Infectious Disease Track

Infectious Disease

[separator top=”20″ style=”double”]

Lisa-Armitige Lisa Armitige, MD, PhD

Dr. Lisa Armitige is a medical consultant at the Heartland National TB Center in San Antonio, Texas. Heartland is one of five CDC-sponsored centers devoted to education and medical consultation for health professionals treating patients with tuberculosis. Dr. Armitige is also an Associate Professor of Medicine and Pediatrics at the University of Texas Health Sciences Center in Tyler as well as Adjunct Assistant Professor of Internal Medicine and Pediatrics at UT Medical School at Houston. She received her BA in Biochemistry from Rice University, and was the 50th graduate of the UT-Houston MD/PhD Program. Dr. Armitige completed a combined residency in internal medicine and pediatrics and a Fellowship in Infectious Diseases at UT-Houston and served on the faculty there for 5 years. Before joining Heartland, Dr. Armitige treated HIV patients at Thomas Street Clinic and tuberculosis patients in a county hospital, both in the Harris County Hospital District, Houston, Texas. She currently cares for TB patients at the City Chest Clinic in San Antonio, Texas and is a member of the medical staff at the Texas Center for Infectious Disease, the only free-standing TB hospital in the US.

Global TB – How are we fixing (and breaking) things

Globally, cases of tuberculosis are declining. Efforts to provide medication and observed therapy have led to a decline in the world TB burden with an overall decrease in case numbers and fewer deaths. In the shadows of this success is the realization that the number of drug-resistant strains is rising. The very efforts that have saved lives have also aided in the increase in multi-drug resistant strains. This lecture will highlight the dichotomy of these effects as well as the progress being made in addressing the rising tide of resistance.

[separator top=”20″ style=”single”]

Gabrielle Hansen  Gabrielle Hanson, PhD, MSEd

Dr. Gabrielle Hansen earned her Masters of Human Sexuality at the University of Pennsylvania and her Ph.D. in Health Science, specializing in sexuality, at Curtin University in Australia. She currently serves as the HIV Program Manager for the City of Houston, but first began her work in HIV in Washington D.C. in 1992. Her academic work includes clinical education in HIV for GPs and sexual health nurses at the University of Queensland School of Medicine, an Assistant Professorship teaching Love, Sex and Relationships at Bond University, Adjunct Associate Professor at Southern Cross University, lecturing at the University of California, Santa Barbara and the University of Pennsylvania, and also heading the Human Sexuality program at Curtin University in Western Australia, running both the undergraduate and graduate programs, which included launching the world’s first Master of Forensic Sexology program, which attracted international awards, attention and respect. She has lived and worked in India, Pakistan, Indonesia, Australia, Canada and lectured all over the world. She is an author, a mom and a global citizen with a passion for sexuality education and changing our understanding of and approach to HIV. Dr. Gabrielle Hansen is widely considered a leading expert in the field of sexual health.

HIV Prevalence, Prevention, Issues and Ideas: How Houston Can Help Others

Dr. Gabrielle Hansen will present the epidemiology of HIV in Houston as well as in Australia, and other countries, to give an overview of the epidemic today. Current issues facing those who live with HIV as well as the medical professionals and health practitioners who treat individuals living with HIV will be discussed, along with public health efforts, obstacles and trends. The public health initiative conducted by Houston around HIV testing and prevention is recognized as a leading program and model for others. HIV is a chronic manageable disease and yet the overall knowledge about HIV today by both the public and even workers in the field remains low. Houstonians can lead the way to better understanding, treatment and prevention of HIV globally.

[separator top=”20″ style=”single”]

LeDuc_head shot_2011 James W. Le Duc, PhD

Jim Le Duc, Ph.D. is the director of the GNL, the only full-suit BSL4 laboratory in operation on an academic campus in the US – and Professor in the Department of Microbiology and Immunology at UTMB in Galveston. He holds the John S. Dunn Distinguished Chair in Global Health and the Principal Investigator for the National Biocontainment Training Center at UTMB. He joined UTMB in 2006 from the CDC in Atlanta where he was the Influenza Coordinator. Prior, he served as CDC’s Director, Division of Viral and Rickettsial Diseases and as the Associate Director for Global Health in the Office of the Director, National Center for Infectious Diseases. Earlier he was a Medical Officer in charge of arboviruses and viral hemorrhagic fevers at the WHO in Geneva. He also spent 23 years as a U.S. Army officer in the medical research and development command, with assignments in the U.S. and abroad, including the Walter Reed Army Institute of Research and USAMRIID. His career began as a field biologist with the Smithsonian Institution in West Africa. He is a fellow with the Infectious Diseases Society of America and has published over 200 scientific articles/book chapters. He is a recognized expert in virus diseases, biodefense and global health.

