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TW Jones

TW Jones, MD

Current Position: Assistant Professor of Pediatrics, Pediatric Infectious Diseases, University of Utah School of Medicine

Hometown: Mesa, AZ is where I was born, but Tucson, AZ is what feels like home

Undergrad: University of Arizona, Tucson

Medical school: Mayo Medical School, Rochester, MN

Career interests/interests within pediatrics: Pediatric Infectious Disease, Medical Education, Healthcare epidemiology, Global health

Hobbies/interests outside of work: Climbing and Mountaineering, Ultramarathons, Camping, Backpacking, Wilderness medicine 

Why Utah Pediatric ID? I've always been fascinated by the interplay of society, history, geography, and ecology. While there are many new discoveries each year in various branches of medicine, the world of infectious diseases is literally changing year by year due to evolution, natural selection, and human behavior. 

What is your favorite part about our program? I love that our fellows get to play an active part in designing their curriculum, as well as the fantastic research opportunities through both the University of Utah and the Intermountain Health system. 

What's your favorite part about living in Salt Lake City? The proximity to the outdoors is unrivaled in any other major metropolitan area. I can literally go climbing right after work. I sometimes go trail running from my house in order to commute to the hospital. 

What cool research/advocacy/education/scholarly work are you participating in? My research has been largely focused on the concept of antibiotic allergy labels, and how these lead to prescription of second-line or broad-spectrum antibiotics that may have adverse effects in hospitalized pediatric patients. In addition, I am involved in resident and medical student educational projects, and I volunteer regularly at the adult HIV Preexposure Prophylaxis (PrEP) clinic as an attending physician. 

What has been a standout rotation or teaching experience you've been part of as a fellow? While I've greatly enjoyed my time rotating through our microbiology laboratory, adult ID service, and antibiotic stewardship rotations, our inpatient service remains one of the most impressive learning experiences I've ever undertaken. We see an incredibly diverse array of infections by serving multiple states in the American West. Almost every single week I've worked has taught me a new and surprising insight in this field. 

What is something you didn't know before coming to Utah that you wish you did? Salt Lake City has a powerful and rich LGBTQIA scene. In fact, a greater percentage by metropolitan area identifies as gay in SLC than in Los Angeles, Denver, Miami, or even New York.[1] 

  1. Newport F, Gates G. "San Francisco Metro Area Ranks Highest in LGBT Percentage". March 20, 2015. Accessed June 12, 2020.

What are your plans following fellowship? I hope to pursue a position at an academic children's hospital where I can teach and mentor residents and students.

Nicole Pershing

Nicole Pershing, MD PhD

Hometown: Salt Lake City, UT

Undergrad: Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Boston MA

Medical school: Duke University, Durham NC

Career interests/interests within pediatrics: Microbial genomics and epidemiology of invasive Streptococcal infections in children

Hobbies/interests outside of work: Cooking and Baking, Yoga, Hiking, Gardening, Skiing 

Why Utah Pediatric ID? The University of Utah pediatric infectious disease program was appealing because of the unique combination of 1) a vibrant clinical and basic science research community, 2) a well connected, respected, and supportive faculty with active engagement in translational research, and 3) a location where quality of life is unparalleled. The proximity and ease of transitioning from the hospital, to research in the lab, to enjoying the beautiful weather outside all year round (without tons of bugs!) permits an unbeatable work-life balance.

What is your favorite part about our program? I appreciate the inquisitive and collegial dynamic of the division, with active collaboration on both research and clinical problems. The diversity of styles, approaches, and interests in the division is a strength for fellowship training. I have greatly appreciated and benefitted from the investment of my mentors, who have supported my specific interests, and been flexible to support my success in my professional and personal life. 

What's your favorite part about living in Salt Lake City? Salt Lake City is a beautiful place to live. Day-to-day living is easy, and you can enjoy being outside in many environments (from your own backyard and to the remote mountains) year round. The city is within easy driving distance to the mountains and a broad range of amazing national parks, and an easy plane flight away from places further afield with an international airport. There are great places to eat, play, relax and restore close to home, and I am always finding new places and things to explore. 

What cool research/advocacy/education/scholarly work are you participating in? During my fellowship, I have learned bioinformatics for studying microbial genomic virulence determinants of invasive Pneumococcal disease phenotypes. I have also been a able to mentor both medical students and residents on research projects describing demographics of emerging/unusual disease presentations including group A streptococcal peritonitis and sinogenic empyema. 

What has been a standout rotation or teaching experience you've been part of as a fellow? Most of our clinical time is spent on the inpatient service, but this is far from mundane. The diversity of clinical problems and cases we see and care for never fails to intrigue, challenge, and stretch the boundaries of my knowledge. Our clinical faculty strike a balance of fellow autonomy which has permitted me to find my own style with the support and knowledge of the larger community, including our antimicrobial stewards. I have also been privileged to participate in a research fellowship in microbial pathogenesis, which has supported my research and fostered involvement in the basic science community with mentorship outside my clinical department.

What is something you didn't know before coming to Utah that you wish you did? Having grown up here, I was excited to return to Salt Lake City because it has always been an amazing place to live, and knew it would be a wonderful place to raise a family. I was surprised when I returned as a physician for my residency then fellowship training, by how rewarding this new role was in this community. I am grateful to work with amazing patients and families, who surprise and inspire me every day. 

What are your plans following fellowship? I plan to pursue a career as a physician-scientist, continuing involvement in clinical pediatric infectious disease practice as well as research investigating Streptococcal virulence determinants of invasive disease, with the goal of improving treatment and prevention of these severe and sometimes devastating infections. 

