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ID Faculty Group


UNC Pediatric Infectious Disease Faculty

Tom Belhorn MD PhD is a professor of pediatrics, has been a pediatric infectious disease physician since 1990. He has been with UNC Children’s since 1999.

Dr. Belhorn’s clinical specialty is providing care for children with any type of infectious disease. Special interests include pediatric HIV, and he directs the Ryan White Program-funded pediatric HIV clinics at UNC Hospitals. Additional clinical interests include MRSA, viral infections, persistent or recurring fever, and general pediatric infectious diseases.

Dr. Belhorn has a strong interest in medical education, has won numerous education awards, and gives frequent lectures on varied pediatric infectious disease topics to wide-ranging audiences. He is annually selected for the Best Doctors in America Award and has been recognized as one of America’s top pediatricians by the Consumers’ Research Council. He is the program director for the fellowship program.

Dr. Belhorn and his wife Linda, an adult rheumatologist, were married in 1986. They enjoy cheering on the Tar Heels in football and basketball, visiting new restaurants, occasional trips to the beach, and of course spending time with their two children, Chris and Stephanie.

Dr. Toni Darville, MD, serves as the Chief of Pediatric Infectious Diseases and holds the position of Scientific Director at the Children’s Research Institute (CRI), while also serving as the Vice Chair for Pediatric Research at UNC Children’s. With a career spanning over 25 years, Dr. Darville has been dedicated to conducting both basic and translational research focused on Chlamydia trachomatis. Her research team’s primary goals encompass enhancing the comprehension of genital tract disease pathogenesis caused by C. trachomatis and actively working towards the development of a preventative vaccine.

Aside from her research endeavors, Dr. Darville is passionate about educating and mentoring individuals at various stages of their careers, including fellows, graduate students, postdocs, and junior faculty members. In her roles as Vice Chair of Pediatric Research and Scientific Director of the CRI, she gladly offers guidance and input on potential research proposals and valuable campus resources.

Outside of her professional commitments, Dr. Darville finds joy in spending quality time with her husband, Dave, engaging in activities such as entertaining, traveling, and cherishing moments with their children and grandchildren.

Dr. Marsha Russell, MD, began her journey with UNC Children’s in 2020, initially in the pediatric infectious and hospitalist divisions, before transitioning full-time to the pediatric infectious disease division in September 2022. Her medical training took her from the University of the West Indies in Kingston, Jamaica, to the United States, where she pursued residency in both internal medicine and pediatrics Ct. Following this, she completed a fellowship in pediatric infectious disease at the University of Pittsburgh.

Before joining UNC, Dr. Russell worked in general pediatrics in rural North Carolina with Harnett Health. Her dedication to patient care extends to various critical areas, including medical education, congenital infections, the well-being of immunocompromised individuals, and the vital realm of infection control.

Her clinical work covers not only hospital consultations in Chapel Hill but also outpatient clinics in Raleigh and Sanford. This broad outreach ensures patients in rural areas and distant regions have access to specialized care.

Dr. Russell’s ambitions go beyond clinical practice. She is enthusiastic about nurturing the next generation of healthcare practitioners, making her a valued member of the AOE (Academy of Educators at UNC). Her passion for medical education is complemented by her dedication to teaching and mentoring medical students and residents.

She enjoys caring for immunocompromised patients, where she strives to enhance their quality of life while effectively managing their unique infection risks. She is also actively involved in quality improvement initiatives aimed at reducing healthcare-associated infections within UNC as well as curriculum development.

Outside the hospital, Dr. Russell finds solace in spending time with her husband. Her personal interests encompass tennis, hiking, biking and savoring the serene outdoors of North Carolina.

Indriati Hood Pishchany, MD, PhD, is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Pediatrics, Division of Infectious Diseases at UNC. She completed residency and fellowship at Boston Children’s Hospital and spent a few years on faculty there before joining the team at UNC.

Her research explores microbial ecology of the vaginal microbiome and the microbiome’s role in pregnancy and women’s health. Her work spans from fundamental microbiology to preclinical studies with the aim of improving women’s health through the development of microbiome-targeted therapies.

When she’s not in the hospital or in the lab, she enjoys spending time outside with her family, or time inside cooking or baking.

Peyton Thompson, MD, MSCR, is an Assistant Professor and Associate Program Director of Pediatric Infectious Diseases at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. She received her B.A. from Princeton University, where she majored in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology and minored in Medical Spanish. Following undergraduate studies, she worked in a free medical clinic in Richmond, Virginia, serving as a patient advocate and Spanish translator. She received her M.D. from Virginia Commonwealth University, where she participated in the International, Inner City and Rural Preceptorship (I2CRP) program geared towards underserved populations. She then completed both her residency in Pediatrics and fellowship in Pediatric Infectious Diseases at the University of North Carolina, where she stayed on to join the faculty in 2019.

Peyton’s research interests focus broadly on the promotion of infant health in low-resource areas through vaccination, with a particular interest in hepatitis B. She leads a team of DRC- and US-based researchers in studies on the prevention of vertical transmission of hepatitis B virus, for which she has funding and support from the Doris Duke Foundation, the NIH, Abbott Laboratories and Gilead Sciences. She advocates for health equity and the inclusion of a birth-dose vaccine of hepatitis B in DRC and throughout sub-Saharan Africa. She is also passionate about mentoring trainees, ranging from medical students to residents/fellows to PhD students.

Outside of work, Dr. Thompson loves spending time with family and friends, especially her husband, daughter and 2 dogs (both Boston terrier mixes). As a family, they enjoy being outdoors (hiking, camping, biking) and traveling the world (when there isn’t a pandemic). She also loves baking, with her sous-chef daughter, in her spare time.

Matthew Vogt, MD, PhD is an assistant professor of both Pediatrics and Microbiology & Immunology at UNC. He joined the infectious diseases team in 2020 to start his first independent research laboratory, which focuses on the intersection of virology and immunology. Current research is specifically directed toward understanding the pathogenesis of enterovirus D68 infection and the human humoral immune response to this infection. The laboratory uses models of infection in mice and in differentiated human ex vivo cell culture to do this. The Vogt laboratory is also isolating new human monoclonal antibodies that bind to many different enteroviruses. Dr. Vogt’s non-science hobbies include spending time in the garden or watching birds at his feeders and exploring the food and drink options around his downtown Durham home with his wife, daughter, and dog.

Zach Willis, MD, MPH, joined UNC as a pediatric infectious disease physician in 2016. He serves as the medical director of the pediatric antibiotic stewardship program for UNC Children’s. He uses Quality Improvement methods to optimize the care of children in the hospital with infections such as pneumonia, influenza, and COVID-19. As the physician leader of the UNC Children’s CLABSI Prevention Workgroup, he also works to prevent hospital-acquired infections. He is also interested in prevention and treatment of infections in kids with compromised immune systems, such as children receiving treatment for cancer.

When he’s not in the hospital, Dr. Willis enjoys spending time with his wife and two daughters and their dog and cat. He is a big fan of baseball, college basketball, indie rock, and Miyazaki films.