The Tulane Adult Infectious Diseases Section participates in a wide range of research activities, mostly clinical and epidemiological. We have had a longstanding interest in HIV/AIDS, mycoses, mycobacteria and tropical medicine.
Infectious Diseases research opportunities and collaborations are plentiful and span the University. We are fortunate to have a large number of colleagues performing bench research, translational and clinical research at the Tulane University School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine, the Department of Microbiology, the Tulane National Primate Research Center, the Pediatric Infectious Diseases Section, as well as in the graduate school on the Uptown campus. Please click here to learn more about these research opportunities.
Since the early days of the HIV epidemic in the 1980s, we have been involved in some of the seminal clinical trials of treatment of opportunistic infections and antiretroviral therapy. Under the auspices of the AIDS Clinical Trials Group (ACTG), we were a major site for studies on pneumocystis pneumonia, cryptococcal meningitis, PML and DMAC. As a member of the NIH-supported Community Programs for Clinical Research on AIDS (CPCRA), we enrolled patients into pivotal trials for the prevention of PCP, CMV retinitis and DMAC.
More recently, our former CPCRA unit, the Louisiana Community AIDS Research Program (LaCARP), has evolved into a site of the newly constituted International Network for Strategic Initiatives in Global HIV Trials (INSIGHT), which has sites all over the world. The Tulane unit was a part of the recently completed ESPRIT study, which showed no clinical benefit from the addition of IL-2 to HAART in persons with HIV infection. In 2009, we became a site for the pilot phase of the START study, which will re-examine the issue of when to start HAART. The second phase, full scale START study began in late 2010 and will continue for several more years.
Our Section is a longstanding member of the NIH-supported Mycoses Study Group (MSG), and has contributed to studies on the natural history and treatment of cryptococcal meningitis, disseminated histoplasmosis, blastomycosis and candidemia. We are currently enrolling patients into a multicenter trial assessing the efficacy of prophylaxis and preemptive therapy with an echinocandin for candidemia.
Several faculty have a longstanding interest in tuberculosis and environmental mycobacteria. Our group published two of the largest cohorts of Mycobacterium kansasii infection in HIV (Int J Tuberc Lung Dis 2007; Clin Infect Dis 1995).
One of our faculty is engaged in laboratory investigations on immunologic aspects of Dengue fever, and another is looking at the immunology of malaria, with a focus on the effects of HIV infection on malaria.
Many of our faculty engage in a variety of other research projects, ranging from multidrug-resistant gram-negative infections to vitamin D in HIV and Clostridium difficile infections.
The Infectious Diseases Section houses the Tulane Retrovirology Laboratory, a level 2/3 facility where faculty have performed research on HTLV, HIV and CMV. This laboratory also processes specimens for a number of other Tulane-affiliated research groups.
The Clinical Trials Cooperative, formerly the Clinical Training and Research Center (CTRC),and originally the General Clinical Research Center (GCRC), is an inpatient/outpatient unit located on the second floor of Tulane Medical Center. This research unit provides research nurse, examination room and core laboratory support for clinical researchers at Tulane and LSU.
In addition to individual faculty mentoring, fellows are encouraged to attend the Clinical Methods in Research course lecture series held in the Fall and Spring semesters at the School of Medicine.
Tulane's School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine sponsors a Master of Science in Clinical Research (MS-CR), a 38-credit-hour masters program, and a less intensive, 10-credit-hour Clinical Research Certificate curriculum.
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