Infectious Diseases Clinical & Research Training

Our ACGME-approved Infectious Diseases (ID) Fellowship program trains physicians to become experts in the management of infections associated with cancer treatment, including allogeneic hematopoietic stem cell transplantation, checkpoint blockade treatment to enhance T cell-mediated clearance of tumors, and T cells expressing tumor-specific chimeric antigen receptors.

Our ID fellows complete clinical rotations at New York Hospital and other hospitals in New York City to round out their clinical experience. They also receive extensive research training in clinical investigation or basic laboratory research in preparation for careers in academic infectious diseases. Many of our fellows have gone on to careers in academia, research, and clinical medicine. See our list of previous fellows below.

Memorial Sloan Kettering is one of the world’s premier cancer centers and is committed to excellence in patient care, educating physicians-in-training, and conducting cutting-edge research. Our mission and commitment to on-site comprehensive medical care ensures that a sizable proportion of patients require treatment for nononcologic diseases, which is provided by specialists and subspecialists. 

Memorial Hospital

The goal of the MSK ID Fellowship Program is to provide a broad-based educational experience that includes the evaluation and management of a wide variety of infectious diseases occurring in medical and surgical patients, both adult and pediatric, in the inpatient and outpatient settings.

Infections in immunocompromised patients provide novel opportunities to investigate infectious disease pathogenesis, and MSK ID fellows have a long tradition of research productivity in this realm. Over the last decade, fellows have described opportunistic infections in cancer patients (such as PCP, Mycobacterium haemophilum, and 2009 H1N1 influenza), been involved in use of molecular tools for rapid diagnosis (for example, C. difficile) or hospital surveillance for resistant organisms (including VRE), or been actively engaged in bench research (such as immune responses to Aspergillus fumigatus).

The MSK ID Fellowship program has trained many distinguished ID specialists who have entered public health or academia and become leaders in the field. The academic programs and resources of Memorial Sloan Kettering, its tradition of clinical and scientific excellence, and the high quality of other subspecialty programs throughout the hospital have provided MSK ID fellows with a supportive environment for clinical learning and scholarship. 

Program Description

Fellows are assigned to Tuesday afternoon or Friday morning clinic during their fellowship training. In their assigned clinics, fellows treat HIV patients, internal and external referrals, and patient follow-ups from in-house consultations. Fellows also attend the Employee Health and Wellness clinic approximately four to six times a year to become proficient at evaluation and management of employees with LTBI or exposure to blood-borne pathogens.

  Rotation in Clinical Micro/Infection Control/AMP MSK Inpatient Consults NYPH-Cornell Inpatient Consults Research
First Year 1 month 6-7 months 1 month 2-3 months
Second Year N/A 2-3 months N/A 8-9 months
Third Year N/A N/A N/A 11 months

MSK Inpatient Consults

Inpatient consults for fellows are divided between two teams: the regular consult service, Blue Team, and the immunocompromised host service, Red Team, which consists of leukemia and transplant patients. Fellows alternate between Blue Team and Red Team over the course of their fellowship. To unload the consult burden from fellows, there is also an attending only service comprised of consults deemed of low educational value for fellows.

Outside Rotations

NYPH-Cornell Inpatient Consults

Fellows rotate for one month on the inpatient service at New York Presbyterian/Weill Cornell Medical Center as first-year fellows. There they encounter infectious problems occurring in a general hospital where patient populations include immunologically normal hosts, the elderly, patients with alcohol and/or drug abuse histories, returning travelers, and recent immigrants.

Ambulatory Care

To enhance the fellows’ ambulatory care experience, second-year fellows complete one month rotations at the STD clinic at SUNY Downstate Medical Center in Brooklyn and the ID Associates/Travel Medicine Clinic of NYP/Cornell.

Elective time is offered to second year fellows who wish to pursue clinical rotations at local New York hospitals if arranged beforehand with the program director and leadership at the hospital in question. Recent electives pursued by fellows include a solid organ transplantation elective at Mount Sinai and outpatient HIV clinic elective at NYP/Cornell.

Research

During one research block in the second year of fellowship, fellows spend eight half-day sessions at SUNY Downstate’s STD clinic. During another research block in the second year of fellowship, they spend six half-day sessions at the ID Associates/Travel Medicine Clinic affiliated with NYPH-Cornell.

