Infectious Diseases - Faculty

Curt G. Beckwith, MD
Associate Professor of Medicine
Program Director, Brown University Infectious Diseases Fellowship

Dr. Beckwith joined the Division of Infectious Diseases in 2006 and currently serves as the Program Director for the Infectious Diseases Fellowship where he provides clinical, research, and career mentoring. In addition to being an active clinician on the inpatient consultation services and in the ambulatory setting, Dr. Beckwith conducts clinical research related to HIV infection and hepatitis C infection among vulnerable populations. Dr. Beckwith's research focuses on improving the diagnosis, treatment and longitudinal care of HIV infection and related comorbidities among substance users, particularly persons involved with the criminal justice system. He has been funded by the National Institute on Drug Abuse since 2007 and has completed a K23 career development award and led a multi-site R01. He is the PI of the Lifespan/Brown Criminal Justice Research Program on Substance Use and HIV and he serves as a Co-Director of the BioBehavioral Sciences Core of the Providence/Boston Center for AIDS Research.

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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 was a member of the Aspergillus Technology Consortium, 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. She has worked to standardize viral load testing for transplant viruses, with a specific focus on CMV, led the Diagnostics section of the International Consensus Guidelines on the Management of Cytomegalovirus in Solid Organ Transplantation. Dr. Caliendo is an Editor for the Journal of Clinical Microbiology, a member of the IDSA Board of Directors and has published over 150 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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Abdullah Chahin, MD
Assistant Professor of Medicine

Dr. Abdullah Chahin joined the Division of Infectious Diseases in July of 2016. He is an attending in adult infectious diseases at The Miriam Hospital and Rhode Island Hospital. Dr. Chahin is an Assistant Professor of Medicine at Brown University Alpert School of Medicine. He obtained his medical degree from Jordan University of Science and Technology in Jordan. He completed his residency in Internal Medicine at Brown University at Memorial Hospital of Rhode Island. He completed his fellowship in Infectious Disease at BIDMC - Harvard University. Afterwards, Dr. Chahin finished a second fellowship in Critical Care Medicine at Brown University.

Dr. Chahin's clinical and research interests include sepsis physiology and the role of immune modulation in treating septic shock. He also works with the Laboratory for Computational Physiology at MIT on big data research and machine learning in critical care. On the teaching and education, Dr. Chahin is interested in adult learning and the utilization of infographics in medical education delivery.

Philip A. Chan, MD
Assistant Professor of Medicine and Public Health at Brown University

Dr. Chan is the Director of the only publicly funded STD clinic in Rhode Island, as well as Rhode Island's only PrEP Program. Dr. Chan received a National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases junior faculty award (NIAID, K23AI096923) to study HIV epidemiology and prevention in New England. Dr. Chan is also PI of a three-site PrEP clinical implementation science program in Jackson, Mississippi, St. Louis, Missouri and Providence, Rhode Island. His work in HIV prevention and PrEP has resulted in several R-series grants focused on of PrEP implementation (NIMH, MPI, R21MH109374, R21MH113431), PrEP uptake and retention-in-care among African American MSM in Mississippi (NIMH, MPI, R34MH109371), PrEP uptake and retention-in-care among male sex workers (NIMH, MPI, R34MH110369), and PrEP uptake in an STD clinic setting (NIDA, MPI, R34DA042648). He is also co-I of several other grants related to HIV (R01DA041067) and prevention (R21MH109374). To date, Dr. Chan has over 60 peer-reviewed publications. Dr. Chan is also site PI of the local AIDS Education and Training Center (AETC) in Rhode Island. He serves as Consultant Medical Director for the Rhode Island Department of Health Center for HIV/AIDS, Viral Hepatitis, STDs, and TB and is actively engaged in many clinical and community-based public health programs to respond to STD and HIV rates among sexual and gender minorities in Rhode Island and beyond.

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Mia Coetzer, PhD
Assistant Professor of Medicine (Research)

Dr Coetzer's research focuses on a genome wide understanding of HIV viral evolution during antiretroviral drug pressure. She uses molecular laboratory methods such as PCR, cloning, site directed mutagenesis, Sanger, single genome and next generation sequencing to investigate diversity and minor drug resistance populations present in samples obtained from HIV-infected patients in different international settings. Her expertise includes molecular epidemiology, advanced sequence analysis and establishing novel laboratory assays to investigate HIV drug resistance, including the use of low cost analytes relevant for resource limited settings. She is involved in training undergraduate and graduate students, as well as international researchers from resource limited setting such as India and Kenya.

