The Duke Transplant Infectious Diseases Training Program (TxIDTP) identifies talented young physicians knowledgeable in the clinical aspects of Infectious Diseases (ID) and provides them with advanced training in innovative methods of scientific research and the clinical care of the Transplant/Immunocompromised Host (ICH). Organ transplantation and cancer chemotherapy are life-saving interventions for an increasing number of patients. And while advances in surgical technique, cancer chemotherapy, and immunosuppressive drugs have improved the prognosis of transplant and hematologic malignancy patients, the majority of survivors remain at substantial risk for infection. Care of the complex ICH requires unique knowledge that differs from that of the general ID clinician; consequently, Transplant ID (TxID) has emerged as a subspecialty within ID. Further, physician-scientists, capable of bridging the link between medical research and clinical practice, are absolutely critical to understanding the epidemiology, unraveling the pathogenesis, improving the diagnosis, developing evidenced-based prevention and treatment plans, and responding to new infectious challenges as they emerge for this population. Duke University is uniquely poised to train such TxID physician-scientists. Duke Hospital is a major transplant and cancer care center with an active TxID clinical service, ACGME-accredited training programs in ID and Medical Microbiology, and a highly qualified faculty equipped and committed to teaching state- of-the-art methods of basic science and clinical/translational research. The objective of the TxIDTP is to capitalize on the rich resources available at Duke in order to develop innovative TxID physician-scientists. The combined research and clinical training occurs after completion of at least one year of general clinical ID fellowship. The program enrolls one new trainee per year and each trainee completes 3 years of training. The core curriculum includes training in the clinical care of the ICH and either basic or clinical/translational research individualized to the trainee's career goals. Key areas for research training, as applicable to the ICH, include: 1) microbial epidemiology and pathogenesis, 2) laboratory medicine, 3) host susceptibility and response to infection, and 4) medical management and treatment outcomes. Advanced degree options (e.g., Masters in Health Science) are available through the TxIDTP.

Public Health Relevance

Infectious diseases (ID) are one of the leading causes of death in immunocompromised hosts, especially those patients receiving organ and tissue transplantation. Further, the breathtaking pace of progress in the field of transplantation has created a virtual language barrier between researchers and medical practitioners. The proposed training program will address this significant gap by training Transplant ID physician-scientists, knowledgeable in the care of the immunocompromised host and innovative research methods, in order to address and reduce infectious disease related morbidity and mortality in this population.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID)
Institutional National Research Service Award (T32)
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Microbiology and Infectious Diseases B Subcommittee (MID)
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Gondre-Lewis, Timothy A
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Duke University
Internal Medicine/Medicine
Schools of Medicine
United States
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