Approximately fifty percent of MSK ID fellows seek additional research training that is not required for ID Boards certification. This is completed in an optional third year. See the Research section for additional information or visit the ID faculty members’ web pages to see the groundbreaking cancer research ID fellows are currently participating in.

Fellow Responsibilities

Specific responsibilities are distributed throughout the two to three years of the fellowship. In general, the first-year (junior) fellows provide the majority of inpatient care. Second-year (senior) fellows provide leadership and serve as role models for the junior fellows and other rotators to the ID service. The senior fellows are also responsible for organization and preparation of Intercity Rounds, hosted by MSK biannually; organization of monthly TransYork rounds; end-of-the-year presentation of research work at the “Advanced Topics in Infectious Disease” lecture series; supervision of the Blood Culture Quality Improvement (QI) Project and other QI projects; representation to the ID fellowship’s Program Evaluation Committee; and representation to the hospital’s Graduate Medical Education (GME) committee. 

Microbiology Rounds

At the end of attending rounds, the ID consult team will round in the microbiology laboratory to review all new positive blood cultures, significant cultures from nonsterile sites, and other significant microbiologic results relevant to patient care. Director Yi-Wei Tang and Assistant Director Esther Babady supervise the microbiology laboratory.

Antibiotic Approvals

The Antibiotic Management Program (AMP) handles antibiotic approvals six to seven days a week from 9:00 am to 5:00 pm. After hours (and also on some holidays and weekends), the approval pager is rolled over to the ID fellow on call. The bulk of night approvals generally occur before 11:00 pm.

Blood Culture Quality Improvement (QI) Project

As part of an ongoing QI project, the charts of all patients with one or more positive blood cultures (with the exception of coagulase-negative staphylococci recovered from a single blood culture) are reviewed by the on-service ID fellows to ensure adequacy of empiric antimicrobial therapy. The on-service attending serves as backup for the fellows. Formal consultation may be necessary to assist in the management of complicated bloodstream infections.

Needlesticks, Splashes, and Other Occupational Exposures

After hours and on weekends and holidays, the ID fellow may be contacted regarding an employee who has or was exposed to an infectious agent or who had an accidental needlestick or splash exposure (varicella, measles, mumps, rubella, pertussis, and various respiratory viruses including influenza). There is always an Employee Health attending on call that can guide and maximize ID fellow learning through these situations. 

Laboratory Research

The research laboratories of the Infectious Diseases Service at Memorial Sloan Kettering are focused on the immune response to infection by bacterial, fungal, and viral pathogens. The pathogenesis of mycobacterial infections is also actively investigated. Interested fellows are encouraged to work in the laboratory on research projects that characterize the interface between the mammalian immune system and pathogens in the setting of infectious disease.

Fellows are provided with on-site training in laboratory investigation and also have opportunities to participate in basic science course work. Fellows with interest in microbiology, cell biology, and other fields have a panoply of research options at MSK along with opportunities at The Rockefeller University and Weill Cornell Medical College.

Conferences
  • Weekly ID Clinical Conference (Thursdays, 1:30 pm): On-service fellows are assigned responsibility for the weekly conference. Both fellows are expected to present a case followed by a discussion that encompasses a focused but thorough literature review and summation of the critical points of the case. Pertinent radiographs and important smears or biopsies should be shown. The target audience includes ID faculty, co-fellows, other rotators on elective, and allied healthcare personnel.
  • Donald Armstrong Infectious Disease Rounds (Intercity Rounds): The Donald Armstrong Infectious Disease Rounds have been conducted on a weekly basis since 1968. This program brings together infectious disease specialists from throughout New York City to discuss interesting and unusual cases in an “unknown diagnosis” format. In addition, it has served as a means by which citywide practitioners have alerted each other to new or unusual emerging pathogens. For example, AIDS was first discussed in 1979–1980 at this meeting, and — more recently — discussions have been held regarding management of pathogens of bioterrorism. The conference is held from 4:00 to 6:00 pm on Mondays on a rotating basis at participating hospitals. Cases are presented by Infectious Diseases Service fellows. References to cases are given out at the end of the session. Interested attendees include infectious disease specialists, physicians-in-training, infection control practitioners, and people interested in public health. Any other interested parties are welcome to attend. Fall 2016 Donald Armstrong Infectious Disease Rounds »
  • Microbiology “plate” rounds (Wednesdays at 10:30 am)
  • ID “Advanced Topics” in Infectious Diseases (Fridays at 1:30 pm): A shared conference with Division of Infectious Diseases at Weill Cornell. Guest speakers from other US and sometimes international academic institutions come to speak on topics of their expertise.
  • Infection control meeting (weekly)
  • MSK Department of Medicine Grand Rounds
  • Research in Progress (monthly): Faculty and fellows present their latest projects and research finding; faculty presentations serve as introductions to their work so fellows can familiarize themselves with possible research areas of interest and mentors.

