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Dr. Uma Nagarajan at work in her lab.

Research and Education Missions

Research and education endeavors within UNC Children's Division of Pediatric Infectious Diseases

The research lab of Toni Darville, MD, has studied the pathogenesis of genital tract disease due to Chlamydia trachomatis for many years. Her research team has discovered immune signaling pathways active in disease development, and continues to pursue studies that explore host-pathogen interactions responsible for induction of disease. 

Dr. Darville's research team is also currently working to develop a vaccine to prevent chlamydial infection, and is pursuing genetic and transcriptional microarray studies to determine biomarkers of disease risk and immune pathways that lead to protection from chlamydial infection and disease.

The research of Ravi Jhaveri, MD, spans across the field of infectious diseases. He conducts basic pathogenesis research on Hepatitis C virus, including alterations in lipid metabolism and host pathways involved in viral replication. He conducts clinical research on natural history and treatment of Hepatitis C in infants and children, which includes collaborative efforts across the US and with partners in Cairo, Egypt. His other clinical research projects include: management of febrile infants and children, home administration of FluMist vaccine, management of respiratory viral infections in children and research on new diagnostics, therapies, and vaccines for children.

Distinctions in Research and Education

Dr. Darville has received many education awards from medical students and resident physicians and is an active lecturer for continuing medical education courses related to pediatric infectious diseases. She is internationally known for her research on the immunopathogenesis of genital tract disease due to Chlamydia trachomatis and has maintained continuous NIH funding for more than 19 years for her research on chlamydial disease. She is active in the mentorship of PhD, and MD/PhD students and both MD and PhD post-doctoral fellows. She served as a Pediatric Infectious Diseases Fellowship Director for many years, and has worked with Drs. Belhorn and Jhaveri to develop a fellowship program at UNC-Chapel Hill.

Dr. Jhaveri has been recognized for his teaching efforts throughout his career. He was recently elected to UNC’s Academy of Educators. He is an active participant in medical student, resident and fellow education at UNC. He is regularly asked to speak at continuing medical education events both locally and nationally. He has mentored more than a dozen students, residents and fellows on a variety of projects.

Tom Belhorn, MD, is the co-director and major lecturer in the immunology course for first-year medical school students and gives lectures on infectious disease topics throughout the medical school curriculum. He has received several teaching awards at UNC, was appointed to the Academy of Educators of the UNC School of Medicine in 2010, and was elected by students as a faculty recipient in the Alpha Omega Alpha Medical Honor Society in 2014 in part due to efforts in education. Dr. Belhorn serves as the Director of the newly established Pediatric Infectious Diseases fellowship program. He also directs the Pediatric Antibiotic Stewardship Program to insure antimicrobials are safely and efficiently used in the Children’s Hospital. Dr. Belhorn gives frequent lectures on infectious disease topics to audiences ranging from fellow physicians to the general public.

For more research information, please visit the Infectious Diseases Research website or select Meet Our Team and click the individual names for research summaries.