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 is the Medical Director of the Rhode Island Hospital and Miriam Hospital Antimicrobial Stewardship Program. He serves as editor of the books Antibiotic Essentials, Antimicrobial Stewardship: Principles & Practice, and Infectious Diseases and Antimicrobial Stewardship in Critical Care. He has contributed over 35 articles and 45 book chapters to the medical literature. He has received the Dean's Excellence in Teaching award from the Alpert Medical School of Brown University.

Dr. Cunha's clinical and research interests include general infectious diseases, antimicrobial therapy, ancient plagues, fever of unknown origin (FUO), and zoonoses.

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

Dr. Cu-Uvin is a Professor of Obstetrics and Gynecology and Medicine at the Alpert School of Medicine, Brown University and Professor of Health Services, Policy and Practice at the School of Public Health. She is the Director of the Brown Global Health Initiative. She is the director of the Providence/Boston University Center for AIDS Research (CFAR). She chairs the Inter CFAR HIV in Women working group. She was the Principal Investigator of the Brown/Tufts AIDS International Training Research Program (AITRP) which ran for 20 years. She was the Director of the Immunology Center at the Miriam Hospital, a clinic that serves 1,600 HIV infected patients from 1999-2009. She chaired the Women's Health Committee of the Adult AIDS Clinical Trials Group (ACTG) from 2003-2006. She has been NIH funded since 1996 and has been the Principal Investigator of several RO1s to assess HIV dynamics in the female genital tract. She was a co-investigator of the CDC funded study to understand the natural history of HIV in women (HERS) and the study to understand the natural history of HIV and AIDS in the era of highly active antiretroviral therapy (SUN). She had a K24 Mid-Career Investigator Award in Patient Oriented Research which allowed her to mentor several junior investigators locally as well as internationally. She is a co-investigator in microbicide studies and mucosal immunity in the female genital tract. She served on the Institute of Medicine's Committee on Perinatal Transmission of HIV, Committees on Women's Health research and HIV Testing and Access to Care. She is a member of three HIV guideline committees: the Public Health Service Task Force/Perinatal Antiretroviral Guidelines Working Group; chairs the HPV Working Group, USPHS/IDSA Guidelines for the Prevention and Treatment of Opportunistic Infections; and The HIV Adult and Adolescent Treatment guidelines. She is a member of the NIH advisory committee on HIV related research in women and girls. She has been a member of several NIH review committees.

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Erika M. D'Agata, MD, MPH
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. More recently, Dr. D'Agata has begun to investigate the microbiome and its role in the acquisition and spread of multidrug-resistant organisms.

Dimitrios Farmakiotis, MD
Assistant Professor of Medicine

Dr. Farmakiotis graduated valedictorian from the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, Greece, and trained in Internal Medicine at Albert Einstein College of Medicine/Jacobi Medical Center in the Bronx, NY. He completed his ID fellowship at Baylor College of Medicine on the MD Anderson Immunocompromised Host Track, and served as Chief Fellow for Baylor ID, followed by one year of advanced training in Transplant Infectious Diseases at Brigham and Women's Hospital.

Dr. Farmakiotis joined the Division of Infectious Diseases in September 2015. He is working mainly as attending physician on the Immunocompromised Host (transplant, hematologic malignancy and VAD) inpatient ID Service, but also the General ID Services at Rhode Island Hospital. He sees outpatients at the solid organ transplant, heart transplant/VAD and cancer center ID clinics. His research interests focus on invasive fungal infections in non-HIV immunocompromised patients, particularly mechanisms and clinical significance of resistance to antifungals in Candida species, and antifungal stewardship."

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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 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 ( 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.

Joseph Metmowlee Garland, MD
Assistant Professor of Medicine (Clinical)

Dr. Garland is the Medical Director of the Infectious Diseases and Immunology Center. He joined the Division of Infectious Diseases in 2015. At the Infectious Diseases and Immunology Center, Dr. Garland oversees the HIV program, including the federal and state funded Ryan White programs; the outpatient parenteral antimicrobial therapy (OPAT) program; and general outpatient infectious diseases care. He sees patients both for inpatient and outpatient infectious diseases consultation, and works primarily as an HIV specialist in the outpatient clinic. He also oversees the UMF Travel Clinic, where he works as a travel medicine specialist. He oversees clinical rotations for residents and medical students at the Immunology Center, as well as a course for clinical medical students at a local community health center, ClĂ­nica Esperanza. Dr. Garland came to the Division from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, where he was a Clinical Assistant Professor of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania, and where he worked as a staff physician at the Jonathan Lax Center / Philadelphia FIGHT, a federally qualified health center providing HIV specialty care. In addition to his commitment to HIV care, Dr. Garland also has an interest in addictions medicine, harm reduction, travel medicine, and in the care of immigrant and refugee populations. Dr. Garland received his undergraduate and medical degrees from Harvard University and completed residency training and fellowship at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania.

