Columbia University School of Nursing Expands Research on Infection Prevention


Columbia University School of Nursing has expanded its research program on antimicrobial resistance to include the entire field of infection prevention. In keeping with this expanded mission, it has changed the name of the Center for Interdisciplinary Research to Reduce Antimicrobial Resistance (CIRAR) to the Center for Interdisciplinary Research to Prevent Infections (CIRI).

A new NIH-funded training program, Training in Interdisciplinary Research to Prevent Infections (TIRI), will replace Training in Interdisciplinary Research on Antimicrobial Resistance (TIRAR) as the Centers interdisciplinary training program.

The name changes to CIRI from CIRAR, and from TIRAR to TIRI, reflect the broader mission to further research on preventing all types of infections, in a variety of community and clinical settings, says Elaine Larson, RN, PhD, FAAN, CIC, CIRIs director. The ability to expand our research program opens the way for us to study influenza, HIV, and tuberculosis, as well as many other infectious diseases.

Larson, who is a professor of pharmaceutical and therapeutic research and associate dean for research at Columbia University School of Nursing, added that the expanded mission also permits increased study of both drug and non-drug interventions to prevent infection.

TIRI is now accepting applications for pre- and post-doctoral fellowships to begin on July 1, 2012. Columbia University medical and graduate students involved in research and recent medical and doctoral graduates (MD, PhD, PharmD) with an interest in infection prevention are encouraged to apply. Trainees come from such diverse professional backgrounds as medicine, nursing, pharmacy, microbiology, epidemiology, and informatics.

Ann-Margaret Navarra, who earned her PhD in nursing from Columbia University School of Nursing in 2011, described her 20092011 pre-doctoral TIRAR training as one of my best professional experiences because of the interdisciplinary approach and the access to a wide variety of experts. Navarra completed her dissertation, Health Literacy and Adherence to Antiretroviral Treatment among HIV-infected Youth, as a TIRI trainee.

Other research topics by current and former trainees include social media and medical information transmission, the role of food animals and the risk of antibiotic resistance, and hygiene habits and illness among college students. All have wide-ranging public health policy, treatment, and behavioral implications.

Nine CIRI investigators will present in June at the annual meeting of the Association for Professionals in Infection Control and Epidemiology (APIC).

For additional information about CIRI and TIRI go to


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