Infections after Bone Marrow Transplantation

Infectious Diseases Service

Patients undergoing bone marrow transplantation are highly immunocompromised and vulnerable to invasive bacterial, fungal, and mycobacterial infection. Immunocompromise in this patient population is multifactorial and depends on the type of transplant and the immunosuppressive regimen that has been given to prevent graft-versus-host disease. Furthermore, the nature of immunocompromise changes as bone marrow engrafts and various cell populations return and become functional. We have established a prospective database for surveillance of infections in these patients. The database provides a valuable resource for patient care as well as for correlation studies. Currently we are focusing on the broader impact (including morbidity and quality of life) of dsDNA viruses (herpes viruses, adenovirus, and BK polyoma virus) on the outcomes of transplantation. We are also evaluating the impact of therapeutic interventions targeted to these viruses.

Infection is one of the main causes of death after bone marrow transplantation. Our goal is to reduce infection-related mortality by 1) defining clinical factors or biomarkers for specific infections and outcomes; 2) identifying highly susceptible groups of patients that may benefit from prophylaxis or intensive monitoring; 3) assessing the utility of novel diagnostic or therapeutic interventions.

Project Type 

Translational and Clinical Research

Preferred Project Dates

  • June 15 – August 7
  • June 22 – August 14
Student's Role

The student will be involved in study design, data collection (by chart review or by attending the rounds), data management (integrating data from various sources and coding of data), and data analysis. In addition to the mentor, the student will interact with a biostatistician and other members of the clinical team. The goal is to provide an immersion in all aspects of clinical research.

This is an opportunity to become familiar with all steps of translational research starting from the design of the project to preparing the data for publication. The student will be responsible for a specific project. Findings will be summarized for a manuscript or presentation at a meeting. The student will gain knowledge in the field of transplantation infectious diseases by attending the weekly bone marrow rounds, infectious diseases conferences, and clinic sessions. Shadowing in MSK’s infectious diseases clinic can also be arranged.

Extent of Research/Laboratory, Clinical, and Didactic Activities
  • Laboratory Research: 10%
  • Clinical Research: 60-70%
  • Clinical Activities (Attendance at clinics, shadowing, and/or OR observation):10-20%
  • Didactics (Lab, DMT meetings, and/or other weekly conferences): 10%

Summer Fellowship Online Application