Erol Fikrig, M.D., FW ’91, an expert in vector-borne diseases and a pioneer in the development of a vaccine for Lyme disease, has been named chief of the Section of Infectious Diseases in the Department of Internal Medicine. Last fall he was also named a Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI) investigator.
Fikrig, recently named Waldemar Von Zedtwitz Professor of Medicine, succeeds Acting Chief Vincent J. Quagliarello, M.D., HS ’81, professor of medicine and clinical director of infectious diseases. Fikrig graduated from Cornell University’s school of medicine and completed his residency in internal medicine at Vanderbilt University Hospital. He came to Yale as a postdoctoral fellow in infectious diseases and immunobiology in 1988. He was appointed assistant professor of medicine in 1992 and professor of medicine a decade later.
Jack A. Elias, M.D., chair and Waldemar Von Zedtwitz Professor of Medicine, called Fikrig a “world-class scientist” and one of the “world’s experts” in Lyme disease and West Nile virus. Under Fikrig’s leadership, the section will place greater emphasis on developing a program in emerging diseases, vaccines and biology. This effort will include hiring at least four investigators with strengths in basic science, translational research and clinical research. The goal is to cultivate an interdisciplinary community of scientists who will use information gathered at the bedside to develop models in the laboratory for testing new therapies, including vaccines to prevent insect-borne infectious diseases.