Infectious Diseases - Faculty

Nicole E. Alexander, MD
Assistant Professor of Pediatrics & Medicine

Assistant Professor of Pediatrics and Medicine in the Divisions of Pediatric and Adult Infectious Diseases at Brown University and serves as Medical Director of the Office of HIV/AIDS and Viral Hepatitis at the Rhode Island Department of Health. Her research interests include implementation of public health strategies, health care disparities, and access to care. Dr. Alexander's translational efforts informed removal of the written consent barrier to HIV testing among pregnant women, and then in all health care settings. Combining academic and prevention program activities, current projects include assessing national databases to characterize linkage to HIV care for previously incarcerated persons of color, as well as utilizing phylogenetics to enhance HIV partner notification services at the public health level.

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Curt G. Beckwith, MD
Associate Professor of Medicine

An Infectious Diseases physician with an expertise in HIV, correctional health, and linkage and retention in care. He has a background conducting research within the incarcerated setting and experience in developing and implementing HIV testing and linkage programs for incarcerated and other at-risk populations.

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Angela M. Caliendo, MD, PhD
Chief, Division of General Internal Medicine
Executive Vice Chair, Department of Medicine

Dr. Caliendo has extensive experience performing and developing molecular diagnostic tests for the detection and quantification of infectious diseases, including the design and execution of multi-center clinical studies. She has chaired working groups that have evaluated various CMV, HCV, and HBV viral load assays and her laboratory provides infrastructure and molecular testing for numerous multi-center clinical studies. She also is a member of the Aspergillus Technology Consortium, which is an NIH funded contract created to establish a repository of clinical specimens from subjects diagnosed with or at risk of Aspergillus infections and to test new diagnostic assays for Aspergillus infections. Dr. Caliendo is an Editor for the Journal of Clinical Microbiology and Associate Editor for the Journal of Clinical Virology. She has published over 100 peer-reviewed manuscripts covering various topics in clinical and diagnostic virology and microbiology.


Charles C.J. Carpenter, MD
Professor of Medicine

Directs the NIH-funded Lifespan/Tufts/Brown Center for AIDS Research and has served as co-author on the International AIDS Society-USA and the DHHS Guidelines on HIV Treatment. He is an investigator of the CDC-funded SUN Study to assess the natural history of HIV infection in the era of highly active antiretroviral therapy.

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E. Jane Carter, MD
Associate Professor of Medicine

An expert in both domestic and international TB control as well as direct TB care. Dr. Carter is the director of the Brown Kenya Exchange program- Brown residents, students and faculty rotate to the Moi University Faculty of Health Sciences in Eldoret, Kenya and Kenyan students, residents and faculty study and work at Brown under this program.

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Philip A. Chan, MD
Assistant Professor of Medicine

Assistant Professor of Medicine at Brown University and attending physician in infectious diseases at The Miriam Hospital and Rhode Island Hospital in Providence, Rhode Island. Dr. Chan is funded by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID, 1K23AI096923-01) to study the molecular epidemiology of HIV transmission networks. This translational research includes aspects of behavioral medicine, HIV prevention, molecular genetics, and bioinformatics.

Title: HIV transmission networks in New England
Phylogenetic and molecular epidemiology analyses on HIV transmission networks and associated behaviors in New England. Collaboration with the Brown Center for Computational Molecular Biology and Center for Statistical Sciences.

Molecular Epidemiology of HIV Transmission Networks (NIAID-K23AI096923) - Assessing the impact of HIV in the state population -Evaluating HIV sequence diversity and drug resistance -Using phylogeny to understand transmission networks in the region -Contribution of viral sequence diversity to different aspects of HIV infection -Creation of a blood specimen repository for future genomic studies.

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Mia Coetzer, PhD
Assistant Professor of Medicine (Research)

Joined the faculty from The Scripps Research Institute, La Jolla, CA, where her research focused on HIV viral entry and human endogenous retroviruses. As a molecular biologist she has experience in nucleic acid based method development such as single genome sequencing and next generation sequencing; molecular and tissue culture techniques; as well as protein expression systems and advanced training in sequence analysis.

Title: HIV minority variant drug resistance
Development of sensitive assays to detect minor resistance variants. Development of bioinformatic methods to analyze large datasets of next generation sequencing platforms. Development of HIV quasispecies reconstruction methods.


