Children are remarkably resilient, and I find it gratifying to help them live to their full potential despite life-threatening illness. The unanswered questions these patients present drive my research interests — and, as a result, my research is constantly evolving.
I focus on better understanding the infection risk in immunocompromised patients. My research includes discovering new methods to quickly diagnose infection and evaluating the most appropriate treatment options specific to a pathogen. I also study the noninfectious complications and the consequences of infections related to a patient’s underlying illness.
I specialize in treating infections for a variety of patient populations, including those who have received solid organ transplants and hematopoietic stem cell transplants (HSCT), immunocompromised patients and patients undergoing treatment for various cancers. Many of the infections I study are viral or fungal in nature.
My research focuses on understanding the impact of host-pathogen interactions. I have been the protocol chair for three clinical trials supported by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID). These trials evaluated how the immune system responds to infection and, later, how that impacts graft survival in pediatric transplantation. They also examined the impact of B-cell induction and the barriers to treatment adherence. In the Studies in Pediatric Liver Transplantation (SPLIT) study, I act as principle investigator for the evaluation of cytomegalovirus (CMV) prophylaxis.
I also research infectious disease epidemiology and risk factors, as well as immunization safety and efficacy in immunocompromised pediatric patients. This includes my role as principle investigator for an ongoing multicenter study of live viral vaccination after solid organ transplantation.
As a result of my work, I received the 2012 American Society of Transplantation Clinical Science Career Development Award. I have served as a board member, secretary, annual meeting program chair and, most recently, president-elect for the International Society of Heart and Lung Transplantation.
I am the past chair for the Infectious Disease Community of Practice (IDCOP) for the American Society of Transplantation. And from 2018-2020, I worked as the deputy editor of the American Journal of Transplantation.
Pediatric infectious disease; infections in transplantation; infections in immunocompromised hosts
Infections in transplantation; infections in immunocompromised hosts
Professor, UC Department of Pediatrics
Infectious Diseases, Lung Transplant