Infectious Disease

The Pediatric Infectious Disease Fellowship Program.

Program Goals

The Pediatric Infectious Disease Fellowship Program has two major goals:

  1. Provide educational opportunities for trainees in both ambulatory and in-patient care for children with infectious diseases
  2. Provide an environment where trainees develop critical research skills through participation as investigator in original projects

The Pediatric ID program at UNC offers a broad range of clinical and research opportunities to accomplish these goals.

The fellowship program's clinical requirements are based on the ACGME requirements to become board eligible in infectious diseases. Additional time can be spent in the clinical microbiology laboratories, adult infectious diseases, and hospital infection control.

Fellowship Director

Tom Belhorn, MD, PhD
Division of Pediatric Infectious Diseases
CB#7509, 111 Mason Farm Rd.
University of North Carolina
Chapel Hill, NC 27599
Office: (919) 962-4500

Fellowship Coordinator

Miranda Pennachi
Pediatric Education Office
CB#7593, 321 S. Columbia St.
University of North Carolina
Chapel Hill, NC 27599
Office: (919) 843-9944

Clinical Training in Pediatric Infectious Diseases

Clinical experience on the UNC Pediatric Infectious Disease Consult Service and in out-patient Pediatric Infectious Disease and HIV Clinics will provide the majority of clinical experiences in this subspecialty. Specific goals for the Pediatric Infectious Disease services at UNC are: 

  1. Provide care to a broad spectrum of in-patients and out-patients with infectious diseases and complications due to bacterial, viral, fungal, parasitic infections and/or fever without a source or fever of unknown origin.
  2. Develop diagnostic and therapeutic skills as related to the infectious complications of patients who have solid organ transplants, HIV / AIDS, neutropenia, hepatitis, a history of foreign travel, malignancies, dialysis, or other immunocompromising conditions.
  3. Develop skill selecting and prescribing antimicrobial agents, with special emphasis on pharmacology, and skills in antimicrobial stewardship
  4. Gain consultative skill through "first-call" interactions with hospital staff and outside referring healthcare providers
  5. Develop skills in clinical and diagnostic microbiology through daily "plate rounds"
  6. Develop administrative and management skills though supervision of house-staff and students
  7. Develop teaching skills though organization, presentation, and discussion in clinical case conferences and other educational settings

Inpatient training at UNC Hospitals

Fellows will rotate on the inpatient consult service 6 months during their first year, and 2 months during the two subsequent years. In addition, they take night and Saturday call for one month during their last two years of training.

Outpatient training at UNC hospitals

The subspecialty fellows spend a half-day session each week that they are not on inpatient service during the 1st year of training and a half-day two times per month in their second and third year of training.

These clinical experiences will be augmented by rotations in specialized settings as follows:

  • Durham County Health Department STD and TB clinic
  • UNC Compromised Host Infectious Disease Clinical Service
  • UNC Burn Center
  • Clinical Microbiology Laboratory
  • Hospital Epidemiology
  • Antibiotic Stewardship Team (with required quality improvement project)



Courses and Conferences

Fellows will participate in a variety of courses and conferences during their fellowship training:

The NC TraCS Institute sponsors a one-week course in the Responsible Conduct of Research organized and run by David Weber, MD, MPH, Director of the NC TraCS Institute Regulatory Core. The course covers all the NIH-required topics for the first phase of responsible conduct of research training. The course covers the following:

  • Policies regarding human subjects research
  • Principles for the ethical use of animals in research
  • Safe laboratory practices
  • Conflict of interest
  • Mentor/mentee relationships
  • Peer review
  • Authorship and publication
  • Data acquisition, management, sharing, ownership
  • Research misconduct
  • Collaborative research
  • Contemporary issues biomedical research
  • Discussion sessions on the above topics using case studies



Pediatric Infectious Diseases Case Conference

For ID Fellows and Faculty (Weekly)

Journal Club

For Pediatric ID Fellows and Faculty (Bimonthly)

ID Case Management Conference (Weekly)

ID Conference (Weekly)

ID Boot Camp

Concentrated curriculum in Infectious Diseases, Clinical and Basic Science Research, and Infection Control Topics

Core Curriculum for ID Fellows Conference

Concentrated Core Curriculum Day + Series Over 2 Years

The core curriculum and seminar series is an educational curriculum designed by the Department of Pediatrics with the goal to enhance fellowship subspecialty training program experiences with specific educational lectures and discussion groups in order to maximize their educational, research, and individual professional potential. The overall aim is to assist the fellows in making a successful transition from fellowship to early faculty positions as physician-scientists, clinical researchers and academic educators in their subspecialties.