Jeffrey Coleman, PhD
Assistant Professor in Medicine (Research)

Dr. Coleman's research involves the identification and development of compounds with antifungal efficacy and/or immuno-modulatory activity. Other research focuses on the fungal pathogenicity factors of Candida, Cryptococcus, and Fusarium, and their mechanisms conferring resistance to clinically relevant agents.


Cheston B. Cunha, MD
Assistant Professor of Medicine

Dr. Cheston Cunha joined the Division of Infectious Diseases in July of 2014. He is an attending in adult infectious diseases at The Miriam Hospital and Rhode Island Hospital. He is an Assistant Professor of Medicine at Brown University Alpert School of Medicine. Dr. Cunha obtained his medical degree from the Pennsylvania State University College of Medicine in Hershey, Pennsylvania. He completed his residency in Internal Medicine at Brown University at the Rhode Island Hospital and Miriam Hospital. He also completed his fellowship in Infectious Disease at Brown University. Dr. Cunha's clinical and research interests include general infectious diseases, antimicrobial therapy, ancient plagues, fever of unknown origin (FUO), and zoonoses. He serves as associate editor of the book Antibiotic Essentials. Dr. Cunha is currently the Coordinator of the Rhode Island Hospital and Miriam Hospital Antimicrobial Stewardship Program.

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Susan Cu-Uvin, MD
Professor of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Professor of Medicine

Director of the Global Health Initiative at Brown University. Dr. Cu-Uvin is the Principal Investigator of Brown/Tufts Fogarty AIDS Training Research Program, co-PI of an RO1 (HD072693) to assess the effect of reproductive hormones on HIV acquisition. She is the PI of the Brown Multidisciplinary Framework in Global Health. She was NIH funded to assess antiviral therapy and HIV in the female genital tract (RO1AI40350) for 10 years. She is the Principal Investigator of a CFAR/Pepfar supplement to assess the best follow up for HIV infected women in Western Kenya undergoing visual inspection with acetic acid and cryotherapy for cervical neoplasia.

Reproductive Hormones and HIV-1 Transmission. The goal of this project is to determine whether endogenous/exogenous hormones impact HIV-1 transmission. Several cohorts of HIV-1 uninfected women are being recruited and followed before/after starting birth control Cervical and vaginal biopsies are being performed and tissue are challenged with HIV-1 ex vivo In this manner, we will be able to determine whether reproductive hormones influence HIV-1 susceptibility of mucosal tissues in the female genital tract.

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Erika M. D'Agata, MD, MPH
Associate Professor of Medicine

Dr. Erika D'Agata joined the Division of Infectious Diseases in September 2014. Her research focuses on the transmission dynamics of multidrug-resistant organisms in a variety of healthcare settings, including dialysis units and long-term care facilities. Her research focuses on characterizing and quantifying the most effective prevention strategies aimed at minimizing their spread, using both clinical epidemiological methods and mathematical modeling.


Staci A. Fischer, MD
Associate Professor of Medicine

A nationally recognized expert on infections among solid organ transplant recipients and infections transmitted with organ and tissue donation. Studies are ongoing evaluating the risk of infection with new immunosuppressive medications, tracking donor-transmitted infections, and the effect of immunosuppression on chronic hepatitis C in renal transplant recipients.

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Timothy P. Flanigan, MD
Professor of Medicine

Served as Chief of Infectious Diseases at the Miriam and Rhode Island Hospitals from June 1999 until June 2012. In 1991 he came to join Dr. Charles Carpenter to lead the HIV and AIDS Program. He spearheaded the HIV Care Program at the Rhode Island Department of Corrections and has received NIH funding to develop improved treatments for HIV infection. In particular, he has initiated an innovative program of community based support to improve HIV treatment among marginalized communities.

The Infectious Diseases Division at Miriam and Rhode Island Hospitals

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Mary Flynn, RD
Associate Professor of Medicine (Clinical)

A nutritionist who works for The Miriam Hospital, one of the Brown Medical School teaching hospitals. She works in human nutrition research and teaches courses in nutrition at Brown University in the undergraduate program and lectures on nutrition in the medical school. Her main research interest is how food is related to the development and treatment of chronic diseases. She has developed a plant-based, olive oil (PBOO) diet that is moderate in fat content, with the fat mainly from extra virgin olive oil and uses foods that the literature suggests will improve health.

