Faculty

José R. Romero, M.D., FAAP  Chief, Pediatric Infectious Diseases & Director, Clinical Trials Research, Arkansas Children’s Hospital Research Institute

Dr. Romero participates in clinical research related to viral and antiviral therapies through the NIH/NAID supported Collaborative Antiviral Study Group. Dr. Romero’s research interests focus on the molecular pathogenesis and molecular epidemiology of enteroviral infections. Additional areas of clinical interest include pediatric tuberculosis, viral central nervous system infections, and novel molecular approaches to the diagnosis infectious diseases. Dr. Romero is the principal investigator on multiple pharmaceutical company sponsored vaccine trials. He also serves as the Director of Infectious Diseases Section and Clinical Trials Research at the Arkansas Children’s Hospital and the Arkansas Children’s Hospital Research Institute. Dr. Romero has served on Food and Drug Administration’s Vaccine and Related Biological Products Advisory Board and the National Board of Medical Examiners/United States Medical Licensing Examination Step 1 Microbiology Committee.

Jin-Young Han, M.D., Ph.D. (Program Director): Associate Professor of Pediatrics

Dr. Han is an Associate Professor in the division of pediatric infectious diseases. He has an active outpatient and inpatient practice. His areas of expertise include herpes viruses, congenital infections, and telemedicine. He has been active in both bench and clinical research projects.

Richard F. Jacobs, M.D. Chairman, Department of Pediatrics

Dr. Jacobs participates in clinical research pertaining to new anti-viral therapies through the NIH/NIAID-supported Collaborative Antiviral Study Group, and participates in and directs pediatric pharmacology studies through the Pharmacology Section of the Department of Pediatrics operated at the Arkansas Children’s Hospital Research Institute (ACHRI). Dr. Jacobs was named President of the ACHRI in 2004, thus allowing for easy exchange of ideas and efforts between investigators at ACHRI and members of the Pediatric Infectious Diseases Division. He is the Chairman of the Department of Pediatrics. He was a member of the American Board of Pediatrics sub-board in Pediatric Infectious Diseases from 2004-2010 and shares his extensive knowledge of infectious disease epidemiology, clinical infectious diseases, and clinical research treatment studies and development of treatment guidelines with the division. He has significant experience in these areas, with past service as a liaison member of the Red Book Committee and President of the Pediatric Infectious Diseases Society.

Matt Linam, M.D., MS  Associate Professor of Pediatrics

Dr. Linam is a faculty member in the pediatric infectious diseases section and is the medical director of Infection Prevention and Hospital Epidemiology. He is also co-director of the Antibiotic Stewardship Program. He completed the Quality Scholars Program in Transforming Health Care at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center, Cincinnati, Ohio and is co-director of Improvement U, which is a quality improvement training course at Arkansas Children’s Hospital. His research interests involve applying improvement science and reliability principles to improve the hand hygiene practices of healthcare workers, reduce healthcare-associated infections and improve antibiotic stewardship.

Vini Vijayan, M.D., FAAP  Assistant Professor of Pediatrics

Dr. Vijayan is a faculty member in the pediatric infectious diseases section. She completed her pediatric residency at The Children’s Regional Hospital at Cooper Medical Center, and her pediatric infectious diseases fellowship at Harbor-UCLA Medical Center. Her research interests include improving vaccination coverage among adolescents and pregnant women and development of tools and programs to promote rational use of antimicrobials. Areas of clinical interest include evaluation and treatment of infectious diseases among international travelers and internationally adopted children, infections in the immunocompromised host, and autoimmune disorders.

J. Gary Wheeler, M.D.  Arkansas Department of Health – Branch Chief of Infectious Diseases (Adjunct Professor of Pediatrics
Dr. Wheeler serves as the branch chief of Infectious Diseases for the Arkansas Department of Health. He oversees the HIV, STI, TB, zoonoses, and immunization programs of the Arkansas Department of Health. Dr. Wheeler’s current research interest in is health policy and prevention. He has current and past funding from the CDC and NIH for work on improving immunization rates and on preventive health education. He actively participates in fostering legislation at the state level that promotes health in children and adolescents. He works at multiple levels to prevent and treat tobacco addiction, prevent childhood obesity and monitor vaccine policy. Dr. Wheeler has received multiple accolades for his teaching skills and is a devoted clinician and educator. In the past, he co-chaired the ACH institutional bioethics committee. He serves on the AAP committee on state government affairs and is a member of the AAP Richmond Center faculty.