Joel Howard

Joel Howard, MD

Medical School: University of Mississippi School of Medicine
Residency: Emory University, Atlanta, GA
Fellowship Years: 2017-2020
Research Interests: Diarrheal disease globally, Clinical prediction rules
Hobbies: Hiking, snow skiing, board games, Last Week Tonight

Current Position: Assistant Professor, Department of Pediatrics, Division of Pediatric Infectious Diseases, University of Kentucky Medical School

Sonia Mehra

Sonia Mehra, MD

Medical School: Dayanand Medical College and Hospital, Ludhiana, India

Residency: Pediatrics, Christian Medical College and Hospital, Ludhiana, India

Pediatrics, Albert Einstein Medical Center, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Fellowship years: 2015-2018

Immunocompromised Infectious Diseases Fellowship 2018-2019

Academic interests: Infectious diseases of the immunocompromised child

Current Position: Assistant Professor of Pediatrics, Pediatric Infectious Diseases, University of Utah School of Medicine

Angela F. Veesenmeyer

Angela F. Veesenmeyer, MD

Medical School: University of Arizona College of Medicine, Tucson, Arizona

Residency: Pediatrics, University of Arizona Affiliated Hospitals, Tucson, Arizona

Fellowship years: 2014-2016

Academic interests: Resident and Fellow Education

Current Position: She is part of the District Medical Group in Phoenix, AZ.

Andrew Nuibe

Andrew Nuibe, MD

Medical School: Creighton University School of Medicine

Residency: U.C. Davis Pediatrics Residency 2009-2012

Fellowship years: 2012-2015

Academic interests: Osteoarticular infections, antimicrobial stewardship, comparative effectiveness studies

Current Position: Pediatric Infectious Diseases physician with Pediatric Specialists of Virginia and Medical Director of Antimicrobial Stewardship at the Inova Children’s Hospital.

I consider myself very fortunate to have done my fellowship at the University of Utah.  Not only did I gain crucial clinical knowledge and experience dealing with infections ranging from Coccidioides pleural disease to sinogenic intracranial infections to resistant CMV infections in bone marrow transplant patients, but I was also supported in my pursuit of a Master of Science in Clinical Investigation degree.  Every single Pediatric Infectious Diseases faculty member taught me something about the conduct of the ideal Pediatric Infectious Diseases physician, and their teachings still influence me to this day.  There is no doubt that the training I received prepared me well for my current job duties.  For those unfamiliar with Salt Lake City, there is no shortage of outdoor activities throughout the seasons, the public transportation system is great, and attending Utah Jazz games is a great way to enjoy NBA basketball.  

Carly Davis

Carly Davis, MD

Medical School: University of Iowa Carver College of Medicine

Residency: Pediatrics, Phoenix Children’s Hospital/Maricopa Medical Center

Fellowship years: 2011-2014

Academic interests: General pediatrics and outpatient pediatric infectious diseases

Current Position: Pediatrics/Pediatric Infectious Diseases, Granger Medical Clinic, Riverton, UT

Beth Knackstedt

Beth Knackstedt, MD

Medical School: Emory University School of Medicine

Fellowship years: 2010-2013

Academic interests: Caring for children with HIV is what drew me to peds ID (along with the amazing folks it seems to attract). This interest naturally morphed into transplant/immunocompromised ID.  Maybe a little unusual for many peds ID folks, I LOVE outpatient clinic.

Current Position: Associate Professor of Pediatrics, Pediatric Infectious Diseases, Fellowship Director, Immunocompromised Infectious Disease Fellowship, University of Utah School of Medicine.

Angel Herrera-Guerra, MD

Medical School: Universidad Autónoma de Guadalajara. Guadalajara, Jalisco. Mexico

Residency: University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences, Arkansas Children’s Hospital, Little Rock, Arkansas

Fellowship years: 2008-2011

Academic Interests: Dr. Herrera has a clinical interest in pediatric systemic sclerosis and pediatric lupus.

Current Position: UC Davis Health, Pediatrics, Pediatric Infectious Diseases, Pediatric Rheumatology

Jeffrey Bender

Jeffrey Bender, MD

Medical School: University of California, San Diego School of Medicine

Residency: Pediatrics, University of Utah School of Medicine

Fellowship years: 2006-2009

ARUP Microbiology Fellowship 2009-2010

Academic interests: Dr. Bender is interested in the human microbiome and how interactions with indigenous microbial communities may translate to novel preventative and therapeutic approaches to pediatric disease. He is also interested in hospital epidemiology, as well as new technologies in the microbiology lab and how they can be translated to powerful clinical tools in a pediatric setting.

Current Position: Associate Division Chief, Pediatric Infectious Diseases, Co-Director, Single-cell, Sequencing, and Cytof Core Laboratory (SC2) at the Saban Research Institute 

Anne J. Blaschke

Anne J. Blaschke, MD

Medical School: University of California, San Diego School of Medicine

Residency: Pediatrics, University of Utah School of Medicine

Fellowship years: 2004-2006

Academic Interests: New diagnostics development, comparative bacterial genomics, mentorship of residents, fellows and faculty

Current Position: Professor of Pediatrics and Pediatric Infectious Diseases, Fellowship Director, Pediatric Infectious Diseases Fellowship, University of Utah School of Medicine

Program Director

Sonia Mehra, MD, MSCI

Contact Us

Department of Pediatrics
Division of Pediatric Infectious Diseases

295 Chipeta Way
Salt Lake City, UT 84108

Program Director
Sonia Mehra, MD, MSCI


Program Coordinator

Christie Davis

Christie Davis

Phone: 801-662-5710