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Beth Burgwyn Fuchs, PhD
Assistant Professor in Medicine (Research)

Dr. Fuchs Joined the faculty from Massachusetts General Hospital, where she completed her post-doctoral training. Dr. Fuchs studies fungal pathogenesis and has a particular interest in the cell wall. She screens fungal mutant libraries to identify genes required for virulence and has also worked to identify antifungal and immunomodulatory compounds using high throughput automated technologies. Most recently, her research endeavors have been focused on developing new technologies to aid in fungal diagnostics.


Adrian F. Gardner, MD
Adjunct Assistant Professor Medicine

Currently an Adjunct Assistant Professor Medicine at Indiana University School of Medicine, a Visiting Lecturer at Moi University School of Medicine, and he works full time in Eldoret, Kenya as Executive Field Director of the AMPATH (Academic Model Providing Access to Healthcare) Consortium (www.ampathkenya.org). Along with his Kenyan counterparts, he helps provide leadership for this large, multi-cultural organization, overseeing improvement and implementation of health systems in Western Kenya. Adrian has a particular interest in Tuberculosis and HIV program development, implementation research in TB/HIV domestically and in international settings, and medical education in global health.


Fizza Gillani, PhD
Assistant Professor of Medicine (Research)

Has been working at the Miriam Immunology Center since 2003. Her major contribution to the division is design, creation, administration and maintenance of the Miriam Immunology Center Database (ICDB). The system originally was created for clinical use, government reporting and research purposes and served its purpose very well. However, in December, 2011, the MIC acquired an Electronic Medical Records System (by the eClinical Works Vendor).

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Stephen H. Gregory, PhD
Associate Professor of Medicine (Research)

Has a longstanding research interest in the factors that affect liver inflammation, injury and the pathogenesis of liver disease. Current efforts in the laboratory are focused on therapeutic vaccination strategies to elicit viral clearance in chronic, HCV-infected patients using dendritic cells as a vaccine carrier. Hepatitis C is an emerging infectious disease caused by hepatitis C virus (HCV). HCV is a principal cause of chronic hepatitis, liver cirrhosis and hepatocellular carcinoma.

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Joseph Harwell, MD
Clinical Associate Professor of Medicine and Pediatrics

Has been working with the Clinton Health Access Initiative (CHAI) to help national governments develop and strengthen HIV treatment programs, largely financed through the Global Fund and PEPFAR, and to help them run more efficiently and effectively. His primary focus has been in Asia, where he served as the Regional Clinical Officer for the CHAI country programs in Cambodia, China, Indonesia, Papua New Guinea, and Vietnam. These programs have had particular emphases on children and rural areas, where the economic, structural, and technical barriers to care and treatment are considerable.

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Austin Huang, PhD
Assistant Professor of Medicine (Research)

Dr. Huang conducts research to understand drug resistance evolution through statistical and biophysical models of protein mutations as well as computational tools for analyzing large sequence datasets. His current interdisciplinary research has focused on antiretroviral therapy treatment of HIV. This ongoing work aims to enable the application of next generation sequencing technologies to HIV and provide new approaches to large-scale computational molecular epidemiology.

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Title: HIV minority variant drug resistance
Development of sensitive assays to detect minor resistance variants. Development of bioinformatic methods to analyze large datasets of next generation sequencing platforms. Development of HIV quasispecies reconstruction methods.


Rami Kantor, MD
Associate Professor of Medicine

Dr. Kantor's research is multidisciplinary and incorporates bioinformatics, sequence and phylogenetic analyses, databases and data management, as well as clinical and basic laboratory research. His research focus is on HIV molecular epidemiology, and the evolution of resistance to antiretroviral medications in different subtypes and recombinant forms of HIV, locally and around the world. He actively works in Kenya, Ghana, Thailand, China and India. He directs the HIV drug resistance research laboratory at the Miriam Hospital where he also studies diverse analytes and techniques to examine drug resistance evolution.

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Title: HIV transmission networks in New England
Phylogenetic and molecular epidemiology analyses on HIV transmission networks and associated behaviors in New England. Collaboration with the Brown Center for Computational Molecular Biology and Center for Statistical Sciences.

