Welcome to the Division of
Infectious Disease & International Medicine
Welcome from the Division Director
The mission of the Division of Infectious Disease and International Medicine is to be an internationally outstanding academic center. Our faculty members conduct research, analyze policy, deliver clinical care, and provide specialized training to healthcare providers locally, nationally and internationally. Our goal is to be a resource for infectious disease identification, prevention and treatment issues, including bioterrorism and the emergence of new pathogens.
Douglas A. Holt MD, FACP, IDSA
Director, Division of Infectious Disease & Internal Medicine
Andor Szentivanyi Professor of Medicine, Division of Infectious Disease & Internal Medicine
Director, Hillsborough County Health Department
Congratulations to ID Faculty on Their Recent Promotions!
Ulyee Choe, DO was promoted to Associate Professor.
Dr. Choe is Director of the Florida Department of Health—Pinellas County. He completed his ID Fellowship with our Division in 2011 and became a member of our faculty that same year.
Lynette Menezes, PhD was promoted to Associate Professor.
Dr. Menezes is Assistant VP for International - USF Health and Assistant Dean for International - Morsani College of Medicine. She has been a faculty member with the ID Division since 2005.
Richard Oehler, MD was promoted to Professor.
Dr. Oehler is an attending faculty at James A. Haley VA Hospital and the Director of ID Clinical Education. He is also the co-creator and webmaster for IDPodcasts.net. He has been with the Division since 2002.
Congratulations to the CLASS OF 2017 Infectious Disease Fellowship Program Graduates!
(From L-R) Robert Castro, MD (2017), Olga Klinkova, MD (2017), Beata Casanas, DO (Program Director), Shuchi Pandya, MD (2017), Marijesmar Gonzalez, MD (2017), Tammy Grice (Fellowship Coordinator), Manuel Castro, MD (2017)
Graduating ID Fellows presented an appreciation plaque to Fellowship Program Director, Beata Casanas, DO. The plaque thanked Dr. Casanas for her “passion to teach, unconditional commitment, unwavering support and enduring dedication”.
2017 ID Fellowship graduates, Dr. Shuchi Pandya, and Dr. Olga Klinkova were presented awards at the post-graduation dinner. Dr. Pandya was selected as this year’s recipient of the Jeffrey P. Nadler Award for Excellence in Research. Dr. Klinkova was presented the Outstanding Infectious Disease Fellow award from the James A. Haley VA Hospital ID Faculty.
Shuchi Pandya, MD (L), Olga Klinkova, MD (R)
Congratulations to ID Faculty Member Dr. Todd Wills!
May 8, 2017 marked the start date for the charter class of the Physician Assistant Program at USF Health. Dr. Wills is the assistant dean and founding director of the program. We know the program will be a great success!
Read the USF Health full story here.
ID Podcasts Presents “IDPodcaster Awards” in Celebration of IDPodcasts 10-Year Anniversary!
Click here to see the winning podcasts!
$1.2 Million Zika Clinical Research Network (ZiCRN) Grant Awarded to USF
The Florida Department of Health’s Zika Research Initiative Program has awarded a large grant in the amount of $1,117,413 to the University of South Florida, led by Dr. Thomas B. Casale, Professor of Allergy and Immunology. This grant was written as collaboration between the USF College of Medicine Division of Allergy and Immunology and the Division of Infectious Diseases and International Medicine and the College of Public Health Global Health Infectious Disease Research Program. Principal Investigator Dr. Thomas Casale, professor and expert in the field of immunology, will be collaborating with key faculty from the USF College of Public Health, Dr. Wilbur Milhous and Dr. Thomas Unnasch, as well as key faculty from the Division of Infectious Diseases including Dr. Douglas Holt, Dr. Jamie Morano, Dr. Charurut Somboonwit, Dr. Beata Casanas, and Dr. Seetha Lakshmi. Dr. John Sinnott, Chairman of USF College of Medicine, also serves on the senior board of senior advisory directors.
The Grant is entitled “University of South Florida Integrated Clinical Trial Network Structuring and Enhancement for Execution of Zika Virus Vaccine and Diagnostic Clinical Trials, and testing of other Emerging Infectious Disease (EID) Solutions for Florida.” Taken directly from the grant aims, this initiative will serve to create a nexus of scientific and medical expertise to increase research programs for Zika virus as well as to improve the relationship between clinical investigators and basic research investigators involved in infectious disease research, and thus enhance translational research. It will also strive to increase cross-school collaborations in clinical infectious diseases and especially ZIKV research both within USF and throughout Florida. It will also engage residents, graduate students and pre-doctoral students in clinical investigations so as to foster the development of the next generation of physician scientists and healthcare researchers.
ID Podcasts Celebrates its 10th Anniversary!
