Research Projects

Self-Collection of Anorectal Swab Specimens for Anal Cancer Screening
Key Staff
Principal Investigator: Dora A. Lebron, M.D.
Team Members: Ramez Azzam, MD, Alexandra Stang, MD, Jennifer Emberger, MD, Jacob Pierce, MD, Rabindra Ghimire, MD, Dean Markham, MD, Paul Cook, MD.
Trends in HIV transmitted resistance in Eastern North Carolina
Key Staff
Principal Investigator: Srinivas Reddy, M.D.
Team Members: Jacob Pierce, MD, Bian Hui, PhD, Dora Lebron, MD
Impact of Infectious Diseases Fellows Rounding in the Medical Intensive Care Unit and the COVID-19 Medical Intermediate Units on Antimicrobial Stewardship for COVID-19
Key Staff
Principal Investigator: Jennifer Emberger, M.D.
Team Members: Kristina Catania, M.D., Paul Cook, M.D., Rachael Harrison, M.D., Franklin Mikell, M.D., Smit Rajput, M.D
Study: Can a dog trained to detect Clostrioides (Clostridium) difficile help decrease the spread of C.difficile?
Key Staff
Principal Investigator: Paul Cook, M.D.

Clinical Trial Research Projects

The ECU Infectious Disease Division has ongoing research activities involving clinical trials for new HIV treatments, as well as other areas in Infectious Disease such as C. diff infection and bloodstream infections. Through these new discoveries in research, we strive to improve the quality of care and treatment for our patients and communities. Individuals engaged in care in ECU Adult Specialty Care or through the Infectious Disease Division, who meet the criteria for enrollment, may be offered the opportunity to participate. Referrals for enrollment in a clinical trial may also be made by providers outside of the ECU/ECU Health system. For further information, contact Jamie, RN, at 252-744-1913.

NIH. Dalbavancin as an Option for Treatment of S. aureus Bacteremia (DOTS): A Phase 2b, Multicenter, Randomized, Open-Label, Assessor-Blinded Superiority Study to Compare the Efficacy and Safety of Dalbavancin to Standard of Care Antibiotic Therapy for the Completion of Treatment of Patients with Complicated S. aureus Bacteremia.

Gilead. A Phase 1b Randomized, Blinded, Proof-of-Concept Study to Evaluate the Safety and Efficacy of Broadly Neutralizing Antibodies (bNAbs) GS-5423 and GS-2872 in Combination with Capsid Inhibitor Lenacapavir (GS-6207) in Virologically Suppressed Adults with HIV-1 Infection.

Roche. A Multicenter, Single-Dose, Uncontrolled, Open-Label, One Group Study to Investigate the Pharmacokinetics of RO7223280 in Critically-Ill Patients with Bacterial Infections.

Gilead. Evaluating GS-5245 in Non-hospitalized Participants with COVID-19.

Gilead. A Phase 2 Study of GS-5423 and GS-2872 in Combination with Capsid Inhibitor Lenacapavir in Virologically Suppressd Adults with HIV-1 Infection.

Janssen. MicroRNAs in HIV and Obesity.


HIV study Gilead 6289 (enrollment closed but ongoing)

HIV study Gilead GS-US-536-5939 – 6-month treatment regimen, starting in June 2023

Covid outpatient study – GS-US-611-6549 – oral remdesivir treatment

AstraZeneca – inpatient study to treat respiratory viruses (RSV, SARS-CoV-2, Influenza)

Older Studies



Akula SM, Bolin P, Cook PP.  Cellular miR-150-5p may have a crucial role to play in the biology of SARS-CoV-2 infection by regulating nsp10 gene, RNA Biology, 2022;19:1-11.

Pokhrel LR, Williams F, Cook PP, O’Rourke D, Murray G, Akula SM. Preclinical efficacy and safety of novel SNAT against SARS-CoV-2 using a hamster model. Drug Del Transl Res.