Title: HIV diversity and drug resistance in resource limited settings
Investigate HIV diversity and drug resistance in global settings such as Kenya, Ghana, Ethiopia, Cape Verde, Israel, India, China, Thailand and Cambodia. Collaboration with investigators in the foreign countries to design and execute studies to examine drug resistance in different settings. Training of foreign investigators in HIV drug resistance testing, analysis, interpretation and collaboration with ACTG investigators.

Title: HIV minority variant drug resistance
Development of sensitive assays to detect minor resistance variants. Development of bioinformatic methods to analyze large datasets of next generation sequencing platforms. Development of HIV quasispecies reconstruction methods.

Title: Point of care device for HIV drug resistance testing.
Develop a point of care device for HIV drug resistance testing, to be used in resource limited settings using microfluidics. Collaboration with the Brown School of Engineering. Development of laboratory assays to identify specific HIV common drug resistance mutations. Incorporation of assays not a chip device.

Title: Monitoring of HIV care with limited resources
Develop statistical methods to monitor HIV infected patients with limited resources of viral load testing. Collaboration with international investigators and use of large datasets.

Title: HIV drug resistance in the genital tract
Examination of HIV plasma and genital tract drug resistance diversity in Indian women; collaboration with Indian investigators. Examination of HIV plasma and genital tract drug resistance diversity in the US; collaboration with ACTG investigators.

Title: HIV diversity and drug resistance in the Immunology clinic in RI
Curation of and HIV sequence database from the Immunology clinic. Investigation of HIV diversity and drug resistance in adults and children in RI.

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Bettina M. Knoll, MD, PhD
Assistant Professor of Medicine

Dr. Bettina Knoll is an infectious diseases physician at The Miriam Hospital and Rhode Island Hospital, and is an Assistant Professor of Medicine at Brown University. Dr. Knoll obtained her medical degree and PhD at the Charité University Medicine Berlin, Germany. She completed her residency in internal medicine at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester Minnesota, and commenced a general infectious diseases fellowship at the Mayo Clinic and University of Minnesota thereafter. She subsequently completed a two year transplant infectious diseases fellowship at the Massachusetts General Hospital, the Brigham & Women's Hospital, and the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute in Boston, Massachusetts, where she participated in the care for kidney, liver, pancreas, islet cell, heart, lung, composite tissue, hematopoietic stem cell transplant recipients, and immunocompromised patients in the setting of cancer treatment.


Erna Milunka Kojic, MD
Associate Professor of Medicine

Directs the CDC-funded SUN study to assess the natural history of HIV infection in the era of highly active antiretroviral therapy. Her research focuses on HPV infections among HIV-positive women and the development of squamous cell carcinomas in the genital tract. She is co-Founder of the 1st Menopause Clinic for HIV+ Women in the US based in the Miriam Immunology Center, a Brown University affiliate.

The Infectious Diseases Division at Miriam and Rhode Island Hospitals

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Awewaura Kwara, MD, MPH
Associate Professor of Medicine

Dr. Kwara's research has focused on HIV and TB coinfection and improved co-treatment of the two infections in the same individual. The treatment of TB and HIV often require the co-administration of 7 or more different drugs. Individual differences in drug metabolism, drug-drug, as well as drug-gene interactions may lead to ineffective therapy due to low drug concentrations or toxicities due to high drug concentrations of some of the drugs.

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Michelle A. Lally, MD
Associate Professor of Medicine

A translational researcher who focuses on HIV prevention among youth. Her work has supported the exploration and identification of genetic and proteomic factors associated with HIV acquisition and control. She has conducted numerous clinical trials of candidate HIV and HPV vaccines. Other interests include novel approaches to HIV testing, HIV prevention through the use of antiretrovirals, and collaborative community engagement to support HIV prevention and treatment efforts through structural change.

Proteomic Determinants of HIV-1 Replication
The goal of this project is to determine whether the host proteome influences the activity of the integrated HIV-1 provirus in vivo. Host proteomes of individuals with various levels of plasma HIV-1 are being compared by the technique of SILAC before MS based quantification. Identified proteins are subsequently over/under expressed in HIV-1 reporter cells to identify their HIV-1 specific effects, if any.

