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University of Pittsburgh Schools of the Health Sciences

Infectious Disease Specialists Establish NIH-Funded Program on Fungal Infections at Pitt

PITTSBURGH, December 10, 2007 Minh-Hong Nguyen, M.D., and Cornelius J. Clancy, M.D., infectious disease specialists with expertise in fungal infections, have joined the Division of Infectious Diseases at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine.

Dr. Nguyen will serve as director of the Transplant Infectious Diseases and the Antimicrobial Management Programs at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center (UPMC). Infections are leading causes of severe illness and death among transplant recipients because of the strong immune suppressive drugs patients must take to prevent rejection of transplanted organs. Antimicrobial management programs are crucial in preventing the emergence of antibiotic-resistant infections. By combining the transplant infectious diseases and antimicrobial management positions, UPMC has taken the lead in recognizing that both treatment and prevention are crucial in curtailing the spread of difficult-to-cure infectious diseases.

Dr. Clancy will serve as director of the Mycology Research Unit (MRU) at Pitt. The MRU is a multidisciplinary program funded by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) to perform clinical, translational and basic research on fungal diseases. The MRU is one of only three such programs in the United States. Its mission is to bring scientific insights from the research laboratory to the patients bedside in the form of new therapies, vaccines and preventive strategies. Drs. Nguyen and Clancy also are co-investigators in an NIH consortium that is evaluating novel diagnostic tests for fungal infections. The MRU and NIH consortium are especially relevant at Pitt since solid organ and bone marrow transplant recipients and other immunosuppressed patients are highly susceptible to fungal infections.

Drs. Nguyen and Clancy will address several critical needs at UPMC, including the development of state-of-the-art care for patients who suffer from fungal infections, the implementation of antifungal and antibacterial management strategies and the creation of rapid diagnostic tests for fungal infections among high-risk patients.

In addition to NIH support, their research also is funded by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs and the American Lung Association.

The physician-researchers come to Pitt from the University of Florida College of Medicine where Dr. Nguyen served as associate professor of medicine and molecular genetics and microbiology, and as chief of the infectious disease section at the VA Medical Center in Gainesville, Fla. Dr. Clancy served as assistant professor of medicine in the division of infectious diseases and director of the Mycology Research Unit.

Both physicians have received many awards during their careers and have published numerous articles on the care of patients with infectious diseases and the science of fungal infections in professional journals.


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