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Fizza Gillani, PhD
Assistant Professor of Medicine (Research)

Dr. Gillani has been working at the Miriam Immunology Center since 2003. She has a strong background in the combined fields of Econometrics, Health Economics and Healthcare Systems. Her primary interests include data analytics, data design, data management, and EMR system usages in healthcare research. She has expanded experience in SAP analytics, Business intelligence, and SQL platform. Her current focus is on optimizing information systems utilized by researchers within the Brown community as well as by various local and national agencies specifically related to infectious diseases including HIV/AIDS, TB, and Hepatitis B and C. In addition, she collaborates with research teams to create systems that can capture clinical and research data at both national and international levels. She provides expertise on the design, implementation, and development of computerized systems for research and government reporting. Particularly, she is responsible for designing and maintaining an electronic database system for the HIV epidemic at the Miriam Immunology Center. This system along with other Epic data warehouses are integral for sustaining a comprehensive method of reporting HIV and other infectious disease information to local and federal agencies. In summary, her focus is targeted at designing models that integrate data from Electronic Medical Records (EMRs) and other sources to facilitate healthcare research and reporting environments.

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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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Rami Kantor, MD
Associate Professor of Medicine

Dr. Kantor is a physician-scientist. As a clinician he attend to HIV-infected outpatients and inpatients; and as a researcher he directs the Drug Resistance Laboratory at the Providence-Boston Center for AIDS Research (CFAR) and co-directs the CFAR Basic and Translational Science Core. He is a member of the AIDS Clinical Studies and Epidemiology (ACE) NIH study section, and a member of the DHHS Guidelines Panel for HIV Treatment in Adults and Adolescents. Clinical and basic science research in his laboratory include evolution of antiretroviral resistance, HIV treatment monitoring, and HIV transmission through networks. Within Brown University, he collaborates closely with investigators such as clinicians, statisticians, engineers and computational and evolutionary biologists. For the past fifteen years he has been part of national and international collaborations such as the AIDS Clinical Trials Group, the World Health Organization HIV Drug Resistance Network, IEDEA and TREAT Asia; and he has been working in and collaborating with investigators in global settings where diverse HIV variants predominate, including Kenya, Ghana, Cape Verde, India, Thailand, China, Brazil and Israel. His research is multidisciplinary and includes basic science, translational, clinical and bioinformatics research. During the past 12 years, since he was recruited to Brown University, he has been NIH funded and currently has two R01 grants. Examples of current projects include optimizing treatment monitoring in HIV-infected adults; HIV treatment failure and drug resistance in children; phylogenetic inference of HIV transmission networks; and genome wide alternative mechanisms of HIV drug resistance.

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Michelle A. Lally, MD
Associate Professor of Medicine
Associate Professor of Health Services, Policy and Practice

Dr. Lally is an Infectious Disease clinician who focuses on the discovery, dissemination and implementation of research into practice. She has focused 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. Dr. Lally currently serves as the Associate Chief of Staff for the Medical Specialty Service ( Acting) at the Providence VA Medical Center. In this role she is active in the Dissemination and Integration of evidence based care into clinical practice at a health system that is designed to promote population health.

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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

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 and practice surveys. Much of this work deals with intravascular catheter-related infections and he was senior author of the IDSA guidelines on diagnosis and management of intravascular catheter infections. Additionally, his research has also involved understanding the epidemiology of various other infections in the hospital and community setting using case-control or cohort study designs.

What is the risk of bloodstream infection from short-term peripheral venous catheters?

My recently published article is a systematic review that delineates the incidence and risk factors associated with such infections based on literature published from 1980-present.

What is the incidence and what are the risk factors associated with hospital-acquired respiratory viral infections?

Dr. Eric Chow and I recently published our findings regarding epidemiology of hospital-acquired respiratory viral infections and we recently completed a survey to assess hospital policies regarding staff and visitors who have symptoms suggestive of respiratory viral infections.

What are the lessons learned and preparation moving forward for US hospitals in dealing with patients infected with Ebola virus or similar infection in the future?

Dr. Michael Smit and I here at Brown, together with colleagues at The Joint Commission, U. Maryland and Johns Hopkins, published the results of a national survey regarding hospital preparedness for management of patients with Ebola virus infections.

What testing for respiratory viral infections is done at acute care hospitals in Rhode Island?

