The aim of the GW SMHS Infectious Disease Interest Group (IDIG) is to promote education and enhance interest in the medical subspecialty of infectious diseases, and related careers in public health, epidemiology and microbiology amongst GW medical students. The IDIG provides an opportunity for medical students to network with clinical professionals in the subspecialty in the Washington, D.C. area. The IDIG faculty mentor is Dr. Angelike Liappis.
The IDIG works with the GW SMHS and the faculty of the GW Department of Medicine, Division of Infectious Diseases and the Section of Infectious Diseases of the Washington DC Veterans Affairs Medical Center, the GW Department of Microbiology, Immunology and Tropical Medicine and Children’s National Medical center, Washington DC. Our faculty provides didactic lectures throughout medical school curriculum in the preclinical and clinical years. There are numerous teaching opportunities for GW students, including elective rotations at GW Hospital, the Washington DC Veterans Affairs Medical Center and Children’s National Medical Center during the third and fourth years of training. The IDIG also provides the opportunity for students to volunteer for community public health events, to shadow clinicians practicing infectious diseases and can help link interested students to local research opportunities.
For further information on careers and opportunities for students interested in infectious diseases, please visit the Infectious Diseases Society of America website.
For further questions about the IDIG, please contact Dr. Liappis.
Rohini is a second-year medical student at GW SMHS. She graduated from the University of California, Berkeley in 2019 with a BA in Public Health. During an undergraduate fellowship at the Chinese Centers for Disease Control in Sichuan Province, Rohini had the opportunity to develop statistical and computational approaches for better designing surveillance systems for high-priority global infectious diseases and become interested in epidemiology and infectious disease. She later managed the epidemiological surveillance of COVID-19 outbreaks and infection prevention support of long-term care facilities (LTCF) in Boulder County, Colorado during the pandemic as a COVID-19 epidemiologist. She looks forward to working with other medical students, faculty and stakeholders interested in infectious disease and public health as well as increasing student involvement and interest in this field.
Alex Da Silva
Alex is a second-year medical student at GW SMHS. He graduated with a BA in Psychology from Vanderbilt University in 2022. Growing up in Brazil, he witnessed firsthand the impact of infectious diseases on communities and developed a profound interest in the field. His experiences have inspired him to pursue a career in infectious diseases, with a focus on understanding and addressing the unique healthcare challenges faced by populations around the world. He looks forward to learning and collaborating with his peers as he pursues his passion for global health and infectious diseases research.
Tamara is a second-year medical student at GW SMHS. She graduated with a BA in Global Public Health and Biology from the University of Virginia in 2021. She had the opportunity to conduct undergraduate research in an Helminth Immunology Lab, which first sparked her interest in the field of Infectious Disease. She later spent her gap year as a Health Educator at a LGBTQ+ Clinic that primarily serves the Latino community in the DMV, where she conducted bilingual HIV/STI counseling, testing, and referrals. Her experiences have made her passionate about equipping vulnerable populations to effectively and safely confront future emerging infectious diseases. She looks forward to connecting with other students interested in ID and exploring different branches in the field.
IDIG Founding Student Members
Bryan Walker, GW SMHS Class of 2018
Lilja Anderson, GW SMHS Class of 2018
Mohannad Anbarserri, GW SMHS Class of 2018
Jamie Majdi, GW SMHS Class of 2018
Past Student Leadership
Emily Calabria, GW MD Program Class of 2023
Emily is a second-year medical student at GW SMHS. She graduated from the University of Pittsburgh in 2017 with a BS in microbiology and a BA in French. During an undergraduate study abroad trip to Tanzania, Emily had the opportunity to learn about the epidemiology and cultural ideologies surrounding HIV in East Africa. She became very interested in the intersection of global health and infectious disease, and later became involved in research on tuberculosis and its effects on the immune system. She looks forward to working with other medical students interested in infectious disease, as well as increasing student involvement and interest in this field.
Daniel Muller, MD Program Class of 2023
Daniel is a second-year medical student at GW SMHS. Daniel graduated with a BA in History from Brown University in 2017 and with a Master of Philosophy degree in History and Philosophy of Science and Medicine from the University of Cambridge in 2018. His undergraduate thesis focused on American public health measures against mosquito-borne illnesses as a tool of colonialism in the Caribbean at the turn of the 20th century, while his graduate dissertation examined Chinese medical diplomacy in Africa during the Cold War. Daniel is interested in pursuing a career in Infectious Disease and global health policy development, specifically focusing on improving accessibility to and quality of healthcare for underserved patient populations.
Hannah Chase, Nitin Kuppanda, Allison Distler, GW SMHS Class of 2021
Hannah Chase (left), Nitin Kuppanda (middle), and Allison Distler (right) are MD candidates of the GWSMHS Class of 2021. Hannah is from Rockville, MD. She is interested in Pediatric infectious disease, especially bacterial ID and antibiotic resistance, as a result of her undergrad research in microbiology and her summer research working on antibiotic stewardship pathways at Children’s National. Nitin is from Southern California. His interest in infectious diseases started in his undergraduate experience where he learned about the science and societal intersections of HIV/AIDS and did research on microbial parasites and neglected tropical diseases. In medical school, he has had experience with disaster medicine and is also interested in the disaster management of infectious diseases. Allison is from Tampa, Florida and has a bachelors degree in Microbiology. Her infectious disease interests largely revolve around infection in immunosuppressed populations, particularly HIV and cancer patients. This stems from her research background in Immunology and malignant hematology. Allison is actively involved in research and volunteers performing HIV screening in the DC community.
David Strum, GW SMHS Class of 2020
David Strum is a first year medical student at GW SMHS. After learning about the struggles to address HIV on a national level back in the 80s and 90s while in the midst of the infectious disease curriculum at GW, he became interested in the field and the widespread global impact of ID. He hopes to be able to get other students interested and involved, especially as infectious disease often takes a front line in health news. David also does research in pain medicine at Children's National Medical Center and hopes to add a medical education focus to his studies.
Caroline Thomas, GW SMHS Class of 2020
Caroline Thomas is a first year medical student at GW SMHS. Caroline graduated from George Mason University in 2016 with a BS degree in biology and a concentration in microbiology. Her interest in the field of infectious disease developed after taking a literature course centered around the HIV epidemic of the 1980's. Since then, her interests in infectious diseases have spread to clinical research having most recently worked at Children's National Medical Center as a clinical researcher on several ID research projects aimed at improving adolescent healthcare. Caroline looks forward to working with other undergraduate medical school students who are interested in pursing a career in ID.
Ariel Ozbeki, GW SMHS Class of 2019
Ariel Ozbeki is a second-year medical student at GW SMHS. Her interest in the field of infectious disease began during her undergraduate studies, where as a public health major she was exposed to the various aspects of the specialty. She found herself most interested in the connection between global health and infectious disease after taking a course where she was able to immerse herself deeper into the health issues at the global level. In the future, Ariel looks to combine her interests in medical education and infectious disease to help create innovative ways to tackle the critical issues affecting at risk populations.
Jeffrey Roberson, GW SMHS Class of 2019
Jeffrey is a second-year medical student at GW SMHS. Following his undergraduate studies of public health at the University of Virginia, Jeffrey was an HIV Case Manager at Philadelphia’s needle exchange program, Prevention Point Philadelphia. He became very interested in the use of harm reduction modalities to decrease the incidence of HIV/HCV as well as to increase adherence to antiretroviral therapies. As a medical student, he has researched the impact of new Direct Acting Agents (DAAs) on the treatment of HCV.