fumehood250x180Research is a vital component of our work. Investigations center on the molecular biology and pathogenesis of Entamoeba histolytica and Cryptosporidium species. Vaccine trials include those directed at Salmonella enterica serovar Typhi and Campylobacter jejuni, as well as Phase I clinical trials developing live attenuated Dengue virus. Clinical research efforts include epidemiologic investigations into Clostridium difficile infection and risks; HIV service delivery models and outcomes; and exploration of the biologic rationale of oral polio and rotavirus vaccine failure in an international field trial setting.

Research Activities

Our clinically oriented and basic science interests include nosocomial infections, rural HIV/AIDS epidemiology, enteric pathogen vaccine development and pathogenesis of Cryptosporidium parvum and Entamoeba histolytica infection.

Research support comes from the National Institutes of Health (NIH), private foundations and private industry. Areas of research in Infectious Diseases include:

  • Pathogenesis of Entamoeba histolytica
  • Pathogenesis and mucosal immunology of Cryprosporidium parvum
  • Vaccine development for Salmonella typi
  • Virulence factors for bacteremic strains of Streptococci and Staphylococci
  • Hospital antibiotic utilization models
  • Blood culture utilization and use guideline development
  • Nosocomial infections and resistance
  • Rural HIV service delivery models
  • Nutritional surveillance and intervention in HIV infected persons
  • Adherence improvement program in HIV infected persons
  • Anal cytological abnormalities in HIV infected persons
  • Biomarkers in the HIV infected population

Research Facilities

Vaccine Testing Center

With the goal of protecting global health, our Vaccine Testing Center researchers develop new vaccines while working toward improving and strengthening existing ones.

Vermont Center for Immunology and Infectious Diseases (COBRE)

The Immunobiology faculty partnered with faculty in Infectious Diseases and Microbiology and Molecular Genetics since 2006 to successfully compete for a Center of Biomedical Research Excellence (COBRE) Award from NIH (NCRR). This allowed the formation of the Vermont Center for Immunology and Infectious Diseases (VCIID), which now numbers 21 faculty in eight departments in four colleges. During the first five years of Phase I COBRE funding, VCIID faculty published 213 articles and received nearly $48 million in funding, excluding the COBRE funds.

In 2011 the COBRE grant was renewed for an additional five years. The College of Medicine will build a new BSL3 facility in partnership with the Vermont Department of Health, and recruit faculty to the theme of the host response to infection.

Comprehensive Care Clinics (CCC)

Clinical research takes place at the Vermont Comprehensive Care clinics (CCC), four statewide HIV Clinics serving the state of Vermont and surrounding areas. These clinics provide specialty patient care for persons living with HIV. See Infectious Disease Clinical Services at The University of Vermont Medical Center.