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Jerome M. Larkin, MD
Assistant Professor of Medicine

Currently serves as the director of the inpatient Infectious Diseases consult service at Rhode Island Hospital. He is also co-director off the global health pathway in the Departments of Internal Medicine and Pediatrics. Additional academic and research interests include home-based intravenous antibiotic therapy, tick related infections and HIV infection in children and adults. He has served as a Clinical Mentor in HIV education for health care workers with Clinton Health Access Initiative of the William Jefferson Clinton Foundation.

The Infectious Diseases Division at Miriam and Rhode Island Hospitals


Ming Li, PhD
Assistant Professor of Medicine (Research)

Has focused on understanding extracellular vesicles (eMVs) mediated protein signal transduction by combining mass spectrometry based methods with various biochemical and molecular biology techniques. He's also interested in exploring the roles of HIV-1 host dependency factors (HDFs) under different external "stresses."

Proteomic Determinants of HIV-1 Replication
The goal of this project is to determine whether the host proteome influences the activity of the integrated HIV-1 provirus in vivo. Host proteomes of individuals with various levels of plasma HIV-1 are being compared by the technique of SILAC before MS based quantification. Identified proteins are subsequently over/under expressed in HIV-1 reporter cells to identify their HIV-1 specific effects, if any.

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John R. Lonks, MD
Associate Professor of Medicine

Has explored the mechanism of pneumococcal resistance, particularly as it pertains to macrolide antibiotics. This program has characterized the clinical failure of therapy with macrolides among individuals with invasive pneumococcus treated with macrolide antibiotics.


Leonard Mermel, DO, ScM
Professor of Medicine

Is focused on understanding the epidemiology, pathogenesis, and prevention of healthcare-associated infections using in vitro models, as well as designing and performing clinical trials. Much of this work deals with intravascular catheter-related infections. Additionally, his research has also involved understanding the epidemiology of multi-drug resistant pathogens in the hospital and community setting using case-control or cohort studies.

Risk factors for GI tract colonization with extended-spectrum beta-lactamase and carbapenemase-producing bacteria in skilled nursing facility patients.

We are determining the incidence of colonization with these organisms detected on admission to acute care hospitals. We are performing a case-control study to determine risk factors for such colonization.

Is there a predominance of Gram -Negative bloodstream infections in countries with warmer climates?

We are investigating bloodstream infections at medical centers around the globe to determine if the likelihood of Gram-negative vs. Gram-positive bacteremia correlates with latitude and if so, what other factors may impact on this relationship.

Novel antimicrobial agents for use in antimicrobial catheter lock solutions

We are working with partners in industry to investigate the efficacy of novel antimicrobial catheter lock solutions in an in vitro catheter lock model.

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Maria D. Mileno, MD
Associate Professor of Medicine

Has been Director of the Travel Medicine Service at the Miriam Hospital for the past 18 years. Dr. Mileno enjoys teaching medical students, house staff and ID fellows in the clinical management of HIV-infected persons as well as general infectious disease consultations, and has been honored with teaching awards for these activities. She is an active member of the International Society of Travel Medicine and the American Society of Tropical medicine and Hygiene. Her research interests include returned travelers with illness and care of immunocompromised travelers. She writes on these subjects in numerous publications and is an associate editor of the Travel Medicine Advisor.

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Brian Montague, DO
Assistant Professor of Medicine

A clinical provider of HIV and viral hepatitis care at the Miriam Hospital and other community sites and manages Ryan White funded HIV care programs at the Miriam and Rhode Island Hospitals. As co-chair of the Miriam Hospital Ambulatory Quality Council and Immunology Center quality improvement committee, he has played a key in initiatives to enhance care delivery and support care transitions for persons with chronic infectious diseases in RI. His academic interests lie in global health education, implementation science related to comprehensive care delivery for HIV, viral hepatitis, and other significant coinfections.

