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NIAID Infectious Diseases Fellowship Program

Fellowship Program Director: Christa Zerbe, M.D.
Associate Program Director: John E. Bennett, M.D.
Associate Program Director: Veronique Nussenblatt, M.D.


The Infectious Diseases Fellowship is a three-year program that is open to candidates who have completed three years of residency training in the United States or Canada. Residents will be accepted after two years of internal medicine residency if they are enrolled in the ABIM Research Pathway. Fellows receive training in clinical infectious diseases that is comprehensive in scope with specialized training in infections in immunocompromised hosts. Fellows receive research training under the direction of a faculty research mentor, allowing fellows to take advantage of the staggering breadth of research opportunities at NIH, including collaborative projects both within NIH and around the world.

Program Structure
Clinical training in the first year consists of rotations at the NIH Clinical Center and four outside affiliated academic medical centers (Johns Hopkins Hospital, Washington Hospital Center, George Washington University Hospital, and Georgetown University Hospital), as well as a private practice and ambulatory settings. This blend of general and specialized infectious diseases experiences offers a unique and unmatched array of diverse infectious disease pathologies, allowing fellows to gain comprehensive training in the pathophysiology of infectious diseases, including microbiology, mechanisms of pathogenesis and antimicrobial resistance, host defenses, and antimicrobial treatment.

In the second and third years, fellows undertake clinical and/or bench projects under the direct supervision of faculty research mentors. The goal of the research training is to produce academic infectious diseases physicians who will be prepared for careers involving clinical, basic, or translational research after the completion of their fellowship. Fellows spend a minimum of two years in research and often stay for additional years to continue work on their projects. We offer a spectrum of clinical to basic research opportunities, and fellows may choose to work in any of the NIAID research groups or laboratories.

The process of selecting potential research mentors begins in the fall of the first year of fellowship, when NIAID holds a retreat for fellows to meet with researchers and senior fellows. The fellows hear about the research projects in which they could participate, ranging in scope from clinical trials to overseas studies to the most basic aspects of immunology, virology, vaccine development, and more. Following the retreat, fellows consult individually with NIAID and fellowship program leadership and then meet with potential mentors to explore potential research options. Fellows typically choose a research mentor by springtime of their first year.

Additional Information
NIAID Infectious Diseases Fellowship Program

Application Information
Candidates are required to apply through ERAS and are selected through the National Residency Matching Program. Fellows in the ABIM Research Pathway require four years of fellowship.

Through ERAS, applicants will be asked to supply USMLE scores for Steps 1 and 2, a personal statement of career goals, medical school transcripts, and three letters of recommendation, one of which should be from the internal medicine program director. Applicants must have passed USMLE Step 3 in order to begin their fellowship training. Upon receipt of the required materials, we will notify you as to whether an interview will be scheduled. If financial or other constraints prohibit you from attending an interview, you should notify Dr. Zerbe as soon as possible. You may also contact the NIAID ID Fellowship Program office with questions.

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This page last updated on 05/21/2021

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