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Infectious Diseases and Epidemiology

The Division of Infectious Diseases and Epidemiology faculty are actively engaged in innovative research supported by funding from the National Institutes of Health, Health Resources and Services Administration, Global Health Innovative Technology Fund, and other federal and non-federal sponsors. From 2020-2022, division faculty published over 50 manuscripts and abstracts in high-impact peer-reviewed journals, including 15 manuscripts involving trainees.

The division performs a range of activities from basic and translational science to large, multi-site interventional clinical trials. Areas of division expertise include viral structure and cryoEM reconstruction techniques, diagnostic and therapeutic modalities for vector borne diseases, understanding the molecular mechanisms underlying the assembly of retrovirus particles, comprehending the role of substance use disorder in infectious diseases, optimizing the care of individuals living with HIV and hepatitis C, providing research opportunities for patients who have undergone solid organ or bone marrow transplant, developing and directing a comprehensive Antimicrobial Stewardship Program, assessing antimicrobial dosing strategies, leading pivotal COVID-19 therapeutics trials, and understanding post-COVID-19 sequalae.

Division faculty are integral to the research mission at Penn State College of Medicine and serve in research leadership roles within the College of Medicine and as national experts on study sections and research planning groups.

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Research Leadership

Cynthia J. Whitener, MD, is Chief of the Division of Infectious Diseases and Epidemiology.
A head-and-shoulders professional photo of Dr. Cynthia Whitener
Leslie J. Parent, MD, is Vice Dean for Research and Graduate Studies at the College of Medicine.
A head-and-shoulders professional photo of Dr. Leslie Parent

Antimicrobial Stewardship Program

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Michael Katzman, MD, is Director of the Antimicrobial Stewardship Program.
A head-and-shoulders professional photo of Dr. Michael Katzman
Cory M. Hale, PharmD, BCPS, BCIDP, is Co-Director of the Antimicrobial Stewardship Program.
A head-and-shoulders professional photo of Cory Hale
Overview Expand answer

IDSA Antimicrobial Stewardship Center of Excellence sealPenn State Health Milton S. Hershey Medical Center’s Antimicrobial Stewardship Program (ASP) is a quality initiative that began in 2011, after extensive discussions with clinicians and endorsement by the Penn State College of Medicine dean and Medical Staff Executive Committee (including the chairs of all clinical departments). The primary goals of the ASP are to improve the care of individual patients and to limit the rates of resistant bacteria and Clostridium difficile.

Each year, Adult and Pediatric ASPs (the latter began in 2014) work to optimize antibiotic usage for thousands of patients through the review of computer-generated alerts, daily ASP rounds and many other activities. In 2018, with the support of hospital administration and clinicians, Penn State College of Medicine was one of the first 25 institutions in the country to be named an Antimicrobial Stewardship Center of Excellence by the Infectious Diseases Society of America, a designation that was renewed at the end of 2020.

Trainee Research

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The Division of Infectious Diseases and Epidemiology recognizes the importance of ensuring that doctors and other health care workers in training acquire sufficient experience, knowledge and understanding of medical research. The division is committed to tailoring research opportunities to trainees’ interests and providing research opportunities ranging from basic science to large-scale work on clinical trials.

Learn more about the Infectious Disease Fellowship

Contact Us

To contact the Division of Infectious Diseases and Epidemiology, email DivisionofInfectiousDiseases@pennstatehealth.psu.edu or call 717-531-8881.

Follow the division on Twitter at PennStateID.