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Eleftherios Mylonakis, MD
Professor of Medicine
Chief of Infectious Diseases at Rhode Island Hospital and The Miriam Hospital

Dr. Mylonakis is internationally recognized for his research on the study of host and microbial factors of infection and the discovery of antimicrobial agents, or substances that kill or inhibit the growth of microorganisms such as bacteria or fungi. His research has received support from the National Institutes of Health and the Ellison Medical Foundation and he has published more than 150 peer-reviewed scientific articles and book chapters. Mylonakis, who has edited five books on infectious diseases, is also the founding editor-in-chief of Virulence, an international, peer-reviewed journal that focuses on microbial infections and host-pathogen interactions.

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Gerard J. Nau, MD, PhD
Associate Professor of Medicine

Dr. Gerard Nau joined the Division of Infectious Diseases in July of 2014. He is a physician-scientist with interests in innate immunity and genetic predisposition to infections. His laboratory studies host-pathogen interactions and bacterial pathogenesis, and is internationally known for its work on tularemia. The main objective is to translate information from pre-clinical studies into new therapies to treat infectious diseases, especially those caused by antibiotic-resistant bacteria.


Steven M. Opal, MD
Professor of Medicine (Research)

Dr. Opal is the chief of the Infectious Disease Division at Memorial Hospital of RI and co-founder and director of the Ocean State Clinical Coordinating Center at Rhode Island Hospital. His research interests are focused upon the immunopathogenesis of invasive bacterial and viral pathogens and septic shock research. He does primarily translational research from the basic cellular immunology and molecular pathogenesis of bacterial toxins and virulence factors, preclinical models of severe infection, up to late stage phase 2 and phase 3 clinical research investigations. He works on biohazardous pathogens and their rapid molecular diagnosis and treatment. He also helps coordinate and direct international clinical trials in septic shock and severe infection. His work is funded by NIH and industry funding. He is on the writing committee of the Surviving Sepsis Campaign 2012 guidelines publication; the current chair of the International Sepsis Forum; and one of the senior editors of a comprehensive ID textbook, Cohen, Powderly and Opal's Infectious Diseases soon to be in its 4th edition.

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Aurora Pop-Vicas, MD, MPH
Assistant Professor of Medicine

Dr. Pop-Vicas currently serves as the Infection Control Officer for Memorial Hospital of RI, where she is also an adult infectious disease attending. Her research is aimed at preventing health-care associated infections in the elderly, with a focus on the epidemiology of antibiotic resistant pathogens. She also collaborates with the Brown Center for Gerontology and Healthcare Research in the study of influenza related morbidity and influenza vaccine effectiveness in the nursing-home population.


Bharat Ramratnam, MD
Associate Professor of Medicine

Dr. Ramratnam's laboratory works on the pathogenesis of HIV-1 infection. Currently NIH funded projects are focused on better understanding the role of reproductive hormones on HIV-1 transmission (R01HD072693) and determining whether substance abuse alters a cell's capacity to support viral replication (P01AA019072). A separate interest is in better defining the cellular components of atypical responses to HIV such as those observed among individuals who become infected but are able to autonomously control viral replication.

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Proteomic Determinants of HIV-1 Replication
The goal of this project is to determine whether the host proteome influences the activity of the integrated HIV-1 provirus in vivo. Host proteomes of individuals with various levels of plasma HIV-1 are being compared by the technique of SILAC before MS based quantification. Identified proteins are subsequently over/under expressed in HIV-1 reporter cells to identify their HIV-1 specific effects, if any.

Reproductive Hormones and HIV-1 Transmission
The goal of this project is to determine whether endogenous/exogenous hormones impact HIV-1 transmission. Several cohorts of HIV-1 uninfected women are being recruited and followed before/after starting birth control Cervical and vaginal biopsies are being performed and tissue are challenged with HIV-1 ex vivo In this manner, we will be able to determine whether reproductive hormones influence HIV-1 susceptibility of mucosal tissues in the female genital tract.

Alcohol and HIV
The goal of this project is to determine whether alcohol use alters the HIV-1 specific cellular machinery. HIV-1 dependency transcriptomes are being quantified in infected individuals with various levels of alcohol use. Alcohol use is objectively quantified by a PeTH blood test. The overall goal is to better understand the impact that alcohol may have on HIV-1 pathogenesis outside of issues surrounding medication adherence.