The Galveston National Laboratory: Local discoveries. Global impact.

Dr. James W. LeDuc is the director of the Galveston National Laboratory (GNL) – an academic research center on the campus of the University of Texas Medical Branch in Galveston. Utilizing the unique and extensive resources of the GNLs special biosafety level (BSL) 2, 3 and 4 laboratories, scientists at UTMB work collaboratively, both locally and internationally, to tackle some of the world&;#039;s most pressing health concerns involving emerging and reemerging infectious diseases. GNL research aims to discover new and better tests, treatments and vaccines to defend our population against existing diseases like tuberculosis, SARS virus, West Nile virus, Ebola, Marburg, Plague, encephalitis, influenza and a host of new diseases showing up in new ways or in new places around the world. Dr. LeDuc will share his insight on this incredible Texas asset and the important work taking place at the GNL in defense of the health of our global community.

[separator top=”20″ style=”single”]

Staton  Wayne Staton

Wayne Staton was born in the Lynchbirg, Virginia area in 1951 and lived there most of his life. He contracted polio at the age of 8 months. It left him with a weak right hip and leg. He graduated from the University of Virginia with a degree in Physics. He has made his career in computers. He currently works for BMC Software. In Virginia, he was a Briefing Leader for the Hunger Project and President of the Boonsboro Ruritan Club. Here in Texas, he is active with Rotary International and Landmark Education. He is a past president of the Rotary Club of Sharpstown. He is on the board of advisers for Zeons, a Social Purpose Corporation. Wayne has 3 children and two grand-children. He is engaged to Gwen Corolla, his partner in making the world a better place. Wayne is the current Rotary District 5890 Chair for Polio Plus.

Why End Polio? Because We Can!!

A polio survivor shares his experience of living life as a survivor and reports on the 25 year initiative of Rotary International and the global community to eradicate polio.

[separator top=”20″ style=”single”]

Infectious Disease Panel


woc-colburn_laila Leila Woc-Colburn, MD, DTM&H, FACP

Dr. Woc-Colburn graduated as a medical doctor from Universidad Francisco Marroquin in Guatemala. She later did her internal medicine residency in Chicago and her Infectious disease and HIV medicine fellowship at Case Medical Center in Cleveland, OH. There she also obtained a Diploma in Tropical medicine. Since then she oversees the tropical medicine clinic and medical education for the National School of Tropical Medicine at Baylor College of Medicine.


Bernard Appiah Bernard Appiah, B.Pharm, MPS, MS, DrPH

Dr. Bernard Appiah is a research associate at the School of Rural Public Health (SRPH) at The Texas A&M Health Science Center in College Station, Texas. He is also the Director of the Centre for Science and Health Communication, a non-profit based in Ghana. Bernard’s major research emphasis is global health and community health development with attention to using communication interventions to solve global health problems. He has been the author of a consumer-friendly book on rational use of medicines. Bernard has also written scripts for a television docu-drama series on rational use of medicines, which was aired on Ghana Television. For two years, he used television to educate the people of Ghana on rational medicines use through a weekly program presented live on air. Bernard is an associate fellow of the Communication Research Institute, based in Australia. He is a recipient of several awards, including being selected as a new voice in global health scholar by the Lancet and M8 Alliance for the World Health Summit in 2013 in Berlin, Germany; being a recipient of Council of Science Editors International Scholarship in 2007; and receiving Ghana’s first Young Pharmacist Award in 2005. His hobbies are reading, writing, and editing.