During the three-year fellowship program, all subspecialty trainees receive training in academic research. The objective is that the trainee develops and completes a mentored hypothesis-generated project leading to publication of results in a peer-reviewed manuscript. The program has established the following activities to attain this objective:

 1). Continuing Education

 A. Beginning immediately in the training program, fellows are expected to attend research seminars in various basic science and clinical departments. These seminars allow early exposure to faculty on campus involved in research as well as exposure to high quality and topical research projects.

B. Fellows participate in NCTraCS course and the Pediatrics Department Core Curriculum and Seminar Series to enhance their education in topics including research skills and biostatistics.

C. Fellows will present “research in progress” to the ID Division Faculty and Fellows annually.

2). Active Research

A. Fellows have approximately 3 months during their first year of training to develop hands on skills in a basic science laboratory. The fellow may pursue training in the lab of Dr. Darville, Dr. Jhaveri, or another scientist in Infectious Diseases identified by the fellow and approved by Dr. Belhorn. The trainee will participate and present at laboratory meetings, gain formal training in record keeping, experimental design, and in multiple laboratory techniques. The fellow may work in two labs during their first year of training and is expected to choose a research project and mentor at the close of their first year. Dr. Belhorn must approve the project and the trainee’s research mentor. Dr. Belhorn will continue to supervise the trainee’s research experience in conjunction with the assigned research mentor.

B. During clinical rotations, fellows have the opportunity to participate in ongoing clinical research projects. This may include data collection and analysis of a study in progress, and discussions of the importance and difficulties surrounding informed consent and the ethics of clinical research in pediatrics. The fellow is encouraged to perform at least one small chart review as a clinical research project during their first year of training. The trainee is also encouraged to submit interesting case reports for publication.

C. During their first year of training, a Scholarship Oversight Committee is developed for the fellow. This committee includes Dr. Belhorn, an additional ID Faculty Member chosen by the fellow, and one to two additional mentors with expertise in the area of scholarly activities. The fellow will meet semi-annually with this committee throughout the training program. The committee will review the progress of the fellow and help design plans for the next six month period. At the conclusion of the training period the Scholarship Oversight Committee will make a final report to the Program Director summarizing the scholarly activity of the subspecialty fellow during their years of training.

D. If the specialty fellow has a strong interest in clinical research, the fellow will be encouraged to enroll in courses related to clinical research at the University of North Carolina and possibly to pursue a master's degree in a related field. 

3). Research Grantsmanship, Presentation and Publication.

A. Under the direction of the research mentor, the trainee writes a grant proposal during the initial year of training for funds to support a mentored hypothesis generated project. This proposal should be submitted to the pediatric infectious diseases society and/or to intramural finding sources such as pediatrics research advisory group as well as to other applicable funding sources.

B. The fellow submits abstracts of preliminary or completed work for presentation at either regional or national scientific meetings appropriate for the theme of the research. The fellow should submit yearly during their second and third years of training to SPR (Society for Pediatric Research), ASM (American Society for Microbiology), or the Infectious Diseases Society of America (IDSA).

C. During the third year, the resident has generated sufficient data for preparation and submission of a manuscript to a peer-review scientific population. It is expected that this manuscript will be submitted early enough to allow time for revision if necessary and acceptance prior to completion of the training program.

Evaluation of the research training takes place within the above mentioned scholarly oversight committee, which provides feedback semi-annually to the fellow regarding progress, and by the quality of presentations and ultimately by the acceptance of a peer-reviewed manuscript for publication

Admission and Application

Preference is given to MD candidates who wish to become Pediatric Infectious Diseases Specialists and who exhibit objective evidence of aptitude and / or productivity in their previous research experiences.

There is one fellowship position open for the period beginning July 2016.

  • Apply online through ERAS. We participate in the NRMP
  • Early application is strongly advised.
  • Application deadline is July 30, 2015.
  • Interviews will begin in September 2015.
  • Funding for fellowship stipends is restricted to U.S. Citizens or permanent residents
  • Priority is given to applicants with a strong interest in academia and/or research

Submit the following application documentation through ERAS:

  • Curriculum Vitae
  • Personal Statement
  • Deans Letter (MSPE) and Original Transcript
  • 3 Letters of Recommendation - 1 from applicant's residency Program Director
  • USMLE exam scores
  • ECFMG (if applicable)