Overview

The Infectious Diseases Clinical Research Unit (ID CRU) was founded in the fall of 2020 to facilitate cutting-edge clinical research within the Division of Infectious Diseases at Massachusetts General Hospital.

The goals of the ID CRU are (1) to support investigators in the coordination and conduct of clinical trials within scientifically relevant areas of infectious diseases and (2) to provide training to infectious diseases fellows and faculty in clinical trials methodology, implementation, analysis, and interpretation.

Being embedded within the ID division at MGH, the ID CRU is uniquely positioned to take advantage of a wealth of clinical expertise and access to diverse patient populations. Indeed, the MGH Division of Infectious Diseases is the largest ID division in Massachusetts and ranks among the largest ID divisions in the US. The division currently has ~90 faculty and associated faculty members who, in addition to providing clinical care, conduct cutting-edge research. Members of the ID division have close to 50,000 patient contacts per year, including inpatient and outpatient consultations and follow-up visits. The outpatient clinic typically includes a busy Travel Advice and Immunization Clinic with over 10,000 administered vaccines per year. There are also over 3,000 visits per year to the MGH Sexual Health Clinic. The MGH ID Associates practice provides care for ~1,400 people living with HIV. The division’s research spans preventive immunization strategies against viral infections and gastrointestinal pathogens, bacterial resistance to antimicrobial agents, novel classes of antimicrobial agents, and infections related to transplantation and other immunocompromising disorders, to mention only a few areas of investigational interest.

Staff

Boris Juelg

Boris D. Juelg, MD PhD is the Director of the ID CRU and an Assistant Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School. He is also a member of the Ragon Institute of MGH, MIT and Harvard. Dr. Juelg aims to link preclinical and clinical studies to identify and test the most promising immunological strategies to prevent and treat infectious diseases. He is specifically interested in evaluating passive and active immunization approaches using broadly neutralizing antibodies and novel vaccine candidates. Dr. Juelg serves as principal investigator on multiple phase I/II clinical trials that are testing such concepts and translating findings from the lab into the clinic. He is the Associate Director of the Harvard Center for AIDS Research (CFAR) clinical core and a member of the MGH Committee for Clinical Research.

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Arthur Kim

Arthur Kim, M.D. is the Co-Director of the ID CRU and Director of the Viral Hepatitis Clinic in the Division of Infectious Diseases at MGH and Associate Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School. He received his medical degree at Harvard Medical School and trained in internal medicine at MGH and infectious diseases at MGH/Brigham and Women's Hospital. He has a longstanding clinical and research interest in those living with viral hepatitis, particularly in special populations such as acute infection, prisoners, post-transplantation, and HIV co-infection. He is currently serving on the panel for the Department of Health and Human Services Guidelines for the Use of Antiretroviral Agents in Adults and Adolescents Living with HIV.  He is the divisional and departmental lead of the COVID-19 Treatment Guidance for inpatients and a panel member of the COVID-19 National Institutes of Health Treatment Guidelines.
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Liz Barks

Elizabeth Barks, MBA joined MGH in 2011 following tenures in management consulting and private industry. She holds a BA in Economics from the University of Notre Dame and earned an MBA from the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University, with focused studies in Marketing and Nonprofit Management. Liz presently serves as the Division of Infectious Diseases’ Administrative Director and has been a part of the ID CRU since its inception.


Jaclyn Pagliaro

Jaclyn Pagliaro, MPH received her BS in Biology and minor in Health Science from Northeastern University before going on to earn her MPH from the Massachusetts College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences (MCPHS) University. Jaclyn joined the ID CRU in Fall 2020 after conducting research in the Division of Cardiology for 3 years. She currently serves as the Project Manager and oversees several COVID-19 trials. Jaclyn intends to pursue medical school subsequent to her tenure with the ID CRU. 


Alan

Alan Chen joined the ID CRU as a Clinical Research Coordinator in September 2020 after graduating from Tufts University with a BA in Biology. As an undergraduate, Alan discovered his passion for public health while working at the Gay Men’s Health Crisis to promote national, state, and local policies that increased access to HIV prevention and treatment. At the ID CRU, Alan coordinates clinical research studies that aim to understand and identify treatments for COVID-19.


Brandon

Brandon Duffy works as a Clinical Research Coordinator with the ID CRU. Originally from Minnesota, Brandon graduated from Harvard College in May 2020 with a degree in evolutionary biology. Before joining MGH in September 2020, he researched thyroid eye disease and proliferative vitreoretinopathy in the Kim lab at Schepens Eye Research Institute in Boston. Brandon hopes to attend medical school after his time at MGH.


Dakarai K. Saunders

Dakarai K. Saunders is a Clinical Research Coordinator within the ID CRU who graduated in May 2020 with her Bachelor's in Biochemistry from Spelman College. She is currently pursuing her Master's in Chemical Engineering at Northeastern University. Dakarai assists with coordinating research studies in the ID CRU to help identify therapeutics for COVID-19. She is interested in becoming a physician engineer to address minority populations’ distrust in medical practices and clinical research.

Affiliated Faculty

Rajesh T. Gandhi

Rajesh T. Gandhi, MD is Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School, and the Director of HIV Clinical Services and Education at Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH). Dr. Gandhi is the site leader of the MGH AIDS Clinical Research Site in the AIDS Clinical Trials Group (ACTG). He is also the Co-Director of the Harvard University Center for AIDS Research (CFAR). Dr. Gandhi is a member of the NIH Covid-19 Treatment Guidelines Panel and the Infectious Diseases Society of America (IDSA) Covid-19 Treatment Guidelines Panel. He is also a scientific member of the Department of Health and Human Services Panel on Antiretroviral Guidelines for Adults and Adolescents, and the International Antiviral Society-USA Panel on Antiretroviral Drugs for Treatment and Prevention of HIV in Adults. Dr. Gandhi is a Deputy Editor of NEJM Journal Watch Infectious Diseases and NEJM Journal Watch HIV/AIDS. Dr. Gandhi graduated from Harvard Medical School, completed his medical residency and chief residency at Brigham and Women’s Hospital, and his infectious diseases fellowship training at Johns Hopkins Hospital.

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Elizabeth “Libby” Hohmann, MD

Elizabeth “Libby” Hohmann, MD is Associate Professor of Infectious Diseases and has been at MGH since 1990. She is an expert on intestinal infections especially Salmonella, Listeria monocytogenes and C. difficile. Her interests include clinical and translational research and she has significant experience with live attenuated bacterial vaccines and vaccine vectors. She has a special interest in “first in human” studies, particularly those involving human challenge studies and live organisms. She also has expertise in ethical and regulatory oversight of clinical research, having served as an IRB chair for 25 years. She directs the MGH Core Laboratory for Fecal Microbiota Transplantation and leads research looking at modification of the gastrointestinal microbiome in infectious, metabolic and inflammatory conditions. Dr. Hohmann has recently served as the MGH PI for the NIH-sponsored ACTT studies which have evaluated therapies for patients hospitalized with COVID-19, using rigorous double-blinded designs.

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