Washington University School of Medicine provides a unique and dynamic environment for fellows to pursue clinical and basic sciences research in infectious diseases. The hospitals in the training program operate nearly 1,500 acute care beds, averaging more than 50,000 hospital admissions annually. These hospitals serve as tertiary care academic referral centers for many patients in the state of Missouri and throughout the Midwest. The Barnes-Jewish Consortium HealthCare network encompasses 13 hospitals throughout Missouri and southern Illinois, including Barnes-Jewish Hospital, assuring a continued and robust referral base in this era of managed care. An extensive health information technology program developed by faculty within the Division of Infectious Diseases in association with others in the Department of Medicine and Division of Biostatistics provides a powerful tool for studying patient outcomes and hospital epidemiology.
The Division of Infectious Diseases operates a NIH-supported AIDS Clinical Trials Unit (ACTU), with more than 200 new patients enrolled in clinical trials annually. The presence of the ACTU, coupled with an active outpatient HIV clinic that follows approximately 875 HIV-positive patients, offers many clinical research opportunities in HIV disease and AIDS (including training in the design and conduct of clinical trials) as well as the opportunity for training in state-of-the-art care for HIV-positive patients. Collaborative research opportunities with investigators conducting clinical and laboratory research in HIV-related virology, neurology, hepatology and malignancy are also available, as are active clinical research and training programs in sexually transmitted diseases and tuberculosis.
The Clinical Research Training Center (CRTC), a component of the Washington University Institute of Clinical and Translational Sciences (ICTS), provides didactic curriculum and mentored training in clinical and translational research for predoctoral students, house-staff, postdoctoral fellows, and junior faculty. Past infectious diseases fellows have been successful in competing for admission to the Postdoctoral Program (K30) and subsequent institutional career development award programs (KL2, KM1) in clinical, translational, and comparative effectiveness research .
The basic research laboratories of the fellowship training program operate with the philosophy that investigations into the pathogenesis of infectious diseases are carried out at the highest possible molecular resolution. Laboratories are focused on investigations into the pathogenesis of bacterial, fungal, parasitic, viral, and mycobacterial diseases and the host immunologic responses which control these infections. Washington University has a highly collaborative research environment and fellows are welcome to join a lab in any department or division in the University. Fellows have joined labs in other clinical divisions in Internal Medicine, including pulmonary, hematology-oncology, renal, gastrointestinal, and allergy divisions. Fellows have also joined labs in other departments, including Microbiology, Pathology and Immunology, and Genetics. Fellows in basic research training are traditionally supported by the Division’s NIH-sponsored Infectious Diseases/Basic Microbial Pathogenesis Training Grant. Additional funding opportunities are available through the Biodefense Clinical/Translational Research Fellowship program, sponsored by the Midwest Regional Center of Excellence for Biodefense and Emerging Infectious Diseases (MRCE), as well as numerous private organizations, including the Doris Duke Foundation and Burroughs-Wellcome. Our fellows have also been very successful in competing for extramural funding through the NIH, including obtaining K08 and K23 awards. Washington University is also home to a premier Medical Science Training Program (MSTP) whose mission is to train future leaders in medicine and science.