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Aadia Rana, MD
Assistant Professor of Medicine

Dr. Rana's primary research focus is evaluating and improving adherence to medical care and treatment among HIV-infected patients, a vital issue which impacts individual health as well as public health. She has several ongoing projects evaluating factors that impact adherence to HIV care and treatment among: patients at the Miriam Hospital Immunology clinic, postpartum HIV-infected women in Mississippi, and postpartum HIV-infected women in Ghana.

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Louis B. Rice, MD
Professor of Medicine
Chairman of Medicine and Joukowsky Family Professor of Medicine
Physician-in-Chief of Medicine at Rhode Island Hospital and The Miriam Hospital

Dr. Rice also serves as the Executive Physician-in-Chief of Medicine at Memorial Hospital of Rhode Island, the Providence Veterans Administration Medical Center and Women & Infants Hospital. In addition, Dr. Rice is the President of University Medicine, Inc. a non-profit, academic, multi-specialty medical group with practice in Providence, RI and its surrounding communities. Dr. Rice is an international authority on antimicrobial resistance in bacteria. His research interests include understanding the mechanisms of antibiotic resistance in bacteria; preventing hospital infections; and developing antibiotic usage strategies that will minimize the emergence and spread of antibiotic resistance.


Josiah D. Rich, MD, MPH
Professor of Medicine and Community Health

Spearheaded work in the state of RI to reduce disease transmission through injection drug use by increasing syringe access through needle exchange programs. His research is on the overlap between infectious diseases and illicit substance use. He is the Principal or Co-investigator on several research grants involving the treatment and prevention of HIV infection. Dr. Rich has advocated for public health policy changes to improve the health of people with addiction, including improving legal access to sterile syringes and increasing drug treatment for incarcerated populations. He is Director and Co-Founder, along with Dr. Scott Allen, of the Center for Prisoner Health and Human Rights at The Miriam Hospital Immunology Center. http://www.prisonerhealth.org/

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Xiaoli Tang, PhD
Assistant Professor of Medicine (Research)

Research interest focusing on the effects of protein modifications on cell functions. He has recently found that acetylation of IFNaR2 regulates the antiviral signal transduction of interferon alpha and phosphorylation of RNAse III enzyme Drosha localizes this protein in the nucleus. He is investigating the influences of Drosha modifications on microRNA biogenesis and its implications in the tumorigenesis and therapy of human cancers.

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Karen T. Tashima, MD
Professor of Medicine

Directs the NIH funded HIV Clinical Trial Unit at The Miriam Hospital to investigate new therapies for HIV, hepatitis C and novel approaches to HIV infection and its associated inflammatory state. She developed a national study to evaluate whether a class of antiretroviral medications should be included in regimens for patients with drug resistant virus. She collaborates with researchers in Behavioral and Preventive Medicine at Brown to understand the neurocognitive implications of HIV and HCV infections, especially in substance users.

The Infectious Diseases Division at Miriam and Rhode Island Hospitals

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Lynn Taylor, MD
Assistant Professor of Medicine

Lynn E. Taylor, MD, is an HIV specialist focusing on HIV and viral hepatitis coinfection. She developed and directs Miriam Hospital's HIV/Viral Hepatitis Coinfection Program, providing multidisciplinary care to HIV/hepatitis C virus (HCV) and HIV/hepatitis B coinfected persons. Her research involves extending HCV care to persons with HIV and co-existing psychiatric and substance disorders, and improving HCV screening, diagnosis and treatment uptake. Dr. Taylor is among the first to investigate incident HCV infection in several large U.S. cohorts of HIV-infected persons, including cohorts of the Adult AIDS Clinical Trials Group (ACTG), and CDC-sponsored SUN Study. She has developed several lines of research to investigate the emerging epidemic of sexually transmitted HCV among HIV-infected men who have sex with men. Her commitment to community-based HIV and viral hepatitis care involves serving since 2005 as Managing Physician for AIDS Care Ocean State, RI's only Community Based Organization solely dedicated to the care of persons with and at risk of HIV infection. She developed and directs, "Make it HAPPEN: Hepatitis Awareness, Prevention, Policy and Education Network," establishing RI's first free viral hepatitis testing, counseling, referral and vaccination sites.