In a recently published manuscript, we provide results of a survey of all microbiology labs servicing hospitals in Rhode Island regarding rapid testing for a respiratory viral infections.

Intravenous Catheter Cultures:

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Maria D. Mileno, MD
Associate Professor of Medicine

A former Director of the Travel Medicine Service at the Miriam Hospital for 18 years Dr. Mileno continues to be a thought leader at the University Medicine Travel Clinic on Wampanoag trail. She enjoys teaching medical students, house staff and ID fellows about travel related illnesses, the clinical management of HIV-infected persons and 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 book chapters

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Jennifer Adelson Mitty, MD, MPH
Attending Physician in Infectious Diseases

Dr. Jennifer Mitty is rejoining the Division of Infectious Diseases after spending the last 7 years at the Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston. She is also a deputy editor of Infectious Diseases at UpToDate, an online medical resource that is used by physicians worldwide. Dr. Mitty obtained her medical degree from New York University. She completed her residency in Internal Medicine at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center and completed her fellowship at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center and Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston. Her clinical and research interests include general infectious diseases, HIV treatment and prevention, and Lyme disease.

Eleftherios Mylonakis, MD
Dean's Professor of Medical Science
Chief of Infectious Diseases at Rhode Island Hospital and The Miriam Hospital

We use a variety of tools to answer complex scientific questions. This diverse approach includes areas such as molecular biology, immunology, biostatistics, decision-making analysis, risk assessment, outcomes research and cost effectiveness studies. Our host-pathogen and antimicrobial drug discovery studies, utilize biostatistics to identify populations at risk and whole animal HTS, along with screening by imaging, to identify lead compounds, and study the common, fundamental set of molecular mechanisms that are employed by bacterial and fungal pathogens against a widely divergent array of metazoan hosts. Overall, our work has resulted in more than 280 peer-reviewed publications. Mylonakis, who has edited eight 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.

Marguerite Neill, MD
Associate Professor of Medicine

Dr. Neill is an Associate Professor of Medicine in the Alpert Medical School of Brown University in Providence, Rhode Island. She received her M.D. from the George Washington University School of Medicine and completed her residency in Internal Medicine at Case Western Reserve University Hospital in Cleveland, Ohio, during which she pursued both laboratory and field research in Geographic Medicine. After serving as an Epidemic Intelligence Service Officer at the Centers for Disease Control, she completed fellowship training in Infectious Disease at the University of Washington. She has served on numerous advisory committees to the FDA and USDA as well as CDC. She was a member of the Board of Scientific Counselors of the CDC. She is a clinician investigator and attending physician. As a teacher, she has received the Dean's Teaching Award five times, the Beckwith Family Teaching Award, and three times the Steven M. Opal Teaching Award, given by the Brown ID fellows to An Outstanding Clinician, Teacher and Mentor. Prior to joining Lifespan, she was Chief of Infectious Disease at Memorial Hospital of Rhode Island. Dr. Neill's interests include public health, E. coli O157:H7 and HUS, immunizations, bioterrorism and bio-emergencies including pandemic influenza.

Amanda Noska, MD
Assistant Professor of Medicine

Dr. Noska joined the Division of Infectious Diseases in August 2015. She is an Assistant Professor of Medicine at Brown University and a staff physician within the Division of Infectious Diseases at the Providence Veterans Affairs Medical Center and the Miriam Hospital and Immunology Center. She is also a consulting physician at the RI Department of Corrections where she cares for incarcerated individuals living with chronic hepatitis C. Dr. Noska's research focuses on innovative strategies to improve healthcare access and substance abuse treatment among veterans, particularly homeless veterans, as well as incarcerated populations, and other vulnerable populations with comorbid substance use disorders and hepatitis C and HIV. Dr. Noska is currently an R25 research scholar in the Brown/Lifespan Criminal Justice Research Program on Substance Use, HIV and Comorbidities and is a graduate of the Brown/Lifespan Infectious Disease Fellowship Program.

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

Dr. Opal's 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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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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Rebecca Reece, MD
Assistant Professor of Medicine

Dr. Rebecca Reece joined the Division of Infectious Diseases in January of 2015. She is in adult infectious diseases at The Miriam Hospital, Rhode Island Hospital, and Newport Hospital. Dr. Reece obtained her medical degree from West Virginia University School of Medicine, in Morgantown WV. She completed her residency in Internal Medicine at West Virginia University at Ruby Memorial Hospital. She then completed her fellowship in Infectious Disease at Brown University. Following her clinical fellowship, she pursued her research interest of HIV adherence and retention to care in resource limited settings under a T32 research fellowship. Dr. Reece's clinical and research interests include tick-borne diseases, HIV adherence and retention, and health disparities. She serves as the lead physician for the Lifespan Lyme Disease Clinic at Newport Hospital and in addition, she serves as the Infectious Disease Medical Consultant to the Rhode Island Department of Health.

