecular mechanisms of bacterial-host cell interactions in invasive disease. She has developed therapeutic interventions to alleviate brain damage in meningitis and participates in current efforts to formulate a protein based pneumococcal vaccine.

Speakers/Moderators

Manuel Amieva, MD, PhD - photo

Manuel Amieva, MD, PhD

Dr. Manuel Amieva’s research focus is on understanding how bacterial pathogens colonize epithelial surfaces and how epithelial colonization leads to infection and disease. He grew up in Mexico City and fell in love with the wonders of biology as an undergraduate at Dartmouth College, where he was taught multiple skills in microscopy and studied the development of marine invertebrates. Afterwards, Manuel returned to Mexico and wrote children’s books that were recorded as radioplays and retold his countless adventures in science and biology. He then moved to California to pursue an M.D./Ph.D. at Stanford University. During his Ph.D., Manuel studied how cytoskeletal proteins aid in cell movement in the laboratory of Heinz Furthmayr. Following completion of a residency in Pediatrics at Lucille Packard Children’s Hospital, Manuel became a Pediatric Infectious Diseases Fellow at Stanford and further trained as a postdoctoral scholar in the laboratory of Stanley Falkow. An avid microscopist, Manuel loves to hide in the microscope room where he can spend countless hours on the confocal looking through the porthole at microbes interacting with cells and tissues. 

Outside of the lab, Manuel enjoys spending time with his family, drinking tequila, and scuba diving, though not necessarily all at the same time.

Evan J. Anderson - photo

Evan J. Anderson

Evan J. Anderson is an Associate Professor of Pediatrics and Medicine at Emory University School of Medicine. He graduated summa cum laude from Wheaton College, IL after which he pursued his medical degree at the University of Chicago Pritzker School of Medicine. He remained at the University of Chicago for residency in both internal medicine and pediatrics. Subsequently he completed both an adult and a pediatric infectious diseases fellowship at Northwestern Memorial and Children’s Memorial Hospitals in Chicago. As such, he is board certified in internal medicine, adult infectious diseases, pediatrics and pediatric infectious diseases. He was a physician at Northwestern for 5 years before moving to Emory University in 2012. He is currently one of the multiple PIs of the Emory University Vaccine and Treatment Evaluation Unit (VTEU). He serves as the lead investigator in Georgia for influenza and RSV surveillance for the CDC funded Emerging Infections Program. He received the Emory Department of Pediatrics Research Mentor Award in 2017. He has over 120 publications with particular interests in rotavirus, RSV, influenza, early phase vaccine clinical trials, and the power of community protection.

Dr. Ritu Banerjee - photo

Ritu Banerjee, MD, PhD

Dr. Ritu Banerjee is an Associate Professor in the Division of Pediatric Infectious Diseases at Vanderbilt University Medical Center. She is the Director of the Antimicrobial Stewardship Program at Vanderbilt’s Children’s Hospital and the Program Director of the Pediatric Infectious Diseases fellowship at Vanderbilt. She received her MD and Ph.D degrees from Washington University in St. Louis and then completed Pediatrics residency and Pediatric Infectious Disease fellowship at the University of California, San Francisco. She is a member of the PIDS Committee on Antimicrobial Stewardship, the AAP Committee on Infectious Diseases, and leads the Pediatrics Working Group of the Antibacterial Resistance Leadership Group (ARLG) of NIAID. Dr. Banerjee conducts clinical research about antibiotic stewardship and implementation and outcomes of rapid diagnostics for infectious diseases.

