The Division of Infectious Diseases plays a critical role in the prevention and management of infectious diseases through research, clinical care, and education. To help achieve these goals, the Division has close ties to the Department of Pathology and Molecular Medicine at McMaster, the Michael G. DeGroote Institute for Infectious Disease Research, the Hamilton Regional Laboratory Medicine Program, and the Department of Health Research, Evidence, and Impact. Collaborations at the provincial, national, and international level bolster research and education activities. Faculty members are committed to providing quality patient care that brings the best evidence-based findings to bedside practice.
A key theme of the Division for clinical practice, research, and education is Global Health. Faculty members participate as clinician-educators in low-and middle-income countries as well as conduct randomized trials in countries in Asia, Africa, and the Middle East. Faculty in the Division conduct expert guidance for the WHO’s Essential List of Medicines for antibiotics. They also conduct essential educational missions that are also linked to research in Botswana and Namibia. Faculty members are currently conducting clinical trials of vaccines against tuberculosis.
Social medicine is another important theme, with Faculty members participating in the prevention of illness and maintenance of health of people living in shelters. Physicians in our Division developed an initiative to better understand health service utilization and barriers to effective therapy for injection drug users. A number of our physicians have a clinical and research focus on HIV, including prevention (pre-exposure prophylaxis) as well as diagnostics and therapeutics. Infections in cancer and stem cell transplant patients are another clinical focus.
There are investigators in Infection Prevention and Control where the focus is on antibiotic stewardship, C. difficile colonization, and the prevention of surgical site infections in cardiac surgery patients.
Major accomplishments for 2019-2020 include Dr. Haider receiving the 2019 Presidents Award from the Medical Staff Association HHSC for distinguished service. Dr. Sarah Kahn received the CAHR 2019 New Investigator Award. Dr. Eva Piessens became the residency Program Director. Dr.Smaill was awarded the Canadian Association of Medical Education (CAME) 2019 Certificate of Merit Award. Dr.Woodward created PrEP resources for Ontario physicians and led a province-wide education initiative for PrEP. Dr. Mark Loeb was elected as a Fellow of the Canadian Academy of Health Sciences and was selected to give the Thomas Marrie lectureship in Infectious Diseases at the University of Alberta.
The division continues to develop strength in connecting fundamental research and epidemiological studies, bringing benefits across Canada as well as internationally. Our goal is to increase the breadth and depth of our research, increase the integration of trainees in these areas, which ultimately will lead to further significant advances in the field of infectious diseases.
Members of the division of infectious diseases are engaged in research, education and clinical care aimed at reducing disparities in health in our community and globally. In Hamilton, this work focuses primarily on the intersection of infectious disease risk with poverty, mental health, addiction and social injustice.