The TOID Center for Clinical Research
The comprehensive Transplant and Oncology Infectious Diseases (TOID) program was launched in 2008. The mission of the TOID Program is to expand institutional expertise in clinical and academic activities focused on infectious complications in transplant (solid organ and stem cell) and oncology patients at Johns Hopkins Medical Institutions.
Key research efforts are currently directed to developing standardized algorithms for prevention and treatment of infections in these vulnerable patients and to establish an expanded infrastructure to facilitate clinical and translational studies in TOID.
Clinical research is supported by a team of clinical research nurses, database, and research specialists, with administrative and functional oversight provided by Darin Ostrander PhD and Christine Durand, MD
Faculty and Research Staff
Robin Kimiko Avery, MD
Robin Kimiko Avery, MD, Professor of Medicine, is an infectious disease physician who joined the Johns Hopkins faculty in 2012, with two decades of experience in transplant infectious disease. She is a past chair of the American Society of Transplantation (AST) Infectious Disease Community of Practice, was a co-editor of the first edition of the AST ID Guidelines, and has served on guidelines committees for the AST, the Infectious Disease Society of America (IDSA), and the International Society for Heart and Lung Transplantation (ISHLT). She was the founding head of the Transplant Infectious Disease Section at the Cleveland Clinic and the founding director of the Cleveland Clinic Transplant ID Special Fellowship, authoring a curriculum that served as the basis for curricula later endorsed by the AST and IDSA. Her main areas of clinical and research interest are transplant-related viral infections, novel therapies for CMV, post-transplant hypogammaglobulinemia, strategies for safer living after transplant, trainee and patient education, and most recently COVID-19 clinical care, vaccine responses, and therapeutics. She was awarded the Best Consulting Physician Award at Johns Hopkins in 2017, and became Education Director for Transplant/Oncology Infectious Disease at Johns Hopkins in 2022. In 2022, she was awarded the Robert Rubin Award from the AST ID Community of Practice, named for her late mentor, Dr. Robert Rubin. Avery Research Dashboard and Publications
Maria Veronica Dioverti-Prono, MD
Maria Veronica Dioverti-Prono, MD, Assistant Professor, received her MD from the Universidad Nacional de Asuncion and completed a residency at the Bridgeport Hospital-Yale University Program. She completed General and Transplant/Oncology Infectious Diseases fellowship at the Mayo clinic in Rochester, MN. Dr. Dioverti-Prono provides clinical care to transplant, oncology, and other immunocompromised patients. Her research interest is in optimizing diagnosis and management of viral infections after hematopoietic cell transplantation, as well as prevention of infections in hematologic malignancies and hematopoietic cell transplantation. Dioverti-Prono Research Dashboard and Publications
Christine Durand, MD
Christine Durand, MD, Associate Professor of Medicine and Oncology at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, received her MD from the Johns Hopkins University (JHU) School of Medicine and subsequently completed her Internal Medicine residency and Infectious Diseases fellowship at JHU.
Her areas of clinical expertise and research include viral infections such as HIV, hepatitis B, and hepatitis C, in individuals who require transplant or cancer therapies. She specializes in designing and leading clinical trials investigating innovative strategies in transplantation. Her group has been funded with several U01 grants from the NIH to study kidney and liver transplantation from donors with HIV to recipients with HIV and kidney transplantation from donors with hepatitis C to recipients without hepatitis C.
Dr. Durand is the Medical Director of the Transplant Research Center at Johns Hopkins which is a multidisciplinary research group that aims to improve access and outcomes in transplantation while training the next generation of leaders in the field. Durand Research Dashboard and Publications
Andrew Karaba, MD, PhD
Andrew H. Karaba, MD, PhD, Assistant Professor of Medicine, received his BA, MD, and PhD from Northwestern University. His PhD thesis focused on how herpes simplex virus entry receptors contribute to pathogenesis. He completed residency in Internal Medicine and fellowship in Infectious Diseases at Johns Hopkins where he joined the faculty in 2021. For his post‐doctoral research, he investigated the role of inflammasome signaling in herpesvirus infections under the mentorship of Dr. Andrea Cox. His current research interests include mechanisms of innate immune activation in response to viral infections and innate and adaptive immune responses to viruses in solid organ transplant recipients. He is an associate director of basic/translational research in the transplant research center and a member of the Johns Hopkins COVID‐19 therapeutics guidance committee.
Olivia Kates, MD
Olivia Kates, MD, Assistant Professor of Medicine and Associate Director for Ethics and Qualitative Research in the Johns Hopkins Transplant Research Center, completed her MD at Tufts University School of Medicine, internal medicine residency at Columbia University New York Presbyterian Hospital, and infectious diseases fellowship at the University of Washington, where she also received a Masters degree in Bioethics and Humanities. She joined the faculty at Johns Hopkins in 2021. In addition to clinical care for immunosuppressed patients, she is passionate about building bioethics and humanities capacity in healthcare through original empirical, conceptual, and educational bioethics research. She is currently working on projects related to vaccination, liver transplantation, and xenotransplantation.
Nitipong (Nate) Permpalung, MD, MPH
Nitipong (Nate) Permpalung, MD, MPH, Assistant Professor of Medicine, has joined the Johns Hopkins faculty in 2018 after completing his Infectious Diseases Fellowship and Transplant Infectious Diseases Fellowship from Beth Israel Deaconess Medicine Center/Harvard Medical School and Duke University, respectively. His current research efforts include respiratory viral infections, fungal-viral interactions, fungal diagnostics, and human pythiosis. He has served as the director of Mycology, Epidemiology, and Medical Education Research Group (MERG). Nationally, he has served as a panelist to update the Infectious Diseases Society of American (IDSA) Clinical Practices Guidelines for the Diagnosis and Management of Aspergillosis and he has served on the IDSA Publication Committee. Permpalung Research Dashboard and Publications
Shmuel Shoham, MD
Shmuel Shoham, MD, Professor of Clinical Medicine in the Division of Infectious Diseases at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, has over 20 years of experience in management of infections in highly immunocompromised patients and has extensive experience in supervising and conducting clinical trials, including for severe respiratory viral infections. He has served in roles such as overall clinical trial principal investigator, site investigator and member or chair of data safety monitoring boards. Dr. Shoham is the author or co-author of over 150 original articles, book chapters and topic reviews and serves as a reviewer and expert consultant to multiple journals, professional societies and government agencies. He is the Governor of the Washington, DC Chapter of the American College of Physicians and a member of guideline committees for several national and international organizations. These include the Infectious Diseases Society of America guidelines for COVID-19 and the National Comprehensive Cancer Network guidelines for Prevention and Treatment of Cancer-Related Infections. Dr. Shoham received his medical degree from Thomas Jefferson University (Philadelphia, PA) and medical residency and infectious diseases fellowship training at Boston University School of Medicine (Boston, MA). Shoham Research Dashboard and Publications
William Werbel, MD, PhD
William Werbel, MD, PhD, Assistant Professor of Medicine, completed clinical and research fellowship in infectious diseases at Johns Hopkins, following MD training at the University of Michigan and internal medicine residency and chief residency at the Northwestern Feinberg School of Medicine. He is primarily interested in personalizing protection against opportunistic infections in immunocompromised persons, particularly following solid organ transplantation and among persons with HIV, using a combination of epidemiological and translational approaches; this was the basis for his receiving a K23 career development award (NIAID), as well as PhD in Clinical Investigation from the Bloomberg School of Public Health. He is the Associate Director for Epidemiology and Quantitative Sciences in the Johns Hopkins Transplant Research Center, principal investigator of the Johns Hopkins national prospective cohort study of COVID‐19 vaccine responses in the immunocompromised, and a protocol member of the NIH‐funded COVID‐19 Protection After Transplant Trials.
Willa Cochran, MSN, CRNP
Willa Cochran, Adult-Gerontological Nurse Practitioner, earned her MSN at the Johns Hopkins School of Nursing through the Paul D. Coverdell Peace Corps Fellowship. She also earned her certificate of HIV Primary Care as a HRSA Advance Nursing Education Traineeship Scholar. She is the Advance Practice Program Manager at the JHH Comprehensive Transplant Center and is board certified by the American Association of Nurse Practitioners. Her clinical and research interests include prevention and treatment of viral infections in solid organ transplant recipients with a focus on SARS CoV-2, HIV, HCV and CMV. Cochran Research Dashboard and Publications
Darin Ostrander, PhD
Dr. Ostrander is a Research Associate in the Division of Infectious Diseases. He is Director of Operations for TOID, Program Manager of the TOID Clinical Research Center (CRC), and Co‐Director and Financial Director of the Transplant Research Center. Dr. Ostrander has more than 35 years’ experience in antimicrobial research and development. He is responsible for the development and oversight of a large, diverse research portfolio, and leads a team of more than 50 research nurses, clinical and translational research coordinators, data analysts, laboratory research assistants, post‐doctoral fellows, and administrators. Dr. Ostrander assists numerous investigators across the Institute in administrative, financial, and regulatory aspects of clinical research, including the development, submission, and execution of multisite NIH and commercial‐sponsored contracts. The current TOID research portfolio oversees greater than $25M direct funds annually, and includes multisite, coordinating center clinical trial grants, cross‐departmental single‐site clinical trials, biospecimen collection and observational studies, and large clinical data registries and biosample repositories.. Ostrander Research Dashboard and Publications
Additional Research Staff
Diane Brown, RN, MSN
TRC Assistant Director of Research Operations
Brittany Barnaba, RN, MS
Senior Research Nurse
Na Lu, MA
Senior Research Data Analyst
TOID Clinic Scheduling