Bonnie Bassler, PhD - photo

Bonnie Bassler, PhD

Bonnie Bassler, PhD is a member of the National Academy of Sciences, the National Academy of Medicine, the Royal Society, the American Philosophical Society, and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. She is a Howard Hughes Medical Institute Investigator and the Squibb Professor and Chair of the Department of Molecular Biology at Princeton University. Bassler received a B.S. in Biochemistry from the University of California at Davis, and a Ph.D. in Biochemistry from the Johns Hopkins University. She performed postdoctoral work in Genetics at the Agouron Institute, and she joined the Princeton faculty in 1994. The research in her laboratory focuses on the molecular mechanisms that bacteria use for intercellular communication. This process is called quorum sensing. Bassler’s research is paving the way to the development of novel therapies for combating bacteria by disrupting quorum-sensing-mediated communication. At Princeton, Dr. Bassler teaches both undergraduate and graduate courses. Dr. Bassler directed the Molecular Biology Graduate Program from 2002-2008. She chaired Princeton University’s Council on Science and Technology for 6 years and during that time she rejuvenated the science curriculum for humanists. Bassler is a passionate advocate for diversity in the sciences and she is actively involved in and committed to educating lay people in science. Dr. Bassler was awarded a MacArthur Foundation Fellowship in 2002. She was elected to the American Academy of Microbiology in 2002 and made a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science in 2004. She was the 2006 recipient of the American Society for Microbiology’s Eli Lilly Investigator Award for fundamental contributions to microbiological research. In 2008, Bassler received Princeton University’s President’s Award for Distinguished Teaching. She is the 2009 recipient of the Wiley Prize in Biomedical Science for her paradigm-changing scientific research. She is the 2011 recipient of the National Academies’ Richard Lounsbery Award. She is the 2012 UNESCO-L’Oreal Woman in Science for North America. She received the Shaw Prize in Life Sciences and Medicine in 2015 and the Pearl Meister Greengard Prize in 2016. In 2018, Bassler received the Dickson Prize in Medicine and the Ernst Schering Prize for Outstanding Basic Research. Bassler was the President of the American Society for Microbiology in 2010-2011, and she chaired the American Academy of Microbiology Board of Governors from 2011-2014. She was a member of the National Science Board for six years and was nominated to that position by President Barack Obama. The Board oversees the NSF and prioritizes the nation’s research and educational activities in science, math, and engineering.

Anne Blashke, MD, PhD - photo

Anne Blashke, MD, PhD

Anne Blashke, MD, PhD is a tenured Associate Professor in the Department of Pediatrics, Division of Pediatric Infectious Diseases at the University of Utah, and the Director of the Molecular Microbiology Laboratory. I hold the Edward B. Clark II Endowed Chair in Pediatrics. Her research focuses on using molecular techniques and new technologies to improve the diagnosis and management of infectious disease and to understand the pathogen-based epidemiology of infection, particularly complicated pneumonia with parapneumonic effusion. She worked in collaboration with University of Utah-founded BioFire Diagnostics to develop the FilmArray®, a high-order multiplex diagnostic system used for the syndromic diagnosis of infectious disease. In addition to test development, she has studied the impact of novel diagnostic testing on clinical care. Her most recent work involves the use of next generation sequencing technology to investigate virulence factors in invasive bacterial pathogens such as Streptococcus pneumoniae and Staphylococcus aureus that lead to severe infection. In addition to my clinical and research endeavors, she is the Program Director for the Pediatric Infectious Diseases Fellowship at the University of Utah and mentor trainees and junior faculty aspiring to careers in academic medicine.

Kristina (Kris) Bryant, M.D. - photo

Kristina (Kris) Bryant, M.D.

Kristina (Kris) Bryant, M.D. is the hospital epidemiologist at Norton Children’s Hospital, a member of the leadership team that coordinates infection prevention and control efforts at Norton Healthcare in Louisville, KY, and a Professor of Pediatrics at the University of Louisville School of Medicine. She is the current president of the Pediatric Infectious Diseases Society Board of Directors and a co-editor of the PIDS-sponsored Handbook of Pediatric Infection Prevention and Control. Since December 2016, she has served as a member of the Healthcare Infection Control Practices Advisory Committee (HICPAC). Dr. Bryant’s research interests include the prevention of device-associated infections, including dialysis-related infections, and vaccine clinical trials. She is an active participant in national research collaboratives to study the epidemiology and prevention of HAIs in children and adults. Dr. Bryant is a member of the Nephrologists Transforming Dialysis Safety Current and Emerging Threats (CET) Workgroup.