The Division of Infectious Disease’s groundbreaking educational podcast platform, ID Podcasts, is celebrating its 10th anniversary. Founded in 2007, at the dawn of the podcast era (YouTube was founded in 2005, TED Online in 2006), as a collaboration between current chairman of the Department of Internal Medicine, Dr. John Sinnott, and Associate Professor, Dr. Richard Oehler, the platform originated as a website (http://www.idpodcasts.net) in 2007. We posted our first podcast, “A Tour of the Medical Wing of the London Museum of Science,” on June 29th, 2007.
Over the past ten years, we have expanded to include iTunes podcast series (2007), Smartphone and Tablet apps (Apple and Android, 2009), and Youtube, Facebook and Twitter sites (2012 to present).
We now offer over 200 podcasts in multiple disciplines of medical and infectious disease practice, including the history of medicine, HIV/AIDS care, public health, tropical medicine, hospital-acquired infections, STDs, infections in the immunocompromised, and others.
The best part about IDPodcasts for its listeners is that all resources are FREE and available to all! This is due to the passion for teaching and a commitment to share knowledge on the part of its founders, and especially, the infectious disease faculty and affiliated presenters who contribute to our expanding library.
In 2017, we released new state of the art apps for smartphones and tablets for both Apple and Android users. For 2018, we are initiating new international language podcasts, including two newly created episodes in collaboration with the Universidad CES in Medellin, Colombia. This should include the inauguration of our new “ID Podcasts International” YouTube Channel.
Our IDPodcasts Youtube Channel currently has amassed nearly 600,000 lifetime views and more than 3,000 subscribers from more than 200 countries and principalities across the globe!
Click here to view a recent USF Health article on our podcast site.
October 2016 News
Microbiology Rounds Big Screen at Moffitt Cancer Center
Monthly interdisciplinary microbiology plate rounds are co-directed by Dr. Aliyah Baluch (Division of Infectious Diseases) and Dr. Ramon Sandin (Department of Pathology). Both the Moffitt and James A. Haley VA Hospital ID groups, Pathology and Internal Medicine at Moffitt have been participating in Joint Microbiology rounds. Cases are presented from a clinical perspective and then segue into the microbiology / pathology correlation. Discussing cutting edge technology is a large part of microbiology rounds especially in the presence of new multiplex PCRs changing the face of the field. With the addition of a large screen monitor to complement the microbiology rounds, the group continues to teach a variety of scenarios from bread and butter infections to rare molds and viral infections.
Our long awaited Android and OIS updates for smartphone/tablet apps have been released! They feature updated, modern interface, a favorite option - playlist integration, force touch (IOS), and even Apple Watch compatibility.
Our YouTube page now has 550,000 lifetime views and more than 3000 subscribers, and we just recently posted our 200th podcast!
Dr. Ana Velez and Dr. Richard Oehler are working on a new international podcast channel on YouTube with foreign language podcasts in Spanish and Hindi. They are working with the Universidad CES in Medellin, Colombia on translating Spanish language podcasts. Also, USF Infectious Disease Fellow Shuchi Pandya is working on translating her podcast on SST Infections into Hindi.
Click here to discover our idPodcasts now!
USF ID Faculty and Fellows Represent the Division at National Conference
In October, USF ID faculty and fellows attended the annual IDWeek held by the Infectious Disease Society of America (IDSA). The event was held October 26-30 in New Orleans and featured conferences, ID topic updates and research presentations. Several of our faculty and fellows were invited to present their abstract posters.
“Infections Caused by Live Vaccines” by Manuel Castro, MD (ID Fellow - pictured), Shuchi Pandya, MD (ID Fellow - pictured), and John Greene, MD (ID Faculty)
“VaccineLink/La Conexion de Salud: Successful Innovations with Vaccine Health Navigation to Identify and Overcome Vaccination Barriers in Underserved Communities” by Jamie Morano, MD (ID Faculty), and Manuel Castro, MD (ID Fellow - pictured)
“Wrong Time, Wrong Place – A Hospital-Associated Outbreak of Influenza A in the Summer” by Richard Oehler, MD (ID Faculty - pictured), John Toney, MD (ID Faculty), Sandra Gompf, MD (ID Faculty) and Vivian Vega, MD (ID Faculty)
An Immunocompetent Male Patient with Dysphagia and Odynophagia” by Shuchi Pandya, MD (ID Fellow - pictured), Sadaf Aslam, MD (ID Faculty), and John Greene, MD (ID Faculty)
(Pictured (L-R): Manuel Castro, MD (Fellow), Beata Casanas, DO (ID Fellowship Program Director), Aliyah Baluch, MD (Faculty), Richard Oehler, MD (Faculty), Shuchi Pandya (Fellow), Jeniffer Torres-Velazco, MD (Past Fellow)
SEPTEMBER 2016 News
In 2009, ID faculty member Dr. Sandra Gompf and and her husband, pediatric hospitalist Dr. Timothy Gompf lost their son, Philip, to Primary Amoebic Meningo-encephalitis (PAM) after he swam in untreated recreational freshwater in Polk County. Since their loss, the Gompfs and other parents bereaved by PAM conferenced several times with CDC officials of the Waterborne Disease Prevention Branch about raising awareness. The Gompfs created the awareness website Amoeba-Season.com and an awareness video featuring the Gompf’s story and prevention tips followed. The campaign is supported by the USF Foundation at Philip T Gompf Memorial Fund for ID Research and Education.
