Robert T. “Chip” Schooley, MD, Stepping Down as Division Chief of Infectious Diseases

August 14, 2017

An announcement from Wolfgang H. Dillmann, MD, Helen M. Ranney Distinguished Professor and Chair, Department of Medicine

Robert T.

Robert T. “Chip” Schooley, MD

It is with mixed emotions that the Department of Medicine announces that Dr. Robert “Chip” Schooley has stepped down as Division Chief of Infectious Diseases effective August 1, 2017. Dr. Schooley has accepted the position of UCSD Senior Director of International Initiatives, and he will remain as Vice Chair of Academic Affairs in the Department of Medicine, and will continue to be a valuable member of the Infectious Diseases Team.

Dr. Schooley joined the Department in 2005 as the third chief of Infectious Diseases since its inception. Over the past 12 years, under his leadership, the division has nearly doubled in size from having 25 faculty members to 44, with many of them joining the division from the fellowship. During that time, Dr. Schooley has mentored countless medical students, residents, and fellows, and has also helped to develop a collaborative culture within the division, creating a worldwide network of researchers and clinicians. He has personally mentored dozens of fellows and junior faculty, helping them to establish independent careers within academia both at UCSD and at other institutions.

Throughout his tenure, the Infectious Diseases Division has remained the #1 research funded division in the Department of Medicine. Dr. Schooley brought the editorship of the Clinical Infectious Disease Journal to UCSD which served to increase the international reputation of the division and also provided faculty members direct access to outstanding research and collaboration opportunities. Along with the Fellowship Director, Dr. Constance Benson, Dr. Schooley established the Mozambique research and training program at UCSD in 2009, which has served to train hundreds of UCSD residents and fellows, and physicians from Mozambique. This collaboration has helped to further reinforce Dr. Schooley as a world-leader in both the research and management of infectious disease.

Dr. Schooley also helped establish the UCSD HCV clinic, and has never shied away from innovative and entrepreneurial methods to patient care. This was most recently exemplified by his coordination of the treatment of Acinetobacter baumannii utilizing bacteriophages in a successful experimental treatment. This outcome could not have been possible were it not for the faculty mentorship, the professional relationships, and the constant innovation exemplified by the entire division of Infectious Diseases under the stewardship of Dr. Schooley.

Please join me in congratulating Dr. Robert Schooley on over a decade of outstanding service to our Department as a brilliant leader, clinician, investigator, mentor, and colleague.

Stuck on Flu

How a sugar-rich mucus barrier traps the virus – and it gets free to infect

Researchers at the University of California, San Diego School of Medicine have shown for the first time how influenza A viruses snip through a protective mucus net to both infect respiratory cells and later cut their way out to infect other cells. … Read the full story from the UC San Diego News Center


Dr. Robert T. "Chip" Schooley

Dr. Robert T. Schooley

Project co-investigators from the Division of Infectious Diseases in the Department of Medicine are Robert T. “Chip” Schooley, MD, professor of medicine and chief of the division; associate project scientist Xing-Quan Zhang; and Hui-Wen Chen, now at the School of Veterinary Medicine at National Taiwan University.

Dr. Schooley is academic affairs vice chair for the Department of Medicine.

Citation for the study report in Virology Journal:

Miriam Cohen, Xing-Quan Zhang, Hooman P Senaati, Hui-Wen Chen, Nissi M Varki, Robert T Schooley, Pascal Gagneux. Influenza A penetrates host mucus by cleaving sialic acids with neuraminidase. Virology Journal 2013, 10:321 (22 November 2013) doi:10.1186/1743-422X-10-321.  |  Full text (Open access)

More news from the Division of Infectious Diseases:

 

Early Successes: Global Medicine Update from Mozambique

Since it began last summer, the Global Medicine Program at UC San Diego has sent 11 internal medicine residents to Mozambique, sparked several new research projects, and stimulated learning on both sides of this unique international partnership.

The Republic of Mozambique. Map from CIA: The World Factbook.

The Republic of Mozambique.
Map from CIA: The World Factbook.

The Global Medicine Program is a two-way exchange of faculty and residents between UCSD and the Universidade Eduardo Mondlane in Maputo, Mozambique. It is part of the Department of Medicine’s efforts to expand its involvement in global health.

“I think the program has made absolutely incredible progress,” said Dr. Constance Benson, Professor of Medicine and Director of UCSD’s Fellowship Training Program in Infectious Diseases.