Miquela Caniza, MD, MPH - photo

Miguela Caniza, MD, MPH

Miguela Caniza, MD, MPH, a native of Paraguay, received her MD at the School of Medicine of the National University in Asunción, Paraguay. She completed her pediatric residency at the State University of New York in Stony Brook, N.Y., and her fellowship training in pediatric infectious diseases at Duke University Medical Center in Durham, N.C. More recently, she received her master of public health degree from the University of Memphis in Tennessee. She is board certified in pediatrics and pediatric infectious diseases, and she has experience in international pediatric infectious diseases. She is a member of the Department of Global Pediatric Medicine and the Department of Infectious Diseases at St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. At St. Jude, she cares for children with infections; globally, she focuses on improving infection care and prevention in children, especially those with cancer, using research and education.

James Carlucci, M.D., MPH - photo

James Carlucci, M.D., MPH

James Carlucci, M.D., MPH received his undergraduate degree in Biology from Santa Clara University. He earned his M.D. from Vanderbilt University School of Medicine and completed a combined Internal Medicine-Pediatrics residency at Vanderbilt University Medical Center. Upon completion he joined the Baylor International Pediatric AIDS Initiative and served as a Global Health Corps physician in Lesotho. He returned to Vanderbilt in 2014 and subsequently completed sub-specialty fellowship training in Pediatric Infectious Diseases and also obtained an MPH degree with an emphasis on epidemiology and global public health. Dr. Carlucci is board certified in Internal Medicine, Pediatrics, and Pediatric Infectious Disease.

Dr. Carlucci’s research is focused on improving health services for HIV-exposed and HIV-infected children in resource-limited settings. In particular, he is interested in developing and implementing strategies for improving retention in pediatric HIV services in sub-Saharan Africa. Additionally, Dr. Carlucci serves as a Pediatric Care and Treatment Technical Advisor for Vanderbilt affiliated CDC/PEPFAR funded programs in Mozambique, and he collaborates with University Eduardo Mondlane´s faculty of medicine and school of public health to build capacity for HIV related implementation science and quality improvement initiatives in Mozambique. Dr. Carlucci is also active in direct patient care and sees patients at Vanderbilt Children’s Hospital.

Ann Chahroudi, MD, PhD

Ann Chahroudi, MD, PhD, is an Associate Professor in the Division of Pediatric Infectious Diseases at the Emory University School of Medicine and Director of the Emory+Children’s Center for Childhood Infections and Vaccines. She also serves as Medical Director of the Ponce Family and Youth Clinic of the Grady Infectious Diseases Program and Associate Director for Clinical Affairs of the Emory MD/PhD Program. Dr. Chahroudi received her MD and PhD from Emory University School of Medicine and completed her general pediatrics residency at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia. She returned to Emory for subspecialty fellowship training in Pediatric Infectious Diseases. Dr. Chahroudi’s research focuses primarily on HIV pathogenesis and cure as well as Zika virus infection of infants, with emphasis on translational studies in nonhuman primates. Dr. Chahroudi is an elected member of the Society for Pediatric Research, also serving on the SPR Research Advocacy Committee. She is a member of of the Research Affairs and Programs and Meetings Committees of the Pediatric Infectious Diseases Society. Dr. Chahroudi is an Investigator for the AIDS Clinical Trials Group (ACTG) HIV Reservoirs and Viral Eradication Transformative Science Group and is Co-Chair of the International Maternal Pediatric Adolescent AIDS Clinical Trials (IMPAACT) Network Protocol 2015.