This September the USF ID Summer is Amoeba Season project joined the Jordan Smelski Amoeba Awareness Foundation at the American Academy of Pediatrics 2016 conference. Held in San Francisco, over 10,000 pediatricians and health professionals attend every year. Sharing a booth in the Exhibit Hall, the Gompfs and Steve Smelski shared their personal experiences with over 1,000 pediatricians, pediatric nurses, and other professionals who stopped to learn about PAM, prevention, diagnosis, and treatment.
AUGUST 2016 News
Congratulations to Beata Casanas, DO who was recognized this year as a distinguished physician by being elected to Fellowship in the Infectious Disease Society of America (IDSA). The Fellowship in IDSA honors those who have achieved professional excellence and provided significant service to their profession.
Congratulations to Charurut Somboonit, MD who was promoted to Professor and Dr. Sally Alrabaa, MD who was promoted to Associate Professor in the Department of Internal Medicine, Division of Infectious Disease and International Medicine.
Dr. Ana Velez recently returned from Medellin, Columbia where she met with the Dean and President of CES University, and the Chief of Staff at Hospital Santa Clara/Clinica Noel, and administrators at the Tropical Instituto of Medicine in Medellin and Apartado, where they discussed the development of the following programs; 1) a clinical elective and microbiology rotation for USF medical students, residents and ID fellows, 2) an international tropical medicine course for healthcare workers, and 3) a collaboration between the Hospital Santa Clara/Clinica Noel and Shriner’s Hospital to help children in need of complex surgeries.
In addition, Dr. Velez presented two lectures; “Neutropenic Fever” for the 3rd and 4th year medical students, interns, residents and attendings at the Hospital General and the Clinica CES-Prado, and “Antimicrobials Basic Concepts” for 2nd year medical students at CES University
Below is a link to a (Spanish language) testimonial Dr. Velez did for the CES University’s “de Regreso a Casa”.
Welcome Seetha Lakshmi, MD who joined the Faculty of the Division of Infectious Disease & International Medicine in August 2016. Dr. Lakshmi completed her Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery at Mysore Medical College in India. She received her MD from the Cleveland Clinic in Weston, FL and recently completed her Infectious Disease Fellowship at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine/Jackson Memorial Hospital.
JUNE 2016 News
John Greene, MD received the Outstanding Resident Teaching Award at Moffitt presented at the USF Health Morsani College of Medicine Internal Medicine Residency Program Graduation Ceremony on June 2, 2016. This award reflects his fortitude of involving both residents and students in all things - he exemplifies the characteristics of the Teacher Clinician. Dr. Greene also celebrates 25 years with the Division of Infectious Disease and International Medicine.
Congratulations to the ID Fellowship Graduates 2016!
At the awards ceremony following graduation, ID Fellow, Minh Ho, DO, received the first ever annual Jeffrey Nadler Award for Excellence in Research. This award was created this year in honor of Dr. Jeffrey Nadler who was a USF ID Faculty member for 19 years. He oversaw clinical trials that helped lead to the development of more than 20 antiviral drugs now routinely used to treat patients with HIV and was a lead investigator for one of the earliest human studies of an HIV vaccine. Dr. Nadler passed away in 2010. Dr. Nadler's wife, Connie Nadler was there to present the award to Dr. Ho.
Also at the ceremony ID Fellow, Dr. Kelly Kynaston was presented the annual Outstanding Infectious Disease Fellow Award from the Moffitt Cancer Center ID faculty.
USF ID physicians will now consult with Clear Health Alliance, a Medicaid plan with a designated specialty in HIV/AIDS, to provide coordinated quality care to HIV/AIDS patients at the Department of Heath – Hillsborough County Speciality Care Clinic. Click here to learn more about this new partnership and what it means for Floridians living with HIV/AIDS.
On July 9th, a new mobile app was released that focuses on the management of candidemia. Dr. Oehler collaborated with Astellas, an anti-infective pharmaceutical company, to develop this free app, titled "Management of Candidemia in the Stewardship Era".This app provides information on the identification, diagnosis, and management of candidemia in high risk patients. The app can be downloaded from iTunes and is compatible with the iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch.
