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Department of Pediatrics

Director's Message

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Message from the Program Director

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Dr. Debra Palazzi
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Welcome to the Baylor College of Medicine Pediatric Infectious Diseases Fellowship Program. Each year, we select up to three physicians to matriculate in our ACGME-accredited, three-year pediatric infectious diseases fellowship training program at Baylor College of Medicine and Texas Children's Hospital in Houston, Texas. Our fellows are selected through the NRMP match process. Applicants must complete training in an accredited general pediatric or medicine-pediatrics residency program to be eligible to apply.

The Texas Medical Center, which is located in Houston, Texas, provides an exciting, diverse and stimulating learning environment for our fellows. The clinical experience includes the opportunity to work in the inpatient units at the main campus of Texas Children’s Hospital, which is an 813-bed, state-of-the-art children’s hospital in the heart of the Texas Medical Center, and the largest pediatric hospital in the United States. The first year of fellowship training is dedicated to providing fellows with exposure and experience in the microbiology laboratory and clinical training in both inpatient and outpatient pediatric infectious diseases. In years two and three of the program, fellows gain autonomy in their clinical training on the inpatient units at main campus and of outpatients in the Texas Children’s Hospital West Campus outpatient clinic, join in the activities of the antimicrobial stewardship and infection control teams and develop critical skills in conducting clinical, translational or basic science mentored research. 

Our fellows have conducted clinical research on a variety of subjects including: the epidemiology of Staphylococcal, Pneumococcal and Group B Streptococcal infections; invasive fungal infections management and outcomes; risk factors for Clostridium difficile infections; epidemiology, screening and treatment of pediatric Tuberculosis; and respiratory viral testing in young infants.

Translational research projects have included investigating the pathogenesis of Staphylococcus aureus in device-related infections and molecular factors influencing host susceptibility to group A Streptococcal infection vs colonization. Basic science research topics have included investigating the mechanism of antibiotic impairment in murine hematopoiesis and the effect of the intestinal microbiome, and the role of toll-like receptors in the innate stress response in virus-induced cardiac injury.

Over the last 40 years, our fellowship program has trained more than 100 physicians who are practicing and conducting research throughout the country and across the world. Our graduated fellows now serve as faculty members in medical schools throughout the United States.  Others have become public health officials with leadership positions in pediatric and infectious diseases professional societies and have advisory positions for national organizations including the following:

  • American Academy of Pediatrics
  • Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
  • National Institutes of Health 
  • American Board of Pediatrics
  • Food and Drug Administration

We are committed to offering our fellows an outstanding clinical and research experience as they develop their careers as pediatric infectious diseases specialists. We welcome you to take a look through our website and to contact our fellowship program coordinator, Cindy Gaskill at cgaskill@bcm.edu with your interest in our program. You may also contact me directly with any questions.

We look forward to hearing from you!

Debra L. Palazzi, M.D., M.Ed.
Fellowship Program Director