Dr. Archana Chatterjee - photo

Dr. Archana Chatterjee

Dr. Chatterjee is Professor and Chair of the Department of Pediatrics and Senior Associate Dean for Faculty Development at the University of South Dakota Sanford School of Medicine, Sioux Falls, SD. She has been elected/selected to serve on several national Advisory Boards and Committees including the US Food and Drug Administration’s Anti-Infective Drugs Advisory Committee and the Steering Committee of the Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC) Group on Faculty Affairs. She is currently serving as Past Chair of the AAMC Group on Women in Medicine and Science; member of the Board of Directors of the Association of Medical School Pediatric Department Chairs; member of the Board of Directors of the Pediatric Infectious Diseases Society (PIDS); member of the American Board of Pediatrics’ Subboard of Pediatric Infectious Diseases; Chair of the Program & Meetings Committee of PIDS; vice-chair for the Bone and Joint Infections Guideline Committee for PIDS; and Vice-Chair of the Infectious Diseases Society of America’s Leadership Development Committee. In 2016, Dr. Chatterjee was among 5 faculty members chosen for the prestigious Council of Deans’ Fellowship by the AAMC. Dr. Chatterjee has conducted over 110 clinical trials, published over 80 peer-reviewed articles, 26 invited review articles, 22 book chapters and one book. She serves as a reviewer for 35 journals. In the past 20 years, Dr. Chatterjee has delivered over 500 lectures and 150 scientific presentations at various international, national, regional and local venues. She has served as the course director for over 40 CME programs, given over 55 media interviews and published 25 newspaper articles.

Coleen K. Cunningham, M.D. - photo

Coleen K. Cunningham, M.D.

Coleen K. Cunningham, M.D. earned her undergraduate degree in Biochemistry at the State University of New York (SUNY) at Binghamton, followed by medical school, residency and fellowship at SUNY Upstate in Syracuse, NY. She has provided clinical care for almost 30 years to children with infectious diseases, including those with HIV. She has led many clinical research studies, primarily focused on prevention and treatment of HIV in children. She began participating in Global Health Research in 2004 and since then has worked in Tanzania, Botswana, Liberia, Bangladesh, and Singapore. Based on her research, Dr. Cunningham has co-authored more than 120 manuscripts, book chapters and other scholarly writings. Since arriving at Duke in 2003, Dr. Cunningham has played a major role in mentoring faculty, fellows, and other trainees within her division, across the Department of Pediatrics and at some of the international sites. She is currently Vice-Chair for Research in the Department of Pediatrics.

Mark R. Denison, M.D. - photo

Mark R. Denison, M.D.

My laboratory studies the replication and pathogenesis of the coronaviruses (CoVs), a family of positive-strand RNA viruses including SARS-CoV, MERS-CoV, and the current epidemic 2019-nCoV. The emergence of three new zoonotic CoVs with pandemic potential over the past 17 years, along with the health, social and economic disruption currently manifesting with 2019-nCoV again demonstrates the profound importance of this virus family and its potential for rapid spread and severe disease. My lab has studied CoV replication, pathogenesis, evolution and countermeasures for over 30 years. Research and training in my laboratory uses the model coronavirus murine hepatitis virus (MHV) as well as SARS-CoV and MERS-CoV, to understand the viral and host determinants of replication and pathogenesis. My research program has defined mechanisms of replicase protein expression and processing, reverse genetics and synthetic genomics of zoonotic coronaviruses, a novel RNA proofreading mechanism during CoV replication, and inhibitors of coronavirus replication. My research has been continually NIH funded since 1987. I have trained more than 20 graduate students and postdoctoral fellows, who have gone on to scientific careers in academia, industry and government, including independent academic research and teaching programs. My students and postdocs have been successful at obtaining F30, F31, F32 and T32 support for their training. I have received awards for teaching of both medical and graduate students.

I direct the Division of Pediatric Infectious Diseases and am responsible for career development of MD and PhD faculty in our division. I am committed to the training of scientists in basic and translational research. I am the Program Director for a training grant (T32): “Childhood Infections Research Program” that is specifically designed to integrate training of PhD postdoctoral scientists and MD physician scientists. The program is focused on scientific oversight and research training, but also on peer partnering of MD and PhD scientists throughout their training. I am the training director for an institutional K12 (Child Health Research Centers) for Pediatric Physician Scientists. I lecture nationally (NIH, multiple academic centers) on the topic of “career design” a novel strategy or career development at all levels of training.

Kathryn M. Edwards, MD - photo

Kathryn M. Edwards, MD

Kathryn M. Edwards, MD is the Sarah H. Sell and Cornelius Vanderbilt Professor of Pediatrics at Vanderbilt University School of Medicine in Nashville, TN. She has had an extensive experience in leading NIH-funded multicenter initiatives; in designing, conducting, and analyzing pivotal Phase I, II, and III clinical studies on vaccines and therapeutics; in facilitating networking with basic and clinical investigators with a wide range of interests and expertise; in mentoring young investigators; and in evaluating the safety of vaccines in clinical trials. For the past decade, Dr. Edwards has also led the CDC-funded Center for Immunization Safety Assessment (CISA) site at Vanderbilt where she and her colleagues assess adverse events associated with vaccines in subjects of all ages. Dr. Edwards has served on many CDC, NIH, WHO, and IDSA committees. In 2008 she was elected to the National Academy of Medicine of the National Academy of Sciences. In 2016 she was awarded the Charles Mérieux Vaccinology Award from the National Foundation for Infectious Diseases and in 2018 received the Maxwell Finland Award from the National Foundation for Infectious Diseases for Scientific Accomplishment in Infectious Diseases.

Kristen A. Feemster, MD, MPH, MSHPR, FAAP - photo

Kristen A. Feemster, MD, MPH, MSHPR, FAAP

Kristen A. Feemster, MD, MPH, MSHPR, FAAP, is Director of Research for the Vaccine Education Center at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia and Medical Director of the Immunization Program and Acute Communicable Diseases at the Philadelphia Department of Public Health.

Dr. Feemster’s portfolio reflects a longstanding interest in public health and a commitment to improve outcomes for children by addressing contextual factors that may impact disease risk and access to health services. This has resulted in two complimentary foci: 1) understanding how environmental factors, social networks, and community systems affect the epidemiology of infectious diseases; and 2) evaluating policies related to the prevention of pediatric infectious diseases, specifically vaccine policies. Her current research includes vaccine acceptance among parents and immunization providers in the U.S. and internationally, community-based interventions to improve vaccine uptake, neighborhood factors associated with the incidence of pertussis and influenza, and healthcare associated respiratory infection in the pediatric ambulatory setting. This body of work has also demonstrated the importance of understanding the drivers of health-related behaviors and adoption of new recommendations to ensure effective policy implementation.

At Penn and CHOP, Dr. Feemster is affiliated with the Leonard Davis Institute of Health Economics, PolicyLab, the Center for Pediatric Clinical Effectiveness and Global Health programs at CHOP. She serves as a technical advisor for an American Academy of Pediatrics global immunization advocacy initiative, and is past-chair of the Advisory Commission for Childhood Vaccines that advises the National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program. In the community, she serves on the boards of the Philadelphia and Pennsylvania Immunization Coalitions.

Dr. Feemster received her MD and an MPH in Population and Family Health from Columbia University Schools of Medicine and Public Health in New York City. She completed pediatric residency at CHOP then pursued a dual fellowship training program in health services research and pediatric infectious diseases; she was a fellow in the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) Clinical Scholars Program at Penn, completing a Master of Science degree in Health Policy Research then returned to CHOP for pediatric infectious diseases training. She joined the faculty in 2010.

Megan Culler Freeman, MD, PhD - photo

Megan Culler Freeman, MD, PhD

Megan Culler Freeman, MD, PhD is currently a Pediatric Infectious Diseases fellow at the UPMC Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh and a proud recipient of the Pediatric Infectious Diseases Society St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital Fellowship Program in Basic Research.

She completed her Bachelor of Science at the University of Kentucky, and then earned her M.D. and Ph.D. degrees at Vanderbilt University as a member of the Medical Scientist Training Program. Dr. Freeman then went on to complete her Pediatrics residency at the UPMC Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh as a member of the Pediatrician Scientist Training Program. Her research interests include pathogenesis and cell biology of RNA viruses and advanced tissue modeling, with a current focus on enterovirus D68, the hypothesized cause of acute flaccid myelitis in children.

DeAnna J. Friedman-Klabanoff, MD, FAAP, CTropMed - photo

DeAnna J. Friedman-Klabanoff, MD, FAAP, CTropMed®

DeAnna Friedman-Klabanoff is a postdoctoral fellow at the University of Maryland School of Medicine in Baltimore. Dr. Friedman-Klabanoff is a board certified Pediatric Infectious Disease clinician with a special interest in global health and travel and tropical medicine. Her research includes clinical vaccine trials and translational immunology to study natural and vaccine-induced humoral immunity to the pre-erythrocytic stages of Plasmodium falciparum to refine future malaria vaccine efforts.

Kathryn Goggin - photo

Kathryn Goggin

Katy Goggin earned her medical degree at the University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston, then completed Pediatrics residency at the University of New Mexico in Albuquerque. Following residency, she worked in Shiprock, NM for the Navajo Nation with the Indian Health Service, and then as an academic pediatric hospitalist at Riley Hospital for Children in Indianapolis, IN before starting Pediatric ID fellowship. She is currently a 3rd year Peds ID fellow at St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital and Le Bonheur Children’s Hospital in Memphis, TN and a candidate for the Master of Science in Epidemiology degree, Clinical Investigation track, at the University of Tennessee Health Science Center.

Sandra Guerguis, MD, FAAP  - photo

Sandra Guerguis, MD, FAAP

Dr Guerguis is currently a second-year pediatric infectious diseases fellow at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine/Children’s Hospital at Montefiore where her research relates to maternal to fetal transfer of CMV and HSV directed antibodies. She completed her residency in pediatrics at Einstein Medical Center in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Dr Guerguis obtained her medical degree from St George’s University, Grenada-West Indies and her undergraduate degree in Health Sciences at McMaster University in Hamilton, Ontario. Her career interests include antimicrobial stewardship and management of infections in immunocompromised hosts.

Natasha Halasa, MD, MPH - photo

Natasha Halasa, MD, MPH

Natasha Halasa, MD, MPH is Associate Professor in the Division of Pediatric Infectious Diseases at Vanderbilt University. She received a Bachelor of Science degree with a major in biology from the University of Akron. She received her M.D. degree from the Medical College of Ohio and completed a residency in pediatrics at Columbus Children’s Hospital. She completed a fellowship in pediatric infectious diseases at Vanderbilt and earned an M.P.H. degree during her fellowship training. She joined the faculty in 2004. Dr. Halasa’s research involves determining the burden of diarrheal and respiratory illnesses in young children and specialized populations and finding ways to reduce their burden (e.g. through vaccine, drugs, etc…). Since 2002, Dr. Halasa has been involved in vaccine trials enrolling children from all ages, including young infants and specialized populations such as children with cancer. The vaccine trials that Dr. Halasa has been involved with in the past include influenza vaccines (both the trivalent inactivated influenza vaccine and the cold-adapted influenza vaccine), pertussis vaccines, pneumococcal, and RSV vaccines. In addition, she has the expertise in vaccine protocol development. She was the PI of a respiratory viral surveillance study in Amman, Jordan, which was funded Union Bank of Switzerland. Currently, currently is PI of the Vanderbilt site of the New Vaccine Surveillance Network initially established in 1999 by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to predict the impact of potential new vaccines and two NIH grants investigating high dose influenza vaccine versus standard dose influenza vaccine in pediatric and adult stem cell recipients.

Chandy C. John, M.D., M.S. - photo

Chandy C. John, M.D., M.S.

Chandy C. John, M.D., M.S., holds the Ryan White Endowed Chair in Pediatric Infectious Diseases and is director of the Ryan White Center for Pediatric Infectious Disease and Global Health at Indiana University. Dr. John’s research focuses on malaria pathogenesis, immunology and epidemiology. Key discoveries of his collaborative research team include: 1) the first prospective studies to establish that severe malaria is associated with long-term cognitive impairment in children, 2) identification of immunologic factors that increase risk of severe malaria and cognitive impairment after severe malaria; 3) determination of geographic and immunologic factors that affect risk of malaria in areas of unstable malaria transmission; and 4) the first studies to show that hydroxyurea treatment is safe and effective for children with sickle cell anemia in malaria endemic areas.

