Examples of Projects

Alison Castle

Class of 2022
MD: Stony Brook University School of Medicine
Mentors: Drs. Mark Siedner, Ingrid Bassett, Emily Wong

Dr. Castle completed her Internal Medicine residency at Massachusetts General Hospital, during which she had the opportunity to work clinically in KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa. After joining the Partners Infectious Disease Fellowship Program in 2019, her research interests evolved to focus on the interplay between tuberculosis and noncommunicable diseases. As a Fogarty Global Health Fellow, Dr. Castle will spend the second year of her training at the African Health Research Institute in South Africa where she will examine the co-epidemics of tuberculosis and diabetes in an HIV endemic, population-based cohort. In the summer following her subspecialty clinical year, she will also partake in the Program in Clinical Effectiveness at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health to build the requisite analytical skills necessary for completion of her research project and a career path as a clinical epidemiologist. Her future research will expand the cross-sectional population data into a longitudinal cohort to further explore the relationship between tuberculosis and chronic metabolic diseases.

Alexander Tatara

Class of 2022
MD/PhD: Baylor College of Medicine, Rice University
Mentors: Dr. David Mooney, Harvard Bioengineering and the Wyss Institute

Prior to joining the MGH/BWH Infectious Diseases fellowship program, Alex matriculated to the Baylor College of Medicine MD/PhD Program where he performed his thesis work in the Rice University Department of Bioengineering followed by Internal Medicine at Massachusetts General Hospital. For his graduate work, he synthesized and characterized novel biomaterials for the treatment of infected tissue defects in the laboratory of Dr. Antonios Mikos. For his research during fellowship, he has joined the laboratory of Dr. David Mooney at the Wyss Institute where he plans to study pathogen mechanobiology. Clinically, he is interested in device-related infection and the host/pathogen/device interface.

Pierre Ankomah

Class of 2021
MD/PhD: Emory University School of Medicine
Mentors: Dr. Roby Bhattacharyya/ Dr. Nir Hacohen, MGH and the Broad Institute

Pierre completed his MD/PhD at Emory University School of Medicine, went on to Internal Medicine residency at Massachusetts General Hospital, then joined the MGH/BWH Infectious Diseases fellowship program. He is broadly interested in the quantitative intersection between antibiotic therapy, host immune responses and microbial physiological states and how these affect clearance of infections and resistance evolution. For his graduate research work, he developed mathematical models of bacterial population and evolutionary dynamics within hosts during acute and chronic infections. He utilized antibiotic pharmacodynamic and pharmacokinetic experiments as well as in vitro analyses of bacterial mutation, selection and fitness to complement and parameterize these models. His clinical training prompted an enhanced interest in the impact of host immune responses on infection dynamics, and as a result, he is working under the mentorship of Drs. Roby Bhattacharyya and Nir Hacohen at the Broad Institute to acquire new expertise in qualitative and quantitative immunological profiling during infectious syndromes. Specifically, he is exploring the immunopathogenesis of sepsis by characterizing the relative abundance, transcriptional states and kinetics of immune cells at diagnosis and during the clinical course of patients with sepsis.

John Chiosi

Class of 2021
MD: Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai
Mentors: Mentors: Andrea Ciaranello, MD, MPH and Jagpreet Chhatwal, PhD at MGH

John is interested in public health and outcomes research through methods of comparative and cost-effectiveness for improving health outcomes in vulnerable populations and decreasing health disparities. During his fellowship, he is working with Dr. Andrea Ciaranello at the Medical Practice Evaluation Center (MPEC) and Dr. Jagpreet Chhatwal at the Institute for Technology Assessment to develop a computer-based simulation model of infectious morbidity and mortality among people with opioid use disorder in order to project the clinical and economic impact of the opioid use epidemic in the US. His academic interests stem from his prior research in HIV microsimulation modeling at MPEC. He received his MD at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, and Internal Medicine-Pediatrics residency at Tulane University in New Orleans, he also completed an applied epidemiology fellowship at the CDC researching the global impact of anti-smoking messaging and health warning labels on knowledge of the harms of tobacco.

Akash Gupta

Class of 2021
MD: Yale School of Medicine
Mentor: Dr. Ingrid Bassett, MGH

Akash’s academic interests are at the intersection of infectious disease, global health, and substance use. He completed his MD at Yale School of Medicine, where his research focused on active case finding for pulmonary tuberculosis among people who inject drugs enrolled in methadone treatment in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania. Between his clinical years of medical school, he completed an epidemiology fellowship at the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention. His projects at CDC included evaluation of STD practices among community health centers in New York City, gonorrhea outbreak investigation among the Native American population in Arizona, syphilis outbreak investigation in Oregon, and drug-resistant gonorrhea in Kenya. He then completed residency in Medicine/Pediatrics at Massachusetts General Hospital, where his research included evaluating hepatitis C screening, prevalence, and engagement in care among adolescents entering a youth-focused addiction program in Boston. Through medical school and residency, he completed clinical electives in South Africa, Uganda, Tanzania, and Shiprock New Mexico. During his fellowship, he is working with mentor Dr. Ingrid Bassett to examine the prevalence of substance use among patients with tuberculosis and HIV who are lost to follow-up and visited by a community health worker in Cape Town, South Africa. Subsequently, we plan to examine the impact of substance use on re-engagement in care, as well as treatment outcomes.