Castori Center

In January 2010, Memorial Sloan Kettering created a multidisciplinary research center to shed light on the role that microbes and the body’s inflammatory and immunological responses to them play in the development of cancer. The Lucille Castori Center for Microbes, Inflammation, and Cancer unites researchers in the areas of molecular biology, immunology, computational biology, and microbiology and members of the Infectious Diseases and Clinical Microbiology Services in Memorial Hospital.

In addition to facilitating research among MSK’s investigators and clinicians, the Castori Center provides grants for clinical and laboratory-based fellows to extend their research and training.
 

The fellowship director, service chief, and other faculty speak with each fellow individually regarding potential projects in the first months of fellowship. By fall of the first year of fellowship, fellows generally have identified a few areas of potential interest and a specific mentor for each area.

Clinical Research

Infectious Diseases fellows can become involved with and may initiate a broad range of clinical studies. Research projects may include clinical reports, case series, and epidemiologic investigations. Faculty members within MSK or from The Rockefeller University or Weill Cornell Medical College who are associated with the MSK Infectious Diseases Service will supervise all research projects.

Though most clinical studies typically occur within the Infectious Diseases Service, they often cross borders into other disciplines. Thus, collaborative studies with other clinical services (including lymphoma, leukemia, and transplant) are commonplace and encouraged. The close relationship between the Clinical Microbiology Service and the Infectious Diseases Service also provides many opportunities for fellow-initiated research projects.

    Former Fellows 

    Many of our Infectious Diseases fellows have gone on to illustrious careers in academia, research, and clinical medicine, both in the United States and abroad. Our program has also trained many of our own current faculty members.

    2014-2015
    Esther Arguello Perez
    Fabian Romero
    Maria Del Castillo Garcia
    Lena Heung
    Anabella Lucca Bianchi
    Sejal Morjaria

    2013-2014
    Maria Antonieta Del Castillo
    Cesar Figueroa Ortiz
    Lena Heung
    Sherard Lacaille
    Anabella Lucca Bianchi
    Sejal Morjaria
    Paola Palomino

    2012-2013
    Cesar Figueroa Ortiz
    Ubonvan Jongwutiwes
    Sherard Lacaille
    Yeon Joo Lee
    Tarek Mikati
    Paola Palomino
    Lalitha Parameswaran
    Gil Redelman Sidi

    2011-2012
    Cesar Figueroa Ortiz
    Ubonvan Jongwutiwes
    Yeon Joo Lee
    Tarek Mikati
    Lalitha Parameswaran
    Urania Rappo
    Gil Redelman Sidi

    2010-2011
    Radoslava Klein
    Yeon Joo Lee
    Peter Augustus Mead
    Tarek Mikati (Research  Fellow)
    Lalitha Parameswaran
    Urania Rappo
    Gil Redelman Sidi

    2009-2010
    Radoslava Klein
    Peter Augustus Mead
    Tarek Mikati
    Urania Rappo
    Gil Redelman Sidi

    2008-2009
    Daniel Barkan
    Carlos Jarmillo
    Tarek Mikati
    Agam Rao
    Gil Redelman Sidi
    Ying Taur

    2007-2008
    Daniel Barkan
    Tobias Hohl
    Ashwin Jathavedam
    Carlos Jarmillo
    Mini Kamboj
    Mirella Mircescu
    Agam Rao
    Ying Taur

