Infectious Disease and Immunology Division
Infectious Disease Section
The Section of Pediatric Infectious Diseases consists of 5 faculty members: Drs. Janak Patel (Division Director), Tasnee Chonmaitree, Antonella Casola, Lemuel Aigbivbalu and Judith Rowen (Director, Hospitalist Program). The division is supported by one secretary, an HIV program coordinator, and other research personnel. The division members are active in providing clinical services to children, conducting bench and clinical research, as well as in teaching of pediatric infectious disease to fellows, pediatric residents and medical students.Our mission is to:
Provide inpatient and outpatient consultations for problems pertaining to infectious diseases of children
Coordinate special high emphasis clinical programs in pediatric infectious diseases
Train medical students, pediatric residents, and pediatric infectious disease fellows
Conduct basic and clinical research related to pediatric infections
The faculty physicians are well-trained and board certified in Pediatric Infectious Diseases. They provide routine inpatient and outpatient consultations to children with complicated infections. The division also coordinates special clinical programs:
RSV Immunoprophylaxis (SynagisTM) Clinic.
We treat all children from birth (including premature infants) to 18 years of age with complicated infections. Pregnant women with HIV infection are also seen as part of the Maternal-Child HIV Program. In the Travel Medicine Clinic, patients traveling abroad are seen for preventive vaccines and medications.
Requirements for Patient Referrals
The patient must be referred from a physicians or community agency
The patients must obtain authorization from their insurance plans
Please may call the division office secretary at 409-772-2798 to coordinate clinic appointments
TheTravel Medicine Clinic patients are seen on cash-payment basis only. Patients should contact the division office secretary at 409-772-2798 for cost estimates.
Medical Students: Members of the division are actively involved in teaching several courses. Some of the 3rd year students on inpatient rotation are assigned to spend two weeks with the infectious disease clinical service. A pediatric infectious disease elective for year IV students is available. Occasionally, students from other medical schools, both domestic and foreign, have enrolled in the elective.
Residents: A pediatric infectious disease elective has been available to all pediatric and internal medicine-pediatric residents. Residents also attend the Monday AM Pediatric HIV Clinic during their sub-specialty clinic rotation. Residents are mentored for their mandatory research projects.
Clinical Fellows: Since the resurrection of the Pediatric Infectious Disease fellowship program in 1993, Dr. Chonmaitree has served as the fellowship program director. In 1997, the program was one of the 60% of fellowship programs which were accredited for the first time by the American College for Graduate Medical Education. We train one fellow at a time (3-year fellowship). Interested applicants are required to enquire with Dr. Chonmaitree for any available slot prior to submitting application through ERAS.
CME/community lectures: Members of the division give several lectures to community physicians every year.
The division has more than 1500 sq ft of laboratory research space. The laboratories are equipped for research on respiratory viruses and bacteria. Since 1995, research awards for the division have included several NIH grants and more than 30 industry, foundation and intramural grants. The current research strength of the division is in the field of otitis media and respiratory viruses. Dr. Chonmaitree is internationally-recognized for her work on the role of respiratory viruses in the pathogenesis of acute otitis media in children. Dr. Patel currently collaborates with Dr. Chonmaitree to explore the role of cytokines and cytokine gene mutations in susceptibility to otitis media. Dr. Casola is a recognized expert in the field of cell signaling with respiratory syncytial virus and metapneumovirus infections. Members of the division have published extensively in peer-reviewed journals, contributed material to textbooks of infectious diseases, and have frequently served on national research review and policy panels related to childhood infections.
The members of the Section of Immunology carry out active clinical care, teaching, and research programs.
Expertise is provided for the diagnosis and management of serious allergic disorders such as asthma, autoimmune diseases such as systemic lupus erythematosus, dermatomyositis, and genetic defects in the immunesystem. The faculty is particularly known for their work in theidentification and treatment of children with immunodeficiency diseases.
Members of the section have been recognized internationally for their research in:
Molecular basis and role of cellular adherence in disease
The molecular basis and role of cellular adherence in disease
The molecular basis of immunodeficiency disorders
Ontogeny of immunity and immune system in human milk
Airway inflammation and cytokines including pathogenesis of virus-induced asthma
Asthma and airway inflammation secondary to burn and smoke inhalation
The faculty in the section also collaborate in research with other faculty at UTMB and at other institutions.
Opportunities occur for students and residents to participate in these research activities during their electives. Those activities aresupervised by several faculty in the section.
Our faculty participates in the annual instructional seminars for residents in pediatrics.
The faculty helps organize and participate in both graduate and undergraduate medical school courses in areas dealing with host defense and immunology.
Electives and selectives in clinical immunology/allergy/rheumatology are offered to senior medical students and pediatric residents, respectively. The purpose of both electives is to provide further clinical training opportunities that aid the trainees to better understand the application of immunology to clinical care.
The section participates in a combined Pediatric and Internal Medicine Fellowship Training Program leading to eligibility for board certification by the American Board of Allergy and Immunology. Enquiries for fellowship should be made to Dr. Randall Goldblum, the program director. Applications can be made through ERAS.
The faculty is also active in postgraduate medical training and postdoctoral training at UTMB and at other institutions.