Engaging health and media professionals to address global health problems: A case study of Ghana

In this presentation, the role of communication in addressing global health problems in Sub-Saharan Africa will be discussed. A case study in Ghana that brought together health professionals (pharmacists, physicians, nurses, public health officials, etc) and media professionals (journalists, editors, public relation officers) will be highlighted. There will be emphasis on building the communication capacity of both health professionals and media professionals to enable them influence the behavior of the public to help address issues such as sanitation, HIV/AIDS, malaria, cardiovascular diseases, and neglected tropical diseases.

Garg  Nisha Garg, MS, PhD

Dr. Nisha Jain Garg, Ph.D. is Professor in the Departments of Microbiology; Immunology and Pathology in School of Medicine, and serves as Robert Shope and John Dunn Distinguished Chair in Global Health and as Director, Center for Tropical Diseases at the University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston. She also serves as a member of the NIH study sections and the American Society of Microbiology International Education Board; and on the Editorial Boards of several journals. Recently she served as Senior Scientific Advisor at the US Agency for International Development (USAID), engaged in implementation of Neglected Tropical Diseases Initiative of the US Government in Latin America. Dr. Garg has developed a strong and successful research program in the field of tropical infectious cardiomyopathy. Her research efforts have led to 75 peer-reviewed journal articles and 15 extramurally funded projects. Dr. Garg’s lab efforts are targeted to win the human fight against Trypanosoma cruzi that causes Chagasic cardiomyopathy. Chagas disease is a major public health threat in Latin America and Mexico, and recognized as an emerging infectious disease in the U.S. Her ongoing translational research with multiple international collaborations focuses on identifying the potential vaccine candidates, and using these candidates to develop multi-component vaccine(s) that provide protection against different T. cruzi strains in multiple animal hosts and humans. Working with young students and scientists in the lab, Dr. Garg utilizes innovative approaches to understand the pathomechanisms of oxidative stress in progressive Chagas disease, and develop adjunct therapies and diagnostic approaches that can be employed to prevent or arrest the chronic heart failure.

Global health burden of Chagas disease

The presentation will provide a brief introduction to Trypanosoma cruzi and the burden of Chagas disease, efforts to control the transmission, and barriers to elimination. I will also discuss the current approaches to control the infection and policy initiatives needed.

[separator top=”20″ style=”single”]

Jose Serpa Jose Serpa, MD, MS, CTropMed

Dr. Serpa is an assistant professor in the department of medicine, section of infectious diseases at Baylor College of Medicine. Dr. Serpa currently serves as the director of the infectious diseases training program, the director of the Effie and Wofford Cain Foundation, International Medicine Program, and the co-director of the global health track at Baylor. Dr. Serpa received his medical degree from Universidad Peruana Cayetano Heredia in Lima, Peru. He completed a research fellowship at the Institute of Tropical Medicine Alexnder von Humboldt in Lima, residency training in internal medicine at Henry Ford Hospital in Detroit, and a fellowship in infectious diseases at Baylor. He is also earned a master&;#039;s of science in the Clinical Scientist Training Program at Baylor. He is a specialist in tropical medicine and infectious diseases and has a research interest in neurocysticercosis.

A Simplified Approach to Diagnosis and Treatment of Neurocysticercosis

Lecture outline: Life cycle of Taenia solium Epidemiology of neurocysticercosis • In endemic areas • In non-endemic areas (e.g. United States) Pathogenesis Clinical disease • Parenchymal disease • Extraparenchymal disease Diagnosis • Imaging • Serology Treatment • Use of corticosteroids and anti-helmintics • Use of neurosurgical procedures • Prevention

[separator top=”20″ style=”single”]

Oral Abstracts

An emerging role for the anti-inflammatory cytokine Interleukin-10 in persistent bacterial infections
Abinav Kumar Singh and Nagaraja R. Thirumalapura
High-Resolution Melt Analysis To Determine Mutations Conferring Drug Resistance in Mycobacterium leprae
Meghan Dara
Eosinophilia as a potential surrogate for the diagnosis of strongyloidiasis in an immigrant population and the utility of absent Ss-NIE antibodies as a biomarker for cure
Rojelio Mejia, Yosselin Vicuña, Kathryn E. Spates, Nicole C. Holland, Amara G. Pabon, JeanAnne M. Ware, and Thomas B. Nutman
Molecular diagnostics of gastrointestinal parasitic infections in a rural setting
Tabitha Ward


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *