Infectious Diseases


Dr. Tobi Kollmann, Division Head (Interim)

The Division of Infectious Diseases is a research-intensive division with a strong training program in Pediatric Infectious Diseases. The Division strives to deliver the best clinical care in a setting of inquiry and discovery, and to be the best of its kind in Canada. Each clinical member of the Division endeavours to excel in clinical care, research and teaching. The Division is composed of infectious diseases consultants, clinician investigators and full-time scientists who advance the clinical research conducted by the team. The Division is proud of its fully accredited training program in Pediatric Infectious Diseases, approved by the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada, and trains many graduate students and post-doctoral scientists who seek a career in this field.

Graduates of the Royal College accredited program have gone on to assume leadership positions in Pediatric Infectious Diseases in North America, Europe, Asia and Australia.

Clinical programs include Infectious Diseases consulting services, pediatric services to the BC Women’s Hospital Oak Tree Clinic for HIV infected children and mothers, and the Family Immunization Clinic.

 

The Division of Infectious Diseases continues to be a highly research-intensive group and is proud of its multiple publications and presentations, and of a research reputation with national and international recognition.

Research activities are well established and funded by national granting agencies, including the Canadian Institutes for Health Research, National Institutes of Health, Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, Health Canada, Genome Canada, The Burroughs Wellcome Fund, The Canada Foundation for Innovation and the Canadian Cystic Fibrosis Foundation.

Research opportunities exist within the Vaccine Evaluation Center and the BC Children’s Hospital Research Institute. Particular areas of research strength in the Division are in microbial pathogenesis, host defense against bacterial infection, viral infections in infancy, inflammation in infants and children and a wide range of vaccine-related issues. Funding for research training is available locally and from both federal and private funding agencies.

The Vaccine Evaluation Center (VEC) was established in 1988 as the first academic center for independent vaccine research in Canada. Under the direction of Dr. Sadarangani and with the active involvement of Drs. Kollmann, Gantt, Bettinger and Sauvé, the VEC continues to be a national leader in vaccinology research completing over 240 projects. Research projects have spanned basic vaccine science, pre-licensure clinical trials, epidemiology research, post-marketing evaluation including optimizing immunization schedules, social science, promotional and programmatic research as well as laboratory-based assay development. A number of major initiatives include the creation of a national group, the Canadian Association for Immunization Research and Evaluation (CAIRE), serving as a data center for the IMPACT network of children’s hospitals across Canada and as a lead center for Rapid Trials in the PHAC/CIHR Influenza Research Network.

The Oak Tree Clinic at BC Women’s Hospital has a women and children’s HIV research program, to which Drs. Alimenti and Sauvé contribute with funding from several sources, including Canadian Institutes for Health Research, Health Canada, the Vancouver Foundation and CANFAR.

Fellowship Information


Dr. Ashley Roberts, Fellowship Program Director

The Infectious Diseases fellowship is a 2 year clinical training program offering training in clinical and research skills for physicians pursuing an academic career in infectious diseases. The program is fully accredited by the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada. A busy consultation service sees approximately 300 inpatients and 150 outpatients per year. Educational opportunities exist in HIV infection, clinical microbiology, pediatric virology, infection control, antimicrobial stewardship, adult infectious diseases, tuberculosis, reproductive infectious diseases and public health.

The Pediatric Infectious Diseases Program is integrated with the Infectious Diseases Training Program in the Department of Medicine and the Medical Microbiology Training Program, with joint clinical conferences and common academic half days. Our program offers unique international opportunities with our Global Pediatric ID training program, with established elective opportunities in Thailand, Kenya, Singapore and China. We accept trainees through three main tracks: Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada via CaRMS (this is aimed primarily at Canadian trainees applying from a Canadian pediatric residency program); Visa trainees fully funded through their country of origin; and Clinical fellows funded through the BC Children’s First Responder program (this is aimed primarily at international medical graduates).

Members of the Division serve as resources to the medical community with a variety of programs for the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of infectious diseases in children and youth.

Infectious Diseases Consultation:

  • Inpatient Services: hospitalized patients with wide variety of complex infections including infections in immune compromised hosts, tuberculosis, HIV, congenital infections and infections after international travel.
  • Outpatient Services: Complex infectious diseases including infection after international travel, tuberculosis, parasitic infections, congenital infections.

Oak Tree Clinic at BC Women’s Hospital: Dr. Alimenti and Dr. Sauvé care for children both to HIV infected mothers, and HIV infected children in a unique facility in Canada providing women-centered, trauma informed care to women, pregnant women and children with HIV-AIDS.

Screening and Management of Congenital Cytomegalovirus (CMV): CMV is the most common congenital infection, and a major cause of neurodevelopmental delay. Led by Dr. Gantt, BC Children’s and Women’s Hospital has established the only targeted newborn screening program for congenital CMV infection in Canada. Infected infants are evaluated and managed by a multi-disciplinary team, including Infectious Diseases and the BC Early Hearing Program.

PHSA Infection Prevention and Control: Dr. Sauvé is one of five physician members contributing to BC Children's Hospital and the Provincial Health Services Authority’s IPAC service. Drs. Sauvé and Finlay sit on the C&W Infection Control Committee.

Family Immunization Clinic: Led by Dr. Sadarangani, the clinic provides routine childhood immunizations and provides consultation service for complex immunization questions.

Antimicrobial Stewardship: This key divisional activity is led by Dr. Roberts. A team of physicians, pharmacists and analysts work collaboratively with specialties and pediatric subspecialties to ensure that antimicrobials are used appropriately and safely.

These clinical activities continue to expand, given the increasing complexity of infectious complications in immunocompromised children, the emergence of antibiotic-resistant "superbugs", the spread of infections within the hospital, and the risks of, and preparedness for, bioterrorism.

Division members have been instrumental in local and national guidelines developing quality of care indicators related to infection control, hospital-acquired blood stream infections, and venous access devices, along with site-wide approaches to the use of tablet devices for the input of clinical information. With the high profile and topicality of the medical issues within this Division, advice is increasingly sought locally, nationally and internationally.

Faculty:
Dr. Tobias Kollmann, Division Head (Interim)
Dr. Ashley Roberts, Fellowship Program Director
Dr. Ariane Alimenti
Dr. Julie Bettinger
Dr. Jane Finlay

Dr. Soren Gantt
Dr. Manish Sadarangani
Dr. Laura Sauvé
Dr. Jennifer Tam

Dr. David Scheifele (Emeritus)

Fellows
Dr. Bahaa Abu Raya
Dr. Raidan Alyazidi

Subspecialty Residents
Dr. Khalid Alothman
Dr. Hana Mijovic

Staff
Carolyn Smith, Administrative Assistant
Ellen Thorpe, Clinical Secretary
Myomi Chu, Program Administrator