Donald Page Rice, Jr., MD
Attending Physician

Dr. Rice joined the Division of Infectious Diseases in December, 2017 working at The Miriam Hospital and Rhode Island Hospital. He graduated in 2012 from Eastern Virginia Medical School. He completed an Internal Medicine residency at Lankenau Medical Center in Wynnewood, PA, followed by a fellowship in Infectious Diseases at the University of Connecticut Health Center in Farmington, CT. His clinical and research interests include HIV and HCV care, sexually transmitted infections, addiction medicine, and tropical medicine.

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 Epidemiology

Dr. Rich 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 and more recently, addressing the opioid epidemic. 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.

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Francine Touzard Romo, MD
Assistant Professor of Medicine

Dr. Touzard Romo completed her Internal Medicine and Infectious Diseases training at John H. Stroger Jr. Hospital and Rush University Medical Center in Chicago, Illinois. She joined as a T32 Postdoctoral Fellow in Infectious Diseases at The Miriam Hospital in 2012 and in January 2016 transitioned to Attending Physician for Infectious Diseases. She is currently Assistant Professor of Medicine at the Warren Alpert Medical School of Brown University and is the Director of Infection Control at Newport Hospital. Dr. Touzard Romo has expertise in management of HIV and orthopedic devices associated infections. She speaks Spanish fluently and works with the HIV Hispanic community. Her research focus is antiretroviral toxicity and joint infection and she is working collaboratively with the antimicrobial stewardship team at Lifespan.

Natasha Rybak, MD
Attending Physician in Infectious Diseases

Dr. Natasha Rybak joined the Division of Infectious Diseases in July 2016. She is an attending in adult infectious diseases at The Miriam Hospital and Rhode Island Hospital. She is an Assistant Professor of Medicine at Warren Alpert Medical School of Brown University. Dr. Rybak received her medical degree from the Warren Alpert Medical School of Brown University as part of the Brown-Dartmouth medical program in 2007. She then stayed on at Warren Alpert Medical School of Brown University to complete her residency in Combined Medicine and Pediatrics in 2011 followed by Fellowship in Combined Adult and Pediatric Infectious Diseases, which she completed in 2016. Dr. Rybak's clinical and research interests are in global health with a specific interest in tuberculosis (TB), HIV and TB, and multi-drug resistant (MDR) tuberculosis among adults and children in Eastern Europe. She helped to create the Brown University Ukraine Collaboration, a global health initiative program at Brown University to address these issues of TB, TB/HIV co-infection and MDR-TB in Ukraine. She will also serve as the Medical Director of the RISE TB Clinic.

Martha Cristina Sanchez, MD
Assistant Professor of Medicine

Dr. Martha Sanchez joined the Division of Infectious Diseases in October 2016. She is an adult infectious diseases physician at The Miriam Hospital, the Rhode Island Hospital and the Lyme disease center at Newport Hospital. Dr Sanchez is an Assistant Professor of Medicine at The Warren Alpert Medical School of Brown University. She earned her medical school degree at the Instituto Tecnologico de Santo Domingo (INTEC), in Dom. Rep. She completed her Internal Medicine residency in the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai at Englewood Hospital and Medical Center, Englewood, NJ. She subsequently completed her Infectious Disease Fellowship at Rutgers New Jersey Medical School program, Newark, NJ. Dr. Sanchez's clinical and research interest include HIV, Hepatitis C, tropical infections, tick-borne diseases, antimicrobial resistance and orthopedic infections.

Xiaoli Tang, PhD
Assistant Professor of Medicine (Research)

Research interest has been focusing on elimination of HIV-1 virus from infected individuals. He previously found that acetylation of IFNaR2 regulates the antiviral signal transduction of interferon alpha. Recently he engineered exosomes to specifically target CD4+ cells to reactivate latent HIV-1. He is working on a strategy to eliminate the infected cells with reactivated HIV-1.

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Karen T. Tashima, MD
Professor of Medicine

Dr. Tashima is the Director of HIV Research. She also 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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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 250 publications (original articles, reviews, editorials, books and book chapters) in his fields of interest. He was the Editor of MKSAP16 Infectious Diseases and 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, Encephalitis, and Healthcare-Associated Ventriculitis and Meningitis.

Bacterial meningitis:


Healthcare-associated Ventriculitis and Meningitis:

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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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.