Yijia Li

Class of 2021
MD: Peking Union Medical College
Mentor: Dr. Jonathan Li, MD, BWH

Growing up in a not-so-prosperous suburban area in east China near construction sites and a power plant, playing in mud and catching grasshoppers every day, Yijia never thought he would practice medicine in another country thousands of miles away. In medical school his research focused on HIV-Hepatitis B Virus (HBV) co-infection, specifically on the association between antiretroviral therapy (ART) regimens and HBV-related virological and immunological outcomes. During residency he continued his research on HIV-related non-AIDS comorbidities including analyzing HIV-related pulmonary complications and neurological issuess related to efavirenz use. Mentored by Dr. Jonathan Li, he plans to continue research in fellowship on HIV reservoir and persistence, specifically focusing on a special group of people with HIV, who sustains viral suppression even after interrupting ART, namely post-treatment controllers (PTC). His research will focus on HIV proviral sequences in different T cell subsets prior to and after analytical treatment interruption in PTCs, in addition to HIV integration landscape in different T cell compartment. Since the COVID19 pandemic, he is also undertaking COVID-19 related projects on COVID-19/SARS-CoV-2 related diagnostic methods and outcome analysis.

Michelle Matzko

Class of 2021
MD: The Pennsylvania State University College of Medicine
Mentor: Roby Bhattacharyya MD, PhD, Broad Institute and MGH

Dr. Matzko is a second year Infectious Disease fellow and post-doctoral fellow at the Broad Institute. She is broadly interested in applications of novel biotechnologies for the advancement of Infectious Disease diagnostics. The goal of her current work is to transform the diagnostic process of invasive fungal infections from slow, microbiologic culture-based to rapid, molecular-based to impact timely clinical care. Specifically, her work aims to design and validate an rRNA-based multiplex assay which will allow rapid identification and simultaneous antifungal susceptibility testing of clinically-relevant invasive fungal pathogens, with the ultimate goal of deploying the test clinically. She completed her MD and PhD at The Pennsylvania State University and an Internal Medicine residency at University of California, San Francisco, where she was also involved with various PCR-based clinical diagnostics research.

Sam Vidal

Class of 2021
MD/PhD: Columbia University
Mentors: Dr. Dan Barouch at the Center for Virology and Vaccine Research

Sam completed his MD/PhD training at Columbia University. His graduate research investigated the molecular mechanisms of taxane resistance in metastatic carcinomas with the goal of identifying novel combination therapies in preclinical models. He completed internal medicine residency at New York Presbyterian-Columbia in the ABIM research track. During residency he became interested in vulnerable populations and infectious diseases before moving to Boston for fellowship. After clinical training he joined the laboratory of Dan Barouch at the Center for Virology and Vaccine Research (CVVR). At the CVVR his research interests include preclinical development of novel antimicrobial therapeutics, vaccine development, and clinical immunology primarily in HIV and tuberculosis.

Jennifer Manne-Goehler

Class of 2020
MD: Boston University School of Medicine
ScD: Harvard T. H. Chan School of Public Health
Mentor: Dr. Mark Siedner, MGH

Dr. Manne-Goehler completed her MD at Boston University School of Medicine and a doctorate at the Harvard T. H. Chan School of Public Health, where her dissertation focused on access to care for Chagas disease in the Americas. She then completed Internal Medicine residency at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, during which time she also served as a technical analyst for the Lancet Commission on Diabetes in sub-Saharan Africa and a co-investigator on the Health and Aging in Africa: A Longitudinal Study of an INDEPTH Community in South Africa (HAALSI) cohort study. As an extension of this research, she also co-founded the GHP Project on Access to Care for Cardiometabolic diseases (HPACC), to quantify health system performance for cardiovascular disease in low and middle income countries. Her current research, supervised by Dr. Mark Siedner, centers on the epidemiology and health systems implications of weight gain and metabolic disease among people with HIV. This has included research published in HIV specialty journals exploring utilization of care and disease outcomes for diabetes and hypertension along the HIV care cascade in South Africa. Her current and future planned research projects will explore weight gain associated with use of ART, its implications for risk of diabetes and interventions to prevent metabolic disease among people with HIV in both Boston and South Africa. Dr. Manne-Goehler has secondary research interests in both Chagas disease and gender equity in academic medicine.