Infectious Diseases

Department of Infectious Diseases


Elaine I. Tuomanen, MD

Departmental Focus

The goal of the Department of Infectious Diseases at St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital is to study devastating diseases of childhood through a comprehensive approach including basic science research, translational trials, and bedside care.

Among the top infectious causes of death worldwide are respiratory diseases and HIV/AIDS. The Department of Infectious Diseases seeks to focus on the pathogenesis of these infections with a breadth of commitment that extends from the research bench to the bedside. Investigations take place at four levels: manipulation of genes is expected to lead to phenotypes in cell culture systems that can be modeled in animal studies. Therapeutic candidates in the form of antimicrobials, vaccines, or adjunctive therapies are further pursued in clinical trials in children.

Investigations of infections in immunocompromised children aim at development of a risk prediction tool using inflammatory markers and molecular diagnostic assays to allow risk-stratified management approaches in febrile neutropenic children with cancer. The immune response of this high-risk population to childhood vaccines is also under study.

Study of respiratory pathogens includes investigations on the molecular pathogenesis of invasion and inflammation induced by the pneumococcus, synergistic interactions between pneumococcus and influenza, and elucidation of the natural history of influenza and parainfluenza viruses, including pandemic influenza. The influenza program leads the US effort against pandemic influenza and collaborates with the World Health Organization in tracking emergence of new influenza strains. The Translational Trials Unit houses the nationally recognized comprehensive, clinical care and research program for HIV infected children and adolescents.  Novel vaccine approaches for parainfluenza viruses, respiratory syncytial virus, influenza viruses, and pneumococcus are under development.

Contact Us

Department of Infectious Diseases
St Jude Children's Research Hospital
IRC E8057  Mailstop 320
262 Danny Thomas Place
Memphis, TN 38105-3678

Phone: 901-595-3114
Fax: 901-595-3099

Preferred contact method: email


Elisabeth E. Adderson, MD  Pediatric Infectious Diseases Fellowship Director

Miguela A. Caniza, MD  Infectious Diseases International Outreach

P. Joan Chesney, MD   Bacterial pathogenesis; graduate medical education; continuing medical education

Patricia M. Flynn, MD  Pediatric/Adolescent HIV/AIDS clinical trials

Aditya H. Gaur, MD  Pediatric/Adolescent HIV/AIDS clinical trials

Hans Haecker, MD, PhD  Toll-like receptor signal transduction

Hana Hakim, MD, MS  Risk stratification of febrile neutropenic children with cancer

Julia L. Hurwitz, PhD  Paramyxovirus and HIV vaccine design

Suzanne Jackowski, PhD  Bacterial lipid metabolism

Akinbou Kamei, MD Innate and adaptive immunity to Pseudomonas aeruginosa

Gabriela Marón, MD  Fungal infections in immunocompromised patients

Peter J. Murray, PhD  Downmodulation of inflammation

Charles O. Rock, PhD  Bacterial lipid metabolism

Jason W. Rosch, PhD  Bacterial genomics and metal transport

Charles J. Russell, PhD  Viral replication and vaccine design

Stacey L. Schultz-Cherry, PhD  Influenza virus and astrovirus pathogenesis

Amber M. Smith, PhD   Kinetic modeling of influenza and bacterial coinfection pathogenesis

Elaine I. Tuomanen, MD  Pathogenesis of Streptococcus pneumoniae

Richard J. Webby, PhD  Influenza pathogenesis and vaccine design

Joshua Wolf, MBBS  Device-associated infections; infections in immunocompromised children

Walter T. Hughes, MD  Emeritus

Clinical Staff

Katherine Knapp, MD  Pediatric/adolescent HIV/AIDS clinical trials

Nehali Patel, MD   Pediatric/adolescent HIV clinical care

Megan Wilkins, PhD  Clinical & research psychological services for children/adolescents with HIV/AIDS