|Infectious Disease Epidemiology - Faculty and Research|
Dr. Ralph Baric , Professor of Epidemiology and Microbiology & Immunology, is an internationally recognized expert on Noroviruses and SARS coronavirus. His group has been interested in aspects of both host and viral genetics and how they relate to understanding pathogenesis and developing control tools. His research also focuses on identifying the molecular mechanisms governing emerging virus cross species transmission and pathogenesis in humans and seeks to identify the viral and host determinants which influence susceptibility to infectious diseases.
Dr. Frieda Behets , Associate Professor of Epidemiology and Medicine, has worked in sub-Saharan Africa and the Caribbean. She is director of the DR Congo UNC/CDC Global AIDS Program (GAP), which focuses on prevention of mother to child transmission of HIV, improved TB/HIV diagnosis and management, and HIV care including antiretroviral therapy. Dr Behets, in collaboration with Dr Pettifor, is also conducting formative research among HIV+ adolescents in Kinshasa. She has worked in Madagascar since 1995 studying the epidemiology of STIs, and interventions to improve STI diagnosis, treatment, and prevention, with special focus on woman-controlled STI prevention.
Dr. Myron Cohen, J. Herbert Bate Distinguished Professor of Medicine, Microbiology and Immunology and Public Health at UNC. Dr. Cohen's research focuses on the transmission and prevention of transmission of HIV, with emphasis on the role played by STD co-infections. In 2005, Dr. Cohen received an NIH MERIT Award for ongoing support of this work. Much of Dr. Cohen's research has been conducted in resource constrained countries, especially in the African country of Malawi and in the People's Republic of China. Dr. Cohen serves as the Chair of the Scientific Advisory Board of the China CIPRA (located at the China CDC), and as co-director of an NIH Ellison Fellowship Program at the National STD Center in Nanjing China.
Dr. Eric F. Donaldson is a research assistant professor studying viral cross species transmission and viral emergence from zoonotic sources. He is particularly interested in cross species emergence of coronaviruses from bats to humans. In addition, his lab has employed structural bioinformatics to design several synthetic VLP-based vaccines against norovirus.
Dr. Michael Emch , Associate Professor of Geography, Adjunct Associate Professor of Epidemiology, and Fellow at the Carolina Population Center. His specialty is in medical geography/ spatial epidemiology and his research uses geographic information systems (GIS), satellite remote sensing, and spatial modeling techniques. One of his ongoing research projects investigates how spatial analysis, environmental modeling, and social network analysis can be used to measure the effectiveness of vaccines. For the past decade he has conducted a series of research projects in Bangladesh on local level socio-environmental risk factors of diarrheal diseases including cholera, rotavirus, shigellosis, and E. coli. Another newly funded project looks at population and environmental drivers of avian influenza virus evolution.
Dr. Michele Jonsson-Funk, Research Assistant Professor of Epidemiology using secondary data to determine how initiation of HAART and other factors affect progression of HIV disease and patient survival.
Dr. Carla Cerami Hand is a Research Assistant Professor whose research primarily focuses on malaria. Project (1) Impact of host iron status on growth and viability of erythrocytic stages of Plasmodium falciparum. Project (2) Erythropoietin and Erythropoietin-mimetic Peptides for the Treatment of Cerebral Malaria. Project (3) Hemozoin breaker: a novel class of anti-malarial compounds with in vitro and in vivo activity.
Dr. Pia MacDonald, Research Assistant Professor and Director, North Carolina Center for Public Health Preparedness, leads the Team Epi-Aid program and offers students experience volunteering for short-term projects with local and state health departments e.g. assisting with infectious disease outbreak investigation, analyzing surveillance systems, conducting rapid needs assessment. Her main area of research is infectious disease surveillance and foodborne disease epidemiology. She collaborates on many applied infectious disease epidemiology projects with the state health department. In addition, she works in partnership with organizations such as WHO, Council of State and Territorial Epidemiologists (CSTE), and CDC to develop field epidemiology curriculum for public health practitioners, both nationally and internationally.
Dr. David Margolis , Professor of Medicine, Microbiology & Immunology, and Epidemiology, is an expert on HIV molecular biology and is attempting to develop treatments targeted at HIV that evades the immune response and persists despite antiviral therapy. He is also involved in studies of acute HIV infection, and particularly compartments such as resting CD4+ cells, the GALT, and the CNS, where persistent virus infection is established.
Dr. Steven Meshnick , Professor of Epidemiology and Microbiology & Immunology, is the ID program leader. He has been working in Malawi, the DR Congo, Thailand and Cambodia. In Malawi and the Congo, his group has studied the pathogenesis of malaria in pregnancy, and on how malaria and other infectious agents affect mother-to-child transmission of HIV. In these sites, as well as Thailand and Cambodia, he has been using newly developed molecular assays to study the epidemiology and clinical significance of antimalarial drug resistance.