    2006-2007
    Daniel Barkan
    Tobias Hohl
    Ashwin Jathavedam
    Mini Kamboj
    Khatuna Kadeishvili
    Coralina Mihu
    Mirella Mircescu
    Ying Taur

    2005-2006
    Daniel Barkan
    Tobias Hohl
    Mini Kamboj
    Khatuna Kadeishvili
    Mikyung Lee
    Coralina Mihu
    Mirella Mircescu

    2004-2005
    Yonhee Cha
    Tobias Hohl
    Mini Kamboj
    Mikyung Lee
    Coralina Mihu

    2003-2004
    Yonhee Cha
    Svetolik Djurkovic
    David Galinkin
    Tobias Hohl
    Sandra Kesh
    Joseph Kim
    Mikyung Lee
    David Weinstock

    2002-2003
    Nikolaos Almyroudis
    Svetolik Djurkovic
    David Galinkin
    Joseph Kim
    Monika Shah
    David Weinstock

    2001-2002
    Daniel Goodman
    Philip Nizza
    Monika Shah
    David Weinstock

    2000-2001
    Cyrus Badshah
    Roxana Ferreiro
    Daniel Goodman
    Shaker Itani
    Philip Nizza
    Abdelghani Sebti
    Susan Seo
    Monika Shah
    Roman Tuma

    1999-2000
    Cyrus Badshah                                 
    Roxana Ferreiro
    Shaker Itani               
    Abdelghani Sebti
    Susan Seo

    1998-1999
    Abdelghani Sebti
    Adrian Popp
    Tariq Quadri
    Amar Safdar (Research)
    Susan Seo

    Publications

    Heung L, Hohl T. DAP12 Inhibits Pulmonary Immune Responses to Cryptococcus neoformans. Infect Immun. 2016. PMCID: PMC4907135

    Del Castillo M, Romero FA, Argüello E, Kyi C, Postow MA, Redelman-Sidi G. The Spectrum of Serious Infections Among Patients Receiving Immune Checkpoint Blockade for the Treatment of Melanoma. Clin Infect Dis. 2016.

    Morjaria S, Epstein DJ, Romero FA, Taur Y, Seo SK, Papanicolaou GA, Hatzoglou V, Rosenblum M, Perales MA, Scordo M, Kaltsas A. Toxoplasma Encephalitis in Atypical Hosts at an Academic Cancer Center. Open Forum Infect Dis. 2016. PMCID: PMC4834739

    Harris B, Morjaria SM, Littmann ER, Geyer AI, Stover DE, Barker JN, Giralt SA, Taur Y, Pamer EG. Gut Microbiota Predict Pulmonary Infiltrates After Allogeneic Hematopoietic Cell Transplantation. Am J Respir Crit Care Med. 2016. PMCID: PMC5003327

    Richardson L, Brite J, del Castillo M, Childers T, Sheahan A, Huang YT, Dougherty E, Babady NE, Sepkowitz K, Kamboj M. Comparison of respiratory virus shedding by conventional and molecular testing methods in patients with hematological malignancy. Clin Microbiol Infect. 2016. PMCID: PMC4994888

    Heung LJ, Jhingran A, Hohl TM. Deploying FLAREs to Visualize Functional Outcomes of Host-Pathogen Encounters. PLoS Pathog. 2015. PMCID: PMC4497593

    Morjaria S, Arguello E, Taur Y, Sepkowitz K, Hatzoglou V, Nemade A, Rosenblum M, Cavalcanti M, Palomba M, Kaltsas A. West Nile Virus Central Nervous System Infection in Patients Treated with Rituxumab: Implications for Diagnosis and Prognosis, With a Review of the Literature. Open Forum Infectious Diseases. 2015. PMCID: PMC4643542

    Morjaria S, Otto C, Moreira A, Chung R, Hatzoglou V, Pillai M, Banaei N, Tang YW, Figueroa CJ. Ribosomal RNA gene sequencing for early diagnosis of Blastomyces dermatitidis infection. Int J Infect Dis. 2015.