Dr. John is an active clinician, specializing in pediatric infectious diseases and tropical medicine. He conducts research and training programs in Kenya in collaboration with colleagues at the Kenya Medical Research Institute and Moi University, and in Uganda in collaboration with colleagues at Makerere University. He is the author of more than 170 peer-reviewed publications and 30 book chapters. Dr. John serves on the Thrasher Research Fund Scientific Advisory Committee, and has served on or chaired numerous NIH and national and international study sections and review boards. Dr. John’s awards include the Pediatric Infectious Diseases Society Young Investigator Award in 2004, and the Bailey K. Ashford Medal from the American Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene in 2011.

Dr. John is an active clinician, specializing in pediatric infectious diseases, tropical medicine and travel medicine. As an educator, Dr. John was director of global health residency tracks in pediatrics at Case Western Reserve University and the University of Minnesota, and co-director of the Morris Green Physician-Scientist Training Program at Indiana University. Dr. John served as president of the American Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene in 2019.

Sheldon L. Kaplan, MD - photo

Sheldon L. Kaplan, MD

Sheldon L. Kaplan, MD - Born and raised in Missouri, Dr. Kaplan is board certified in Pediatrics and Pediatric Infectious Diseases. Dr. Kaplan is a graduate of the University of Missouri-Columbia and the University of Missouri School of Medicine-Columbia. He was a resident in Pediatrics and a fellow in Pediatric Infectious Diseases at St. Louis Children’s Hospital and Washington University School of Medicine, St. Louis, MO.

Dr. Kaplan is currently Professor and Head of the Section of Infectious Diseases in the Department of Pediatrics at the Baylor College of Medicine and Chief of the Infectious Disease Service at Texas Children’s Hospital in Houston, TX.

Dr. Kaplan has published over 250 peer-reviewed articles, over 140 invited articles, chapters, or reviews and is a co-editor of the Feigin and Cherry’s Textbook of Pediatric Infectious Diseases, 5th, 6th, 7th and 8th Editions. He is Editor-in-Chief--Pediatrics as well as the Co-Editor of the Pediatric Infectious Diseases section of UpToDate®. His current research interests include infections in children caused by Staphylococcus aureus and Streptococcus pneumoniae. Dr. Kaplan is a Past President of the Pediatric Infectious Diseases Society and a past member of the Anti-Infectives Advisory Committee of the FDA and served for 7 years on the Subboard of Pediatric Infectious Diseases of The American Board of Pediatrics including 2 years as chair. In 2011 he received the Arnold J. Rudolph Baylor Pediatric Award For Lifetime Excellence In Teaching. In 2019 he received the European Society for Paediatric Infectious Diseases Distinguished Award for Education and the Distinguished Physician Award of the Pediatric Infectious Diseases Society He also has an Endowed Chair in the Department of Pediatrics at the Baylor College of Medicine named in his honor.

Dr. Kaplan, his wife, two daughters, son-in-law and grandchildren all live in Houston.

Kevin Messacar, MD - photo

Kevin Messacar, MD

Kevin Messacar, MD, is an Assistant Professor of Pediatrics at the University of Colorado School of Medicine.  He is an attending pediatrician and infectious disease consultant at Children's Hospital Colorado.   Dr. Messacar obtained a BS with honors in biochemistry at the University of Michigan and MD at the University of Michigan Medical School.  Dr. Messacar did his pediatric residency and infectious disease fellowship training at the University of Colorado where he received numerous teaching awards.

Dr. Messacar's research interests focus on improving the use of diagnostic tests for infectious diseases with a focus on central nervous system infections.  He is interested in the process of selecting, implementing, and evaluating newly emerging rapid diagnostic technologies using concepts of diagnostic and antimicrobial stewardship.  He is currently conducting an NIH-sponsored trial evaluating the clinical impact of rapid multiplex PCR panels and metagenomic sequencing of cerebrospinal fluid on children with suspected meningitis and encephalitis. In 2014, Dr. Messacar received the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment Astute Physician Award for recognition of the association between acute flaccid myelitis and enterovirus D68 in Colorado children, and he is currently a member of the CDC Acute Flaccid Myelitis Task Force.

