Research | Infectious Diseases | Department of Internal Medicine | UC Davis Health

Infectious Diseases Research Interests

Clinical research (research involving human subjects) may include the evaluation of therapies, treatments, devices, medications, surgeries, and/or diagnostic tools. The results from clinical research advance the efficacy and safety of new treatments and directly improve patient care and quality of life.

The Division of Infectious Diseases has a research team whom coordinates all clinical research with the Infectious Diseases clinical faculty. In addition to clinical research, the faculty members conduct laboratory research both at the UC Davis Medical Center and on the UC Davis Campus.

Each type of clinical research plays an integral part in strengthening our knowledge of certain diseases or conditions. With clinical research, we can implement better techniques to diagnose, treat, and prevent human diseases and conditions.

Clinical Trials

The majority of clinical research consists of clinical trials, which may be sponsored or funded by physicians, foundations, federal health agencies (such as the National Institutes of Health), pharmaceutical companies, or university grants.

A clinical trial is a study that looks for new ways to prevent, detect, diagnose, and/or treat a disease or condition. Clinical trials are research projects that have two main objectives in mind: patient safety and disease treatment/prevention. Patients are at the forefront of medicine when they choose to be a participant in a clinical trial. Not only are they contributing to the medical and scientific understanding of their disease, but they also have access to the newest treatments.

Observational Study

This type of study observes people or specific outcomes are measured and recorded. Clinical data is typically only collected and there isn’t any experimental treatment. Another term for these types of studies are retrospective reviews or registry study.

These studies help us understand specific diseases and to identify any causal relationships. Participating in these studies provide important information that has the possibility to help future patients.

Basic Research

These studies collect biological samples from volunteers who are either healthy or suffer from a specific condition. Subjects typically do not directly benefit from participation but their participation has the possibility to help future patients.

Clinical research studies are very different from regular medical care. Your primary care physician will diagnose and treat you for an illness or condition. Clinical researchers gather new information to help improve future medical care.

For additional information, contact the research team at

Infectious Disease Student Assistant Researcher Program

The Infectious Disease Student Assistant Researcher Program (IDStAR) is a unique opportunity for undergraduate students to learn about clinical research and healthcare within Infectious Diseases. IDStAR is a volunteer program and is developed from the established, EMRAP program in Emergency Medicine.

IDStAR supports the ongoing clinical and epidemiological research within the Department of Internal Medicine. Working in IDStAR affords the opportunity to find out whether students will enjoy working within medicine, clinical research or an ancillary health care profession.

Volunteering as a Student Researcher, gives students the opportunity to come to clinics with faculty, observe operations of units and services across the hospital, learn from clinical research staff, nurses and other team members impacted by clinical research.

What you might take away from this opportunity:

  • Learning hospital systems and operations
  • Working with infectious disease faculty
  • Learning medical terminology
  • Collecting and processing samples
  • Learning about signs and symptoms of diseases
  • Conducting surveys or performing assessment

Upon completion, outstanding volunteers can expect to receive letters of recommendation for excellent service.