News, Honors, and Awards
Dr. Mocherla appointed to committee position
The Infectious Disease Society of America recently appointed Satish Mocherla, M.D., to sit on the National Histoplasmosis Guideline committee. Dr. Mocherla is a former faculty member of the division of Infectious Diseases and Geographic Medicine.
IDSA Fellows announced for 2021
Three of our Infectious Diseases and Geographic Medicine faculty have been named Infectious Disease Society of America (IDSA) Fellows. Congratulations to Ellen Kitchell, M.D., Jeremy Chow, M.D., and Pearlie Chong, M.D., in addition Francesca Lee, M.D., who holds a secondary position in Infectious Diseases has also been instated as an IDSA fellow. IDSA fellows are recognized individuals who have achieved professional excellence and provided significant service to the profession.
HIVMA Clinical Educator Award
Congratulations to Roger Bedimo, M.D. who recently received the 2021 HIVMA Clinical Educator Award. Announced at the 10th Anniversary of ID Week, Dr. Bedimo was recognized for his dedication and service contributions as an HIV clinician and researcher, as well as his commitment to mentoring upcoming HIV professionals.
Women who STEAM rising star award
Dr. Carolee Estelle believes her greatest professional accomplishment to date has been to help lead the pandemic response for Parkland Health & Hospital System. Over the last year & half, after being appointed Interim Chief of Infection Prevention and while only 3 years out of Infectious Diseases fellowship training, she has successfully led one of the largest safety-net health systems in the country through the most significant pandemic in the last 100 years. Dr. Estelle led her team and the health system through the process of creating protocols that did not exist within the organization, which quite literally transformed the organization to make room to care for the surges of patients with COVID-19. With the help of her team, they supported the entire county response in partnership with the Dallas County Health Department, by erecting and running 3 mega-testing sites, executing nursing home infection prevention consultations, and performing testing of nursing home residents and staff. Additionally, she led the response to a bacterial outbreak and gained control of the outbreak in 3 months. By working with her team and other colleagues around the organization, they were able to overcome challenges to make an overall successful response. At one point during the past year, Dr. Estelle said, "The pandemic has been marked by misinformation in the workforce and in the community. I have worked together with community partners to deliver countless educational sessions about COVID-19 and the vaccines to build trust and improve hesitancy by helping people in communities of color make the best decisions for themselves with high quality information."
Dr. Cutrell named Featured Educator by IDSA
Dr. Brad Cutrell is the Infectious Disease Society of America's featured educator for June 2021. His areas of scholarly interest focus on leveraging technology and other innovative strategies to teach antimicrobial stewardship and general ID content to graduate medical trainees. "It was my year serving as a Chief Medicine Resident that crystallized my goals to incorporate medical education as a major area of focus for my career in academic medicine", says Dr. Cutrell. COVID has introduced a number of challenges but also accompanying opportunities to rethink and innovate in the education space. The rapid increase in telemedicine and “Zoom” conferences has also required a rethinking of our ID fellowship and residency curriculum but has created a natural opening to disrupt the status quo and try out new content or strategies to deliver content outside of the traditional in-person lecture.
Dr. Shiloh inducted into ASCI
Dr. Michael Shiloh is inducted into the American Society for Clinical Investigation (ASCI). Dr. Shiloh is recognized for his research into how the bacteria Mycobacterium tuberculosis cause disease in humans. Tuberculosis killed 1.4 million people around the world in 2019 and is thought to infect about one-fourth of the world’s population, according to the World Health Organization. Dr. Shiloh’s work is focused on understanding the pathogenesis of tuberculosis, starting from disease acquisition, to factors that affect survival of the bacteria in the body, and finally, toward mechanisms of disease transmission from infected to uninfected individuals.
First HIV-positive-to-HIV-positive organ transplant in Texas
Less than three weeks after getting on an organ transplant list for HIV-positive patients, John Welch got the call. A liver was available from a deceased donor, and it was an excellent match.
Welch’s liver transplant took place under the HIV Organ Policy Equity Act, or HOPE Act, a federal law that allows HIV-positive people to become organ donors by matching them with HIV-positive recipients. Before the law was passed in 2013, hospitals were prohibited from taking organs from HIV-positive donors. UT Southwestern’s status as a prominent academic medical center qualified it to become one of the sites in which HOPE Act transplants can take place under the auspices of a clinical trial.
David Wojciechowski, D.O., medical director of the Kidney Transplantation Program, led the transplant planning efforts, while the patient’s HIV status was tended to by Ricardo La Hoz, M.D., an infectious disease specialist and an associate professor of internal medicine.