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Meet Our Fellows

Frances M. Saccoccio, MD, PhD, is a third-year fellow. She is a graduate of Virginia Commonwealth University School of Medicines’ combined MD/PhD program, where her dissertation work focused on characterizing novel vaccine targets for congenital cytomegalovirus (CMV) infection. She completed residency training in Pediatrics at Virginia Commonwealth University Health System in Richmond, Virginia. During fellowship, Frances is working with Dr. Sallie Permar to investigate the immune response to primary CMV infection during pregnancy. Her fellowship research is supported by the Pediatric Infectious Diseases Society (PIDS) Fellowship Award funded by the National CMV Foundation, a NIH Loan Repayment Program Award, and a Thrasher Research Fund Early Career Award. Frances is originally from Long Island, NY. She is an avid runner - she has completed more than 10 marathons (including several during fellowship) and enjoys training along the numerous trails in the Triangle.
Bradford Becken III, MD, is a second-year fellow. After graduating from Davidson College, he worked as a financial analyst in Los Angeles. After more than 3 years as an analyst, he became interested in medicine and started pre-medical studies in DC. He went on to complete a master’s degree in microbiology while applying to medical school. Having completed his pediatric residency at Duke, he knew he wanted to stay for fellowship given the diverse population and pathologies seen at the institution and the strength of the Pediatric ID Division. As a Physician-Scientist Development Program Fellow, he will join a basic science laboratory once his clinical year is complete, investigating the molecular mechanisms of a novel anaerobic bacteria (Akkermansia muciniphila) and its role in metabolism and obesity.
Jacob T. Kilgore, MD, is a second-year fellow. He obtained his medical degree from the Marshall University School of Medicine where he graduated as the medical school class valedictorian. He stayed at Marshall to complete an internal medicine-pediatrics residency, acting as chief resident for both the Internal Medicine and Med-Peds programs. During residency, Jacob worked with his hospital’s antimicrobial stewardship team to improve antibiotic use in both the adult and pediatric patient populations. Additionally, he was active in his institution’s rural outreach and international health programs, traveling to remote areas of West Virginia and to Honduras to provide medical care and implement public health initiatives. His current research interests include antimicrobial stewardship and global health. He is obtaining a MPH degree in epidemiology from the UNC Gillings School of Public Health during fellowship. When he is not working, he enjoys time with his wife, Maggie, and their two St. Bernards, Sully and Butters, as well as soccer.
Sarah M. Heston, MD, is a first-year fellow. She graduated from Davidson College and obtained her medical degree from the University of Tennessee Health Science Center College of Medicine. She then went on to complete her pediatrics residency training at the University of Tennessee, where she is currently serving as a chief resident. Sarah has prior research experience in pneumococcal infections and participated in a number of quality improvement projects and volunteer experiences during her residency training. For her fellowship research, she will be studying how the microbiome influences the risk of infections after hematopoietic stem cell transplantation. Outside of the hospital, Sarah enjoys spending time with her husband and daughter, cooking, and gardening.
Sanya Thomas, MD, is a first-year fellow. She attended McMaster University in Ontario, obtained her medical degree from Jagiellonian University Medical College in Poland, and completed her pediatrics residency at the University of Kansas – Wichita. During her undergraduate career, Sanya was involved in a number of outreach experiences including a medical rotation in Chennai, India, and continued her volunteering endeavors during her medical training at JUMC LOVES--an organization that helps children in Krakow, Poland develop conversational English through fun activities. During her infectious diseases fellowship, Sanya’s research will focus on risk factors and outcomes for adenovirus infections in solid organ transplant recipients. When not working, Sanya enjoys hiking, cooking, poetry, and traveling.

Areej Bukhari, MD, will be starting as a first-year fellow in July 2019. She graduated from Florida International University (FIU) and obtained her medical degree from FIU Herbert Wertheim College of Medicine. She then completed residency in Pediatrics at Nicklaus Children’s Hospital in Miami. During residency, Areej was involved in clinical research investigating the epidemiology of urinary tract infections caused by ESBL bacteria in children, and a Quality Improvement project to improve vaccination rates among NICU patients. Her research interests within the field of infectious diseases include infections in immunocompromised patients and global health. Her interests outside of work include hiking, traveling, baking, astronomy, and cats.

Rohan J. Vilms, MD, MPH, will be starting as a first-year fellow in July 2019. He obtained his medical degree at the University of California, San Diego and MPH at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health. Rohan has an interest in global health inequity and health services research, especially the social and health systems factors that affect infant and child mortality (largely infectious) in low- and middle-income countries. During residency, he also conducted research on antimicrobial use in the United States. Outside of work, Rohan enjoys spending time running with his wife, Sarah, and learning new cuisines and languages, preferably in an endemic setting.

Select Current Fellow Publications

Cornberg M, Sheridan BS, Saccoccio FM, Brehm MA, Selin LK. Protection against vaccina virus challenge by CD8 memory T cells resolved by molecular mimicry. J Virol. 2007, Jan; 81(2): 934-944. PMID: 17079318.

Cornberg MC, Clute SC, Watkin LB, Saccoccio FM, Kim SK, Naumov YK, Brehm MA, Aslan N, Welsh RM, Selin LK. CD8 T cell cross reactivity networks mediate heterologous immunity in human EBV and murine vaccine virus infections. J Immunol. 2010, Mar; 184(6): 2825-2838. PMID: 20164414. 

