Infectious Disease Fellowship

The clinical infectious disease fellowship at the University of California, Davis Veterinary Medical Teaching Hospital consists of rotations through internal medicine with primary receiving duty and availability of the fellow for consultations throughout the small animal clinic on infectious disease matters. The program is designed to prepare the candidate to be an ISCAID fellow (available on the ISCAID website).

  • Rotation through internal medicine with a focused infectious disease caseload: 30 dedicated weeks; the candidate has the option of a maximum 2-week rotation at a University teaching hospital at an alternative site during this period if it can be organized by the mentor, an internist with an infectious disease interest at the alternate site and the candidate
  • Clinical microbiology laboratory rotation: 4 dedicated weeks; also exposure to case material throughout the fellowship as the opportunity arises
  • Rotation through Zoetis’ Kalamazoo headquarters: 2 weeks
  • Research time: 5 dedicated weeks (includes grant writing experience and benchtop research experience; a realistic project will be identified for the candidate in advance of the fellowship) and as the opportunity arises throughout the fellowship
  • Infection control, study time and time to complete courses and modules offered by ISCAID: 4 dedicated weeks and as the opportunity arises throughout the fellowship
  • Consultations on infectious disease cases in the VMTH and from outside veterinarians: throughout
  • Cytology and pathology review: 2 weeks (for focused review of slide sets) and as the opportunity arises throughout the fellowship
Conference attendance: 1 week
  • Vacation: 4 weeks
  • TOTAL: 52 weeks

Infectious disease journal club will be held weekly and the faculty member will review cases with the fellow on a daily basis. The fellow will also attend weekly case conference at the medical school in Sacramento, small animal internal medicine rounds on Tuesday and Thursday, shelter medicine rounds once monthly, and interact with the infectious disease fellows and faculty members in the Department of Medical Microbiology at the medical school (Friday mornings at 7 am).


Clinical Facilities

The William R. Pritchard Veterinary Medical Teaching Hospital (VMTH) is located in the Health Sciences Complex at the University of California, Davis in Davis, California. It is the primary clinical teaching setting for professional veterinary students and residents. It serves the public by offering clinical veterinary services of the highest quality to more than 45,000 patients each year. This is currently the highest caseload of veterinary medical teaching hospitals in the country. The majority of these cases consist of dogs and cats. More than 30 residency training positions are offered annually through the hospital. The internal medicine service consists of 5 internal medicine residents, 9 ACVIM board-certified faculty members and one board-eligible faculty member. The faculty members have expertise in infectious diseases (Jane Sykes, Professor), respiratory diseases (Lynelle Johnson, Professor), gastrointestinal diseases (Stanley Marks, Professor), endocrinology (Richard Nelson, Professor and Edward Feldman, Professor), nephrology and hemodialysis (Larry Cowgill, Professor and Carrie Palm, Assistant Professor), nephrology and urology (Jodi Westropp, Professor), and general internal medicine (Ann-Marie Della-Maggiore and Jonathan Dear, both staff veterinarians). Many of these faculty members (Drs. Sykes, Marks, Westropp, Dear and Johnson) have research interests in infectious diseases within their field of expertise. The service sees a wide range of infectious disease cases that encompass bacterial/rickettsial diseases and multidrug resistant infections, viral infections, fungal diseases (primarily cryptococcosis, aspergillosis, and coccidioidomycosis, but also candidiasis, histoplasmosis, sporotrichosis and dermatophytosis), protozoal diseases and parasitic diseases.

In addition, the fellow will have the opportunity to interact with clinicians in a variety of other services, including dermatology, shelter medicine, community practice, soft tissue surgery, orthopedic surgery, oncology, emergency/critical care, neurology, cardiology, ophthalmology, exotics and avian practice, nutrition, and diagnostic imaging.

The fellow is also expected to work closely with staff and faculty in the clinical laboratories of the VMTH, which include laboratories dedicated to virology/immunology, veterinary microbiology, leptospirosis diagnostics, molecular diagnostics, parasitology, clinical pathology and anatomic pathology. The VMTH has recently purchased equipment for advanced bacterial identification by mass spectrometry and has begun a fellowship training program in clinical microbiology (currently Heather Fritz), who is expected to work together with the clinical infectious disease fellow. The clinical laboratories are supported by a faculty member in veterinary microbiology (Dr. Barbara Byrne), a team of 5 veterinary clinical pathologists, and a team of 10 anatomic pathologists that review over 1800 biopsies and 1400 necropsies a year. There is also opportunity to interact with several microbiology faculty members and to access facilities and technical expertise in the California Animal Health and Food Safety Laboratory that is located in the Health Sciences District.

Finally, the candidate’s primary mentor, Dr. Jane Sykes, has established close ties with faculty in the Department of Internal Medicine, Division of Infectious Diseases at the University of California, Davis Health System. This Division consists of 19 faculty and 4 infectious disease fellows; the clinical facilities are located 20 minutes drive from the VMTH in Sacramento. There are also ties and collaborations with the clinical microbiology laboratory in the Health System.

Research Laboratory Facilities

Dr. Sykes’ laboratory is a fully equipped microbiology laboratory located in Tupper Hall on the Health Sciences campus. Equipment available within the laboratory includes refrigerators and freezers (-20 and -80 degrees), a variety of incubators suitable for viral or bacterial culture, a fume hood, a thermocycler, balances, pH meters, stationary and agitating water baths, microcentrifuges, a benchtop centrifuge, equipment for vertical and horizontal gel electrophoresis and Western immunoblotting, a UV transilluminator, an electroporator, biosafety cabinet, photodocumentation equipment, inverted microscope, fluorescence microscope with digital image capture capabilities, and multiple computers. In addition, surrounding laboratory spaces of Dr. Sykes’ collaborators offer access to facilities and expertise in robotic nucleic acid extraction, real-time PCR, confocal microscopy, flow cytometry, microarray technology, and medical mycology. High throughput sequencing is offered on a fee-for-service basis in the adjacent Genome Building. There are opportunities for acquiring funding for research from intramural sources such as the Center for Companion Animal Health.


January 3, 2017 to December 31, 2018