Dr. Benson is a faculty director of the program.

During their 3-week stay, the UCSD internal medicine residents rotate through four different wards at Maputo General Hospital. Dr. Michael Preziosi, Clinical Director of the program, serves as faculty attending physician on site in Maputo.

Mozambican internal medicine residents

Mozambican internal medicine residents (left to right) Drs. Clotilde Tilwene, Neusa Jessen, Marilia Vida. Photo by Mike Preziosi, MD

Working together with the Mozambican doctors, the UCSD residents are encountering diseases they have never seen before and far more advanced stages of diseases frequently seen in San Diego; schistosomiasis, for example, and full-blown tuberculosis.

In one 24-hour period, Dr. Preziosi said, his patients included one who had tetanus with lockjaw, one with a liver cancer caused by a fungus that grows on peanuts, and one who had an advanced case of pellagra.

Broadening UCSD’s Internal Medicine Residency Training Program is one of the goals of the Global Medicine Program. Promoting collaborative global health research is another.

Mozambican residents at a presentation

U.S. and Mozambican residents at a presentation. Photo by Mike Preziosi, MD.

In the past six months, UCSD residents, fellows, and faculty members have begun to partner with Maputo researchers in new studies of tuberculosis and other endemic diseases.

UCSD is also introducing tools and practices that will strengthen the medical education program at Universidade Eduardo Mondlane.

A weekly journal club, instituted by UCSD residents, has been very well received.

“On the wards with the Mozambican residents, what’s going on has been really inspiring,” said Dr. Preziosi. “We’re seeing them get excited about medicine again.”This, in turn, refreshes the American residents, he said.

“I think they are getting a renewed sense of the purpose and value of the educational activities they are helping to introduce,” Dr. Preziosi said, “and are participating in them with renewed energy.”

Mozambican and American residents

Mozambican resident Marilia Vida (left) with Dr. Sarah Fox, second-year UCSD resident. Photo by Mike Preziosi, MD.

Mozambican residents will begin rotations at UCSD later this year.

“What makes our program unique,” said Dr. Robert “Chip” Schooley, “is that the transfer of capacity is being done in a peer-to-peer fashion by people who are transferring knowledge about jobs they do all the time.“The Mozambican residents see our residents as counterparts who are sharing their own experiences.”

Dr. Schooley, a Faculty Director of the program, is Professor of Medicine and Chief of the Division of Infectious Diseases. “I think this program will break a lot of ground,” he said.

UCSD faculty appointments have been granted to Drs. Emilia Noormahomed and Sam Patel, the faculty leaders on the Universidade Eduardo Mondlane side of the Global Medicine Program.

UCSD is assisting with material needs in Maputo as well.

Last summer, a UCSD team brought a supply of modern tuberculosis protective masks for the Mozambican residents’ workroom at the hospital. There is a great shortage of other basic clinical supplies.

To help meet such needs and to sustain the Global Medicine Program, Dr. Schooley and colleagues are stepping up their fundraising efforts.

“We can make a real impact on the health of this country with a very modest investment,” said Dr. Kenneth Kaushansky. Dr. Kaushansky, Helen M. Ranney Distinguished Professor and Chair of the Department of Medicine, is Director of the Global Medicine Program.

As the U.S. and Mozambican residents care for patients and pursue their studies together, they lay groundwork for stronger healthcare systems in both nations. In the face of overwhelming need in Maputo, they press forward with the resources available.

Drs. Benson and Schooley are veterans of many successful efforts to improve healthcare delivery in Africa.

“You overcome,” said Dr. Benson. “One day at a time, one patient at a time.”

* * *

The Global Medicine elective rotation is open to second- and third-year residents and to Department of Medicine faculty members from all specialties.

For more information on the Global Medicine Program,
visit http://imresidency.ucsd.edu/GlobalMed.shtml.

Read our news story about the launch of the Global Medicine Program here.

Give to our Global Medicine Program.

Global Public Health Division joins the Department of Medicine

Steffanie A. Strathdee, Ph.D.The UCSD School of Medicine’s highly respected academic team of global public health specialists has joined the Department of Medicine.

The Division of Global Public Health, headed by Steffanie A. Strathdee, Ph.D., conducts research and education programs to address healthcare problems that transcend political borders.