Saccoccio FM, Gallagher MK, Adler SP, McVoy MA. Neutralizing activity of saliva against cytomegalovirus. Clin Vaccine Immunol. 2011, Sep; 18(9): 1536-1542. PMID: 21795465.

Saccoccio FM, Sauer A, Cui X, Armstrong A, Habib E, Johnson D, Ryckman B, Klingelhutz A, Adler SP, McVoy MA. Peptides from cytomegalovirus UL130 and UL131 proteins elicit epithelial entry neutralizing response comparable to natural infection and capable of neutralizing viral entry into mucosal epithelial cells. Vaccine. 2011, Mar; 29(15): 2705-2711. PMID: 21310190.

Karlström A, Heston SM, Boyd KL, Tuomanen EI, McCullers JA. Toll-like receptor 2 mediates fatal immunopathology in mice during treatment of secondary pneumococcal pneumonia following influenza. J Infect Dis. 2011 Nov;204(9):1358-66. doi: 10.1093/infdis/jir522.

Kilgore JT, Smith MJ. Outpatient Pediatric Antibiotic Use: A Systematic Review. Current Infectious Diseases Reports. 2019 March 20;21(4):14, PMID: 30895479.

Batchelor JD, Kilgore JT, Harmon R, Price WD. Gas-Phase Reactions of PPI Dendrimers and Analogues Complexed with Divalent Zinc. Polymer Preprints, 2007, 48(1), 406-407.

Batchelor JD, Kilgore JT, Harbour GA, Price WD. Mass spectrometry of dendrimer-metal complexes. Polymer Preprints. 2007;48(1):447-448.

Batchelor JD, Kilgore JT, Harbour GA, Price WD. Mass Spectrometry of Dendrimer-Metal Complexes. Polymer Preprints, 2007, 48(1), 447-448.Zaengle-Barone JM, Jackson AC, Besse DM, Becken B, Arshad M, Seed PC, Franz KJ. Copper influences the antibacterial outcomes of a β-lactamase-activated prochelator against drug-resistant bacteria. ACS Infect Dis. 2018 Jun 8;4(6):1019-1029.

Zaengle-Barone JM, Jackson AC, Besse DM, Becken B, Arshad M, Seed PC, Franz KJ. Copper Influences the Antibacterial Outcomes of a β-Lactamase-Activated Prochelator against Drug-Resistant Bacteria. ACS Infect Dis. 2018 Jun 8;4(6):1019-1029. doi: 10.1021/acsinfecdis.8b00037. Epub 2018 Mar 26.

Heston S, Arnold S. Syphilis in Children. Infect Dis Clin North Am. 2018 Mar;32(1):129-144. doi: 10.1016/j.idc.2017.11.007. 

Becken B, Kilgore J, Thompson E, Moody MA. Right-sided endocarditis from Staphylococcus lugdunensis in a patient with tetralogy of Fallot. Infect Dis Rep. 2019 Feb 26;11(1):7872.




Select Past Fellows

Name:  Michael Cohen-Wolkowiez, MD, PhD*
Fellowship Years:  2006 - 2009
NIH Career Development (K) Award:  K23
Current Position: Professor of Pediatrics / Duke University Medical Center
Name:  Anne Buchanan, MD, MPH, DTM&H
Fellowship Years:  2008 - 2011
Current Position:  Physician Project Lead / ViiV Healthcare
Name:  Luise E. Rogg, MD, PhD
Fellowship Years:  2008 - 2011
Current Position:  Director, Global Clinical Safety and Pharmacovigilance / GlaxoSmithKline
Name:  Dwight E. Yin, MD, PhD*, MPH*
Fellowship Years:  2009 - 2013
NIH Career Development (K) Award:  K23 (pending)
Current Position:  Assistant Professor of Pediatrics / University of Missouri-Kansas City
Name:  Dorothy E. Dow, MD, MScGH*
Fellowship Years:  2010 - 2014
NIH Career Development (K) Award:  K01
Current Position:  Assistant Professor of Pediatrics / Duke University Medical Center

Name:  Mehreen Arshad, MBBS
Fellowship Years:  2011 - 2015
NIH Career Development (K) Award:  K08
Current Position:  Assistant Professor of Pediatrics / Northwestern University

Name:  Jessica E. Ericson, MD, MPH*
Fellowship Years:  2012 - 2015
NIH Career Development (K) Award:  K23 (pending)
Current Position:  Assistant Professor of Pediatrics / Pennsylvania State University
Name:  Matthew S. Kelly, MD, MPH
Fellowship Years:  2013 - 2016
NIH Career Development (K) Award:  K23 
Current Position: Assistant Professor of Pediatrics / Duke University Medical Center
Name:  Ezzeldin Saleh, MBBS
Fellowship Years:  2013 - 2017
Current Position: Assistant Professor of Pediatrics / Southern IL School of Medicine
Name:  David Shapiro, DO
Fellowship Years:  2013 - 2017
Current Position: Pediatric ID Subspecialist / University of Florida Health
Name: Nazario Rivera, MD
Fellowship Years: 2015 - 2018
Current Position: Pediatric ID Subspecialist / Novant Health

* Indicates degree(s) earned during fellowship