Karen Ocwieja, MD, PhD - photo

Karen Ocwieja, MD, PhD

Karen Ocwieja is a clinical fellow in Pediatric Infectious Diseases at Boston Children’s Hospital and a postdoctoral research fellow in the laboratory of Dr. Lee Gehrke at the Institute of Medical Engineering and Science at Massachusetts Institute of Technology. She completed her undergraduate education at Brown University and received her M.D. and Ph.D. degrees from the University of Pennsylvania. Her graduate studies in HIV integration and splicing were done under the mentorship of Dr. Frederic Bushman. Through her current research, she hopes to better understand how congenital infections by Zika virus and cytomegalovirus disrupt normal fetal development of the brain and inner ear.

Jennifer Rathe - photo

Jennifer Rathe

Jennifer Rathe is an Acting Instructor of Pediatric Infectious Diseases at the University of Washington / Seattle Children’s Hospital, and a senior postdoctoral research fellow in Michael Gale Jr.’s lab. Her research focuses on understanding the key interactions of the host-viral interface in pediatric rhinovirus infections in ex-vivo human airway models. With these and future studies, she hopes to identify highly impactful therapeutic targets that guide development of treatments to benefit vulnerable populations affected by severe RV outcomes. She is a recipient of the Stanley and Susan Plotkin / Sanofi Pasteur fellowship Award providing invaluable support to advance her research project.

Adam Ratner, MD, MPH - photo

Adam Ratner, MD, MPH

Adam Ratner, MD, MPH is the Director of the Division of Pediatric Infectious Diseases at Hassenfeld Children’s Hospital and New York University School of Medicine. He received his Bachelor of Arts degree in Biology from Yale University and his Medical Degree and Masters in Public Health from Columbia University. Adam completed internship and residency training in Pediatrics at Columbia University / Babies and Children’s Hospital of New York in 2001. He completed fellowship training in Pediatric Infectious Diseases at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia and performed postdoctoral research in Microbiology at the University of Pennsylvania. In 2006, Dr. Ratner returned to Columbia University as Assistant Professor of Pediatrics and was promoted to Associate Professor in 2013. In 2015, Dr. Ratner was recruited to New York University and Hassenfeld Children’s Hospital as the Director of the Division of Pediatric Infectious Diseases and Associate Professor of Pediatrics and Microbiology.

Dr. Ratner heads an active, translational research laboratory focused on understanding and preventing infections in pregnant women and newborn infants, with a focus on Group B Streptococcus. His areas of particular interest include new vaccine development and combining molecular, small animal, and human studies to understand the biology of infectious diseases. Dr. Ratner has published more than 100 peer- reviewed papers and is an inventor on three patents. Currently, Dr. Ratner is the principal investigator (PI) of a National Institutes of Health (NIH) R56 award investigating potential mechanisms of serotype replacement in group B Streptococcus, an R01 examining GBS and host gene expression during chorioamnionitis, and an R21 in the area of genome-wide approaches to understanding GBS virulence. He has led clinical studies through a Doris Duke Charitable Foundation-funded trial of a new diagnostic test for bacterial vaginosis, carried out investigations of vaccine efficacy using national-level datasets, and has performed studies of group B Streptococcus colonization and disease with collaborators in Botswana, Jordan, and the Dominican Republic. Dr. Ratner has a strong clinical interest in caring for infants with congenital and perinatal infectious diseases. He has mentored numerous undergraduates, graduate students, residents, and postdoctoral fellows and has served as the primary mentor for NIH K23 and K08 awards and an NIH-funded Pediatric Scientist Development Award. Several prior mentees have gone on to faculty positions and independent translational research careers at outstanding universities.

Dr. Ratner is the immediate past Chair of the Clinical Research and Field Studies (CRFS) study section of the NIH. He serves on the Board of Directors of the Pediatric Infectious Diseases Society and is president-elect of the Infectious Diseases Society of New York. Dr. Ratner is a Section Head for Faculty of 1000 Prime and a member of the Editorial Board for Infection and Immunity and the Journal of the Pediatric Infectious Diseases Society.