Formerly known as the Division of International Health & Cross-Cultural Medicine, the division was a part of the Department of Family and Preventive Medicine.

Division Chief Dr. Steffanie Strathdee is a top researcher, educator and thought leader in global health issues. She was recently appointed UCSD’s first Associate Dean for Global Medicine. Read the UCSD press release

“We are delighted to join outstanding leaders in academic medicine in the Department of Medicine,” Dr. Strathdee said.

“Our combined efforts will focus on reducing global health disparities and promoting training and education on global health issues that know no borders.”

Dr. Strathdee holds the Harold Simon Chair in Global Public Health and a professorship in the Department of Medicine.

The Division of Global Public Health has 16 full-time and many affiliated faculty members.

Kenneth Kaushansky, M.D., M.A.C.P.“By joining the Department of Medicine, Steffanie and her colleagues have expanded our global reach to four continents,” said Dr. Ken Kaushansky, Helen M. Ranney Distinguished Professor and Chair of the Department of Medicine.

“Now, the Medicine faculty, fellows, residents and students have the opportunity to participate in the Global Public Health Division’s cutting-edge clinical research and innovative and insightful educational programs, and to deliver badly needed health care and self-help skills to citizens of the world.”

Robert Schooley, M.D.Dr. Robert Schooley, Professor and Chief of the Division of Infectious Diseases, commented, “There has been a major increase in interest in international activities within the Department of Medicine over the last 5 years.

“Dr. Strathdee and her group will provide a new dimension to scholarly activities in global medicine within the Department of Medicine –in terms of both content and geography.

“The synergy between the internationally recognized epidemiology, public health and prevention programs in Dr. Strathdee’s group and the biomedical research activities in other divisions throughout the Department will greatly increase the productivity and visibility of global medicine activities at UCSD,” Dr. Schooley said.

Programs both global and local

The education and research programs of the UCSD Division of Global Public Health extend from the San Diego-Tijuana region to communities and institutions across the world.

“Of particular interest are the public health efforts of Steffanie and her group in the California-Mexico border region,” said Dr. Kaushansky. “They’ve been a model of how proactive public health programs can provide new insights into the origins of health care disparities.

“They also demonstrate how interventions based on careful study can make an important impact on the health of both our neighbors and the citizens of California.”

The division’s local projects include three NIH-sponsored research studies based in Tijuana and other cities situated on the Mexico-US border. The projects focus on HIV, tuberculosis, and sexually transmitted infections.

The division currently offers three research training programs focusing on prevention of HIV and related infections and substance use:

In addition, the Division of Global Public Health has just completed a TIES (Training, Internship, Exchange, Scholarships) program, a United States Agency for International Development (USAID)-sponsored effort to prevent HIV infection in Tijuana and northwest Mexico.

In local education at the postgraduate level, Dr. Strathdee is the Co-director of the Global Health track of the doctoral program in public health that is offered jointly with the San Diego State University Graduate School of Public Health.

More about Dr. Strathdee

Dr. Steffanie Strathdee is a renowned infectious disease epidemiologist. Her research efforts have focused on preventing blood-borne infections such as HIV and removing barriers to healthcare delivery in underserved populations around the world.

Dr. Strathdee, who co-directs the International Core of the UCSD Center for AIDS Research, has published more than 300 scholarly reports on HIV/AIDS alone.

She joined the UCSD faculty from Johns Hopkins University five years ago. She holds an adjunct professorship in the Department of Epidemiology in the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health.

For more information about the Division of Global Public Health, its faculty and activities, please visit the division’s website at http://gph.ucsd.edu.

More Information

MISSION OF THE DIVISION OF GLOBAL PUBLIC HEALTH

Working Together to Improve Global Health

The mission of the Division of Global Public Health is to:

  • Increase awareness, skills and research capacity relating to international health and cross-cultural issues through educational activities directed to faculty, students, fellows and the community;
  • Conduct high-caliber research on health-related issues and service utilization facing populations in international settings, U.S. minorities and migrants to the U.S.;
  • Provide opportunities for students to experience clinical and research activities in international settings and diverse communities;
  • Initiate, participate and foster collaborations on international health activities within and between departments in the UCSD School of Medicine, the general UCSD campus, organized research units, and U.S.-based and international agencies and institutions;
  • Offer advice and consultation on international health topics as needed by local, regional, national and international organizations.