On July 3rd, Dr. Douglas Holt appeared on a Bay News 9 segment about reports of Legionnaires' disease (a severe form of bacterial pneumonia) in individuals living at a local retirement center. Dr. Holt discussed symptoms, sources of infection, and treatment options.
On May 31st, Dr. Ulyee Choe was appointed Director of the Polk County Health Department (PCHD). Dr. Choe is an Assistant Professor with the USF Health Division of Infectious Disease & International Medicine and had been serving as the Interim Director for PCHD since November, 2012.
Want to watch IDPodcasts on your iPhone or iPad? Download the free app from the iTunes store by clicking here! Version 2.2 was just released and supports the following:
- Podcasts recorded after March 1, 2013 now stream over Wi-Fi/3G/4G, so you can enjoy our podcasts outside of WiFi enabled areas (standard data plan usage applies)
- iPhone, iPad, and iPad Mini retina display compatible
- Faster, higher quality, more reliable streaming, especially with 3G/4G connectivity
- Thumbnail enhancements
Check out our most recent ID podcasts:
Syndromes that Masquerade as Infections
Top 10 Infectious Diseases of All Time
Fecal Microbiota Transplantation
The Multistate Fungal Meningitis Outbreak of 2012-2013
Dr. Richard Oehler, co-founder of IDPodcasts.net, recently received an Educational Excellence Award for Innovation in Teaching at the USF Morsani College of Medicine. Since IDPodcasts.net first launched in 2007, it has garnered over 26,000 page views from individuals in 100 countries. Approximately 4,000 people have downloaded the IDPocasts mobile apps since their initial release 2010. Currently the IDPodcasts YouTube channel, established in 2012, has 360 subscribers and 68,000 views! Honored at the USF Morsani College of Medicine commencement dinner for medical students on May 9th, 2013, Dr. Oehler’sdedication to teaching and innovative use of technology to advance medical care and education was celebrated!
Have you seen our featured podcasts? USF ID received a grant from Optimer pharmaceuticals to produce two podcasts for the support, diagnosis, and treatment of Clostridium difficile infection. These two educational podcasts highlight the use of Fidaxomicin (Dificid) as a treatment agent.
Click here to watch the podcasts recorded by Dr. Sally Alrabaa.
April is designated ‘STD Awareness Month’ and the USF Health HIV Clinical Research Unit helped raise awareness by hosting its second annual STD Awareness Day. Held at the Florida Department of Health – Hillsborough County on April 29th, 2013, they offered free STD & HIV testing and educational materials to anyone age 12 and older who stopped by the event!
Tampa Bay’s ABC Action News recently interviewed Division Director Dr. Douglas Holt on a new and severe strain of norovirus impacting the Tampa Bay Area. The Sydney norovirus, commonly known as the stomach flu, appears to have higher rates of transmission and hospitalization, therefore posing a greater threat to the young, elderly, and otherwise immunocompromised.
Dr. Douglas A. Holt, Andor Szentivanyi Professor of Medicine, succeeds Dr. John Sinnott as Director of USF Health's Division of Infectious Disease & International Medicine. Dr. Holt served as Associate Director of the division since 2006.
Dr. John T. Sinnott, Director of Infectious Disease & International Medicine and Associate Dean of USF Medicine International has been appointed Chairman of the Department of Internal Medicine at USF Health's Morsani College of Medicine, effective December 1st. Dr. Sinnott will be the third person to serve as Chairman for the largest department within the USF Health Morsani College of Medicine.
Dr. Sinnott has been a part of USF for nearly 30 years. He became a faculty member in 1983 after he completed his residency in internal medicine and fellowship training in infectious diseases & tropical medicine at USF. In 1991, Dr. Sinnott was selected Director of the Division of Infectious Disease & International Medicine.
As Director, Dr. Sinnott brought in federally funded research grants, trained countless subspecialists and students, created international training programs, established global partnerships, and helped create mobile healthcare education applications such as ID Podcasts and MD Stats. To read the full press release, click here.
Learn about our Fellowship rotation sites.
Read alumni comments on the Fellowship Program page.
- July 1, 2017: Applicants complete applications and start applying
- July 15, 2017: PostOffice opens to programs to begin downloading applications
- July-November 2017: Interviews conducted
- October 15, 2017: Application deadline
- Match results available: TBD
- We will consider sponsoring an H1 visa for highly qualified applicants (Steps 1 and 2 greater than 460 and passing score on Step 2CS on first attempt).
- Potential candidates can access applications through the AAMC/ERAS website
Academic Office: (813) 844-4187
1 Tampa General Circle Rm G323
Tampa, FL 33606
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