    Arguello E, Otto CC, Mead P, Babady NE. Bacteremia caused by Arcobacter butzleri in an immunocompromised host. J Clin Microbiol. 2015. PMCID: PMC4365236

    Taur Y, Jenq RR, Perales MA, Littmann ER, Morjaria S, Ling L, No D, Gobourne A, Viale A, Dahi PB, Ponce DM, Barker JN, Giralt S, van den Brink M, Pamer EG. The effects of intestinal tract bacterial diversity on mortality following allogeneic hematopoietic stem cell transplantation. Blood. 2014. PMCID: PMC4133489

    Parameswaran L, Taur Y, Shah M, Traina T, Seo SK. Tolerability of chemotherapy in HIV-infected women with breast cancer: are there prognostic implications? AIDS Patient Care STDs. 2014.

    Seo SK, Xiao K, Huang YT, Jongwutiwes U, Chung D, Maloy M, Giralt S, Barker JN, Jakubowski AA, Papanicolaou GA. Impact of peri-transplant vancomycin and fluoroquinolone administration on rates of bacteremia in allogeneic stem cell transplant (HSCT)recipients: a 12 year singly institution study. J Infect. 2014. PMCID: PMC4163089

    Figueroa CJ, Camp BJ, Varghese GI, Miranda E, Querfeld C, Hassoun H, Kamboj M, Pulitzer MP. A case of protothecosis in a patient with multiple myeloma. 2014.

    Lee JY, Palomino-Guilen P, Babady NE, Lamson DM, St George K, Tang YW, Papanicolaou GA. Disseminated adenovirus infection in cancer patients presenting with focal pulmonary consolidation. 2014. J Clin Microbiol. PMCID: PMC3911433

    Redelman Sidi G, Sepkowitz K. IFN-γ release assays in the diagnosis of latent tuberculosis infection among immunocompromised adults. Am J Respir Crit Care Med. 2013. PMID: 23262514

    Lee JY, Chung D, Xiao K, Papadopoulos EB, Barker JN, Small TN, Giralt SA, Zheng J, Jakubowski AA, Papanicolaou GA. Adenovirus viremia and disease: comparison of T cell-depleted and conventional hematopoietic stem cell transplantation recipients from a single institution. Biol Blood Marrow Transplant. 2013. PMCID: PMC4049479

    Redelman Sidi G, Iyer G, Solit DB, Glickman MS. Oncogenic activation of Pak1-dependent pathway of macropinocytosis determines BCG entry into bladder cancer cells. Cancer Res. 2013. PMCID: PMC3756537

    Mikati T, Taur Y, Seo SK, Shah MK. International travel patterns and travel risks of patients diagnosed with cancer. J Travel Med. 2013.

    Taur Y, Xavier JB, Lipuma L, Ubeda C, Goldberg J, Gobourne A, Lee YJ, Dubin KA, Socci ND, Viale A, Perales MA, Jenq RR, van den Brink MR, Pamer EG. Intestinal domination and the risk of bacteremia in patients undergoing allogeneic hematopoietic stem cell transplantation. Clin Infect Dis. 2012. PMCID: PMC3657523

    Huang G, Redelman-Sidi G, Rosen N, Glickman MS, Jiang X. Inhibition of mycobacterial infection by the tumor suppressor PTEN. J Biol Chem. 2012. PMCID: PMC3391101

    Gupta R, Barkan D, Redelman-Sidi G, Shuman S, Glickman MS. Mycobacteria exploit three genetically distinct DNA double-strand break repair pathways. Mol Microbiol. 2011. PMCID: PMC3812669

    ABSTRACTS AND ORAL PRESENTATIONS

    Romero A, Seo S, Hohl T, Taur Y. Infections presenting 30 days after Chimeric Antigen Receptor (CAR) Modified T-cells: A single-center experience. ID Society of America (IDSA) conference, October 2016, New Orleans, LA.

    Ostrowsky B, Nori P, Munjal I, del Castillo M, Seo SK. Pooling NYC resources to educate fellows about antimicrobial stewardship and infection prevention and control. IDWeek, October 2015, San Diego, CA.

    How to Apply

    Thank you for your interest in our Infectious Diseases Fellowship program. We accept applications via ERAS. We review all applications regardless of visa status. 

    Contact

    Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center
    Infectious Diseases Fellowship Program
    1275 York Avenue, Box 9
    New York, NY 10065
    212-639-3151 (Phone)
    646-422-2124 (Fax)
    infectious@mskcc.org