Dr. William Miller Associate Professor of Medicine and Epidemiology, is interested in mucosal sexually transmitted infections and HIV infection. He is involved in ongoing projects both domestically and internationally examining approaches to improve the identification of persons with acute HIV infection. He has ongoing research to apply spatial analytical techniques to the identification of infectious diseases outbreaks.
Dr. Sonia Napravnik, Research Assistant Professor of Epidemiology and Medicine, and an Epidemiologist with the UNC Center for AIDS Research and the AIDS Clinical Trials Unit. She has primary expertise in the treatment and prevention of HIV-infection both domestically and internationally, including work in Ethiopia, Malawi, South Africa and Puerto Rico. Her ongoing research focuses on both intended and unintended effects of antiretroviral therapy especially drug resistance, improving HIV testing and medical care access, and applying newer epidemiologic methodologies to the study of HIV.
Dr. Audrey Pettifor, Assistant Professor, prior to this she was Director of the Adolescent Health Division at the Reproductive Health Research Unit in Soweto, South Africa from 2002-2004. Dr. Pettifor is an epidemiologist who has conducted HIV prevention research in South Africa for close to 10 years; her research focuses on HIV prevention among young people, particularly young women, in South Africa. Other research includes HIV prevention interventions for young couples in South Africa; behaviors of individuals with Acute HIV Infection and behavioral interventions for the acute period; and prevention interventions for HIV infected youth in Kinshasa, DRC.
Dr. Victor Schoenbach, Associate Professor, has a long-time collaboration with Dr. Adaora Adimora in the Division of Infectious Diseases, focusing on sexual networks and heterosexual dissemination of HIV especially among African Americans. He also teaches the School-wide introductory epidemiology course (two classroom and two Internet courses/year) and leads two annual broadcasts on health disparities topics.
Dr. Jennifer Smith, Research Assistant Professor, works on on human papillomavirus (HPV) and cervical cancer worldwide. She is studying the effect of male circumision on the natural history of penile HPV infection in Kisumu, Kenya. She is works on CDC-UNC collaborative project that investigates the acceptability of HPV vaccination in communities with high cervical cancer mortality in North Carolina. Dr. Smith is also involved in systematic reviews of global literature, and in studies of herpes simplex virus type-2 seroprevalence worldwide, and on the prevalence of type-specific HPV infection and cervical cancer in China.
Dr. Lola Stamm , Associate Professor, is an expert on emerging and re-emerging bacterial pathogens. Her current research focuses on determining the role of the Toll-like receptor (TLR)-mediated innate immune response during bacterial infection and identifying immunomodulatory strategies to promote pathogen clearance and prevent disease.
Dr. James Thomas, Associate Professor, studies social forces affecting the distribution of HIV and STDs. His research includes the effects of high rates of incarceration on STD rates in North Carolina counties, and on census tracts in two particular counties of the state; the relationship between community characteristics and STD rates in Chicago neighborhoods; and the effects of HIV prevention agency networks on HIV prevention in North Carolina.
Dr. Annelies Van Rie, Associate Professor in the Department of Epidemiology, UNC. Dr Van Rie is a pediatrician with clinical and international research experience in infectious disease epidemiology. Her research focuses on clinical, immunological and health services aspects of HIV related tuberculosis in both adults and children, social aspects of tuberculosis and pediatric HIV care, pediatric HIV care and pediatric neuro-AIDS. Dr Van Rie has active research projects in Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of Congo; Yala, Thailand; Blantyre, Malawi; and Johannesburg, South Africa.
Dr. David Weber, Professor of Medicine, Pediatrics, and Epidemiology serves as the Epidemiologist and Research Subject Officer for the NIH supported UNC General Clinical Research Center. He also serves as the Medical Director of the UNC Health Care Department of Hospital Epidemiology and Associate Director of the NC Statewide Program in Infection Control and Epidemiology. His research interests include environmental pathogens (long standing collaboration with Dr. Mark Sobsey, Environmental Health and Sciences), infections in child care (long standing collaboration with Dr. Jonathan Kotch, Vice-Chair Maternal and Child Health), and healthcare-associated infections (long standing collaboration with Dr. William Rutala, Department of Medicine).
Dr. Sharon Weir, Research Assistant Professor of Epidemiology, is a Carolina Population Fellow at the Carolina Population Center and a Senior Monitoring and Evaluation Specialist on the USAID funded MEASURE Evaluation Project. Her focus is HIV surveillance and the monitoring and evaluation of HIV prevention programs in developing countries. Her current work is in Malawi, Zimbabwe, Jamaica, Swaziland, and China.
|Last updated April 01, 2013|