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Title: Characterization of HCV RNA among HCV seroconverters in the ACTG Longitudinal Linked Randomized Trials (ALLRT) study of the ACTG
This is a follow-up study to Dr. Taylor's analysis of the determinants of HCV antibody (Ab) seroconversion incidence among HIV-1 seropositive men in ALLRT, the first national evaluation of incident HCV among HIV-infected persons in the U.S. (CID 2011)

Title: Rhode Island Defeats Hep C
Rhode Island Innovation Fellows will receive up to $300,000 over three years to develop, test, and implement innovative ideas that have the potential to dramatically improve any area of life in Rhode Island.

Title: Neurocognitive and Brain Benefits of HCV Eradication in HIV/HCV Coinfection
The goal of this study is to determine whether eradication of the HCV virus through antiviral therapy leads to improved neurocognitive and structural and metabolic brain abnormalities, in HIV/HCV coinfected persons.

The Infectious Diseases Division at Miriam and Rhode Island Hospitals

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Allan R. Tunkel, MD, PhD, MACP
Associate Dean for Medical Education

Dr. Tunkel is an internationally recognized expert in central nervous system infections and has authored or co-authored more than 235 publications (original articles, reviews, editorials, books and book chapters) in his fields of interest. He was the Editor of MKSAP16 Infectious Diseases, and is one of the Associate Editors of MKSAP17. Dr. Tunkel Chaired the Infectious Diseases Society of America (IDSA) Practice Guideline Committees which developed practice guidelines for Bacterial Meningitis and Encephalitis; he is currently Chair of the IDSA Practice Guidelines Committee which is developing guidelines on Healthcare-Associated Ventriculitis and Meningitis. He was recently appointed as Associate Dean for Medical Education at the Warren Alpert Medical School of Brown University.


Jacob Van den Berg, PhD
Assistant Professor of Medicine (Research)

Dr. van den Berg is a clinical/counseling psychologist with specializations in health and community psychology whose research has included HIV prevention work with people of color, sexual minorities, and persons living with severe mental illness. His primary research interest focuses on the development and evaluation of community-based behavioral and biomedical health interventions for underserved and marginalized groups. A central component of his program of research is to advance the integration of health informatics (eHealth/mHealth) and behavioral strategies for preventing HIV and other sexually transmitted infections among young men who sex with men. He is also particularly interested in conducting research on reducing and eliminating health disparities among minority populations. Dr. van den Berg utilizes both quantitative and qualitative approaches, as well as mixed methodologies in his research.

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Edward J. Wing, MD
Professor of Medicine

While Chair of Medicine Dr. Wing developed international health programs within the Department to improve both education and clinical research in the Dominican Republic and Kenya. These programs have developed innovative approaches to HIV diagnosis and treatment, but also seek to improve general medical care in both the inpatient and ambulatory settings.

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Nickolas D. Zaller, PhD
Assistant Professor of Medicine (Research)

Dr. Zaller has a strong background in conducting research among substance using and marginalized populations and experience in study design, implementation and data analysis work on numerous federally funded studies. Dr. Zaller's research interests include: access to addiction treatment and support services for out of treatment drug using populations at high-risk for HIV infection; role of pharmacies in providing HIV prevention related services to substance users and other marginalized populations; linkage to HIV primary care and substance use treatment upon release from correctional settings; alternatives to incarceration for substance using populations; and integration of behavioral and primary healthcare.

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Panagiotis Ziakas, MD, PhD
Instructor in Medicine (Research)

Panagiotis (Panos) Ziakas, MD, PhD has extensive experience in biostatistics, including cohort studies, case-control studies, survival and longitudinal data analysis and meta-analysis. He supports clinical research within the Division and oversees the Brown University Infectious Disease Program in Outcomes Research. His research focuses on nosocomial infections and the appropriate use of antimicrobial agents among immunocompromised individuals. His recent work also includes diagnostic meta-analysis, decision analysis as well as genetic association studies (GAS).

Patient Services

Members of the Department of Medicine provide both Primary Care Clinical services and Subspecialty Clinical services. Locations include community-based private physician offices, Foundation-owned group practices and the hospitals listed below.

Rhode Island Hospital, a large academic medical center.

The Miriam Hospital, a community based teaching hospital.

Memorial Hospital of Rhode Island, a community based teaching hospital.

Women & Infants Hospital of RI, the 10th largest OB/GYN hospital in the U.S.

Providence VA Medical Center, serving a unique patient population & spectrum of illness.