Mikell F, Wooten WM, Manandhar S, Emberger J. Global Travel and Antimicrobial Resistance: a Challenge for Stewardship. Curr Treat Options Infect Dis. 2022.


Jiwani RA, Mao Y, Pono A, Bradner E, Hussain J, Stalls JS, Cook P, et al. Discontinuation of transmission precautions for COVID-19 patients: polymerase chain reaction diagnostics, patient delays, and cycle threshold values. Infect Dis Clin Pract 2021;29: e287-e293.

Rajput, S, Lebron, D, Lagasca, A,   Incidence of Low BMD and Barriers to Routine Screening for Osteoporosis in HIV Patients in Eastern North Carolina.  Open Forum Infectious Diseases, Volume 8, Issue Supplement_1, November 2021, Page S507,


Cook P, Nichols S, Coogan M, Opera J, DeHart M.  Reduction in Testing and Change in Testing Algorithm Associated with Decrease in Number of Nosocomial Clostridioides (Clostridium) difficile Infections. Am J Infect Cont 2020;48:1019-22.

Cook PP, Siraj DS. Bacterial Arthritis. In: Firestein et al, eds. Kelley and Firestein’s Textbook of Rheumatology, 11th ed.  Elsevier, 2020, pp 1876-90.


Pona A, Jiwani RA, Afriyie F, Labbe J, Cook PP, Mao, Y. Herpes zoster as a potential complication of coronavirus disease 2019.  Dermatol Ther 2020;e13930

Ghadermarzi, S, Hussain, J, Chandrika, P, Lebron, D.  Do Not Wait Until a Dental Mayday: A Case of Lemierre’s Syndrome Complicated with Descending Necrotizing Mediastinitis in an Elderly with Streptococcal Pharyngitis and Dental Caries. CHEST Journal 2019. DOI:


Cook PP. The war on (antimicrobial) drugs: the fight against superbugs. Infectious Disease Special Edition. 2018; Summer: 64-8. (invited article)

Holland TL, Raad I, Boucher HW, Anderson DJ, Cosgrove SE, Aycock S, Baddley JW, Chaftari MP, Shein-Chung C, Chu VH, Carugati M, Cook P, et al. Effect of  algorithm-based therapy vs usual care on clinical success and serious adverse events in patients with Staphylococcal bacteremia: a randomized clinical trial. JAMA 2018;320:1249-58.

Fadul N, Lebron, D, Starr, H. Update on Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis for the Prevention of Human Immunodeficiency Virus Infection.  Internal Medicine Review. 2018. DOI:


Cook PP, Siraj DS. Bacterial Arthritis. In: Firestein et al, eds. Kelley and Firestein’s Textbook of Rheumatology, 10th ed.  Elsevier, 2017, pp 1876-90.

Shah KB, Rimawi RH, Mazer MA, Cook PP. Can a collaborative subspecialty antimicrobial stewardship intervention have lasting effects? Infection 45: 645-9.

Cook PP. Current issues in and approaches to antimicrobial resistance: an overview of the current clinical challenges and approaches to patient care. Infectious Disease Special Edition. 2017; Spring:59-64. (invited article)

Naqash, A. R., Yogarajah, M., Vallangeon, B. D., Hafiz, M., Patel, D., Kolychev, E., Lebron, D. A., & Liles, D. Hemophagocytic lymphohistiocytosis (HLH) secondary to Ehrlichia chaffeensis with bone marrow involvement. Annals of Hematology, 2017: 96(10), 1755–1758.

Lebron, D, Stang, A, Lagasca, A, Cook, P, Siraj, D.   (2017) Sustained Virologic Response with Direct Acting Antivirals in HIV Coinfected Hepatitis C Patients and Its Effects on Liver Fibrosis. Open Forum Infectious Diseases, Volume 4, Issue suppl_1, Fall 2017, Page S660,

Older Publications