The Division of Infectious Diseases at the Massachusetts General Hospital is closely affiliated with the Ragon Institute of MGH, MIT, and Harvard. Of the more than forty full-time faculty members, the majority are recipients of external funding for basic scientific, translational, and/or clinical research. In addition to the full-time faculty members, the Division has many junior faculty members, post-doctoral fellows, and graduate students engaged in research training under the mentorship of Division faculty.
Research in the Division of Infectious Diseases focuses on the molecular pathogenesis of bacterial and fungal infection; regulation of virulence gene expression in pathogens in response to environmental and in vivo signals; international collaborative studies in Bangladesh on cholera, dengue, cryptosporidium and typhoid fever; the development of live, attenuated, mucosal vaccines and vaccine vectors; the mechanisms of action of endotoxin; the mechanisms of bacterial resistance to antimicrobial agents; development of novel classes of antimicrobial agents; pathogenesis and immune responses to hepatitis C virus infection; pathogenesis of CMV infection; human genetic susceptibility to infectious diseases; epidemiology, outcomes research, and health policy; adherence and HIV treatment outcomes; and studies on infections related to transplantation and other immunocompromising disorders.
Research in the Ragon Institute focuses on the immunopathogenesis of HIV infection, and on pharmacologic and immunotherapeutic interventions targeted at HIV. These studies include the role of HIV-1 specific T helper cells and cytotoxic T lymphocytes in controlling HIV viremia; the role of viral gene products in down-regulating MHC class I expression on human cells; field trials of candidate HIV-1 vaccines; pathogenesis of co-infection of HIV with Mycobacterium tuberculosis; mechanisms of antiviral drug resistance; trials of candidate therapeutic agents against HIV; and a major international program of HIV care and research in South Africa.
The Division of Infectious Diseases offers pre-doctoral and post-doctoral research training with individual mentors. Post-doctoral research training in the Division is supported by a number of NIH training grants in specific areas. In addition, many of the post-doctoral fellows and junior faculty are recipients of Mentored Clinical Scientist Development (KO8) Awards, Mentored Patient-Oriented Research Career Development (K23) Awards, Mentored Research Scientist (KO1) Awards, or Fogarty International Research Scientist Development (K01) Awards from the NIH, post-doctoral research fellowships from a variety of foundations, or similar major research training awards.
The funding base for research in the Division of Infectious Diseases has more than doubled in the past five years, and now exceeds 11 million dollars in direct costs annually.
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Part of our mission at Massachusetts General Hospital is to not only provide state of the art clinical care, but also to offer you the opportunity to participate in clinical research trials. A clinical trial is a study in people that tries to answer scientific questions and to find better ways to prevent, diagnose, or treat disease. Many of our patients participate in a variety of trials sponsored by the National Institute of Health, Medical Foundations as well as Industry. Several of our clinicians are also investigators within these NIH funded research groups, including The Ragon Institute at MGH, MIT and Harvard, the Translational Research Program, and the Harvard AIDS Clinical Trial Group (ACTG). We offer a broad range of ongoing trials that you may be eligible to participate in, including trials that test new medicines to treat HIV and related problems, trials that study the immune system’s response to HIV, and trials testing vaccines that may either prevent HIV or strengthen the immune system’s ability to fight HIV. At your clinic visit, your provider may ask you if you are interested in learning more about our clinical research program.
For additional information about HIV clinical trials at MGH, please visit the following websites: