Infectious Diseases

Infectious Diseases Faculty

Helmut Albrecht Director, USC SOM Div. of Internal Medicine; Chair, Palmetto Health-USC Medical Group Internal Medicine

Dr. Albrecht joined the Division in 2006, where he is currently the Division Director and Heyward Gibbes Distinguished Professor in Internal Medicine. Dr. Albrecht graduated medical school and residency/gastroenterology fellowship from the University of Hamburg in 1988 and 1993. He also completed another residency and an Infectious Diseases fellowship at Emory University in 1999 and 2001.

Dr. Albrecht's research interests include HIV, AIDS, viral hepatitis, viral kinetics in various compartments, immune reconstitution with associated clinical syndromes, metabolic complications of HIV infection and antiretroviral therapy, study of the lymphatic system in HIV disease, opportunistic infection (bacterial, viral, fungal, and parasitic pathogens) in HIV infection and other immunodeficiency syndromes, microsporidiosis, non-tuberculous mycobacteria, gastrointestinal infections, and antibiotics and antifungal medication.

Dr. Albrecht has considerable study experience as investigator, principal or coordinating investigator of multiple national and internal trials since 8/88. He has been a member of the National and International AIDS Conferences. He serves as a reviewer for AIDS, Clinical Investigator, CID, JID, Annals of Internal Medicine, JAMA, EID, and other journals since 1993. He has published more than 200 articles in peer-reviewed journals and more than 50 book chapters. Dr. Albrecht is a member of the editorial board of "AIDS Clinical Care" and was an editor of HIV Medicine.

In his personal time, Dr. Albrecht enjoys playing tennis, golfing, and traveling as well as spending time with his family.

Sharon Weissman, MD Fellowship Program Director and Director, Division of Infectious Disease

Dr. Weissman joined the Division in 2010, where she is currently the program director for the Infectious Disease Fellowship, director for the Division of Infectious Disease, and professor of Clinical Internal Medicine. Dr. Weissman graduated medical school from Columbia University in 1991 and residency from Beth Israel Hospital in 1994. After residency, Dr. Weissman completed a fellowship in Infectious Diseases at Beth Israel Hospital-Brigham and Women's Hospital in 1996. At the completion of fellowship Dr. Weissman joined the Division of Infectious Disease at Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, Ohio. There she was director of the HIV/Infectious Disease Clinic at the Louis Stoke Cleveland VAMC. From there she joined the Infectious Disease faculty at Yale University School of Medicine. Prior to joining the faculty at the University of South Carolina Dr. Weissman was director of HIV Services at the Hospital of Saint Raphael in New Haven, Connecticut.

Dr. Weissman has had considerable research experience as principle investigator on several investigator initiated studies including: Routine Anal Cytology Screening for Anal Squamous Intraepithelial Lesions in an Ethnically Diverse Urban HIV Clinic.; Prevalence of Chronic Kidney Disease (CKD) in an Urban Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) Infected Population; Immune Response to Hepatitis A Vaccine in HIV Positive Patients; and HIV Syphilis Treatment and Outcomes in Human Immunodeficiency Virus Positive Patients: Does a Lumbar Puncture  Make a Difference. She also has been the site principle investigator on many national and international trials including Community Programs Clinical Research on AIDS (CPCRA Trials): SMART Trial, FIRST Trial, Adherence Trial, Long Term Maintenance Trial, and Multidrug Resistance Trial.  Her current research focus is on HIV epidemiology in rural South Carolina. In addition she has received grant funding to partner with the University of West Indies in Kingston, Jamaica, providing guidance as they start the first Infectious Diseases post graduate fellowship training program in the Caribbean.

In her personal time she enjoys bicycling, travelling and spending time with her family.

Divya Ahuja, MD Associate Professor

Dr. Ahuja joined the Infectious Disease Division in 2005. He currently is Associate Professor of Clinical Internal Medicine. Dr. Ahuja graduated medical school in New Delhi, India in 1992, and completed parts of his residency in India and the United Kingdom before ending up at York Hospital in Pennsylvania from 2001-2003. After his residency, Dr. Ahuja completed a fellowship in Genitourinary Medicine and HIV at the Bristol Royal Infirmary and Plymouth Hospital in the United Kingdom in 2001. He also completed a fellowship in Infectious Disease at Pennsylvania State University College of Medicine in 2005.

Dr. Ahuja is Medical Director of Midlands Care Consortium Clinic, the region's largest Ryan White HIV Clinic. He is also the Director of the South Carolina HIV/AIDS Training Center. He is the site principle investigator for the HRSA Special Project of National Significance: Enhancing Linkages to HIV Primary Care in Jail Settings. 

Dr. Ahuja enjoys mountaineering, exercising at the gym, chess, listening to music and spending time with his wife and two children.

Dr. Ahuja serves as one of our key lecturers in the weekly infectious disease didactic lecture series and weekly case conferences. He also teaches fellows on the inpatient consult service and in the outpatient clinics. He is actively involved in medical student education.

Majdi Al-Hasan, MD Professor

Dr. Al-Hasan joined the division in 2013 as the director of the Antimicrobial Stewardship Program and associate professor of Clinical Medicine. Dr. Al-Hasan graduated from the faculty of medicine at the University of Jordan in 2000 and received Internal Medicine residency training at the University of Kentucky in 2005. He then moved to Minnesota where he received Infectious Disease fellowship training at the Mayo Clinic and Certificate of Clinical Research Training Program at Mayo Graduate School in 2008. He then joined the University of Kentucky as an assistant professor of Clinical Medicine. Dr. Al-Hasan demonstrated deep interest in teaching at multiple levels. He was the associate director of the Infectious Disease Fellowship Program, the subspecialty coordinator of the Internal Medicine Residency Program and the director of the Clinical Infectious Disease Course for medical students. 

Dr. Al-Hasan remains a research collaborator with the Division of Infectious Diseases at Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota. Dr. Al-Hasan has established himself as a prominent figure in the fields of bloodstream infections and antimicrobial agents through his clinical research on the epidemiology, management and outcome of Gram-negative bloodstream infections, antimicrobial resistance trends and clinical therapeutics. He serves as a reviewer for several internal medicine, infectious diseases and clinical microbiology journals. He is also an editorial board member for the World Journal of Clinical Infectious Diseases. 

Dr. Al-Hasan enjoys travelling, soccer and spending time with his family.

Pamela Bailey, MD Assistant Professor
Dr. Bailey earned a Bachelor of Science in Neuroscience at the College of William and Mary. While there, she also majored in history with induction into Phi Alpha Theta honor society and completed an independent study: “Development of Public Health in Victorian Britain.” She received a Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine at the West Virginia School of Osteopathic Medicine.

Dr. Bailey completed her residency in Internal Medicine at Christiana Care Health System in Newark, Delaware. Dr. Bailey recently completed an Infectious Disease clinical fellowship and hospital epidemiology/infection control research fellowship. Additionally, Dr. Bailey received a Master of Public Health while at Virginia Commonwealth University Health System in Richmond, Virginia.

Dr. Bailey’s fun facts include being a twin. She plays the piano, and she enjoys cooking and bicycling.
Rajeev Bais, MD Assistant Professor
Dr. Bais joined the Division of Infectious Diseases in 2015 as an Assistant Professor of Clinical Medicine. He currently serves as Director of the Carolina Survivor Clinic, which provides comprehensive care to refugees who are survivors of torture. Dr. Bais is also involved with developing a Global Health and Human Rights Initiative in the Division of Infectious Diseases.
Rebecca A. Berdel Assistant Professor
Dr. Berdel, is a native of Marlette, Michigan. She completed medical school at Ross University School of Medicine in Dominica in 2011. She completed her internal medicine residency and infectious diseases fellowship in 2014 and 2016, respectively, with Palmetto Health/University of South Carolina. She is an infectious dieseases specialist and currently serves as clinical assistant professor of internal medicine with the program.
Sangita Dash, MD Assistant Professor
Dr. Dash graduated medical school from B.L.D.E.A's Shri B.M. Patil Medical College, India in 1998. After completing her residency at New York Methodist Hospital in 2004, she continued her education at the Medical University of South Carolina as a fellow in Infectious Diseases. In 2006, she joined the Division of Infectious Disease at the University of South Carolina School of Medicine where she currently is Assistant Professor of Clinical Internal Medicine. Dr. Dash serves as the Hospital Epidemiologist at Palmetto Health Richland.
James A. Grubbs, MD Assistant Professor
Edwin Hayes, MD Assistant Professor
  • Completed Internal Medicine residency in 2016 at the University of Miami/JFK Medical Center, Palm Beach GME Consortium in Atlantis, Fla. Was a Chief Resident there.
  • Completed ID fellowship here at Prisma Health-University of South Carolina in 2019. 
  • Joined the Department of Medicine’s Infectious Disease Division immediately following fellowship.
  • Is currently Assistant Professor of Clinical Internal Medicine.
  • Dr. Hayes enjoys watching new and old films, collecting medical antiques and old books and spending time with family. He is also quite fond of traveling to different countries.
  • Serves on the COVID-19 team and is a principle investigator in COVID-19 research.
Joseph Horvath, MD Associate Professor
Dr. Horvath joined the Division in 1996 where he is currently Associate Professor of Clinical Internal Medicine. He graduated medical school from Temple University Medical School in 1988, and completed his residency at the University of Connecticut Health Center in 1991. Dr. Horvath also completed an Infectious Diseases Fellowship at Vanderbilt University School of Medicine in 1994 before joining the University of South Carolina School of Medicine. 
Stella Okoye, MD Assistant Professor
Kamla Sanasi-Bhola, MD Assistant Professor
Dr. Sanasi-Bhola joined the Division of Infectious Diseases in 2014, where she is currently Assistant Professor of Clinical Internal Medicine. Dr. Sanasi-Bhola graduated medical school in Guyana, South America in 2004, and completed her Internal Medicine Residency in Washington, DC at Howard University School of Medicine in 2012. After her residency, she completed a fellowship in Infectious Diseases at the University of South Carolina School of Medicine in 2014. She lives in Columbia, SC with her husband and 2 Children. She is actively involved in the education of medical students, residents, and fellows and is an attending physician at the USC Immunology Center. She also sees the peri-partum HIV positive women in the Women's Clinic.
Ansal Shah, MD Assistant Professor
Ansal Shah is an assistant professor of clinical medicine at University of South Carolina. He completed his medical school in India in 2006. He completed his internal medicine residency from Elmhurst Hospital Center in New York in 2012. He completed his infectious disease fellowship at Palmetto Health/University of South Carolina in 2016. He joined the Infectious disease department at USC SOM in July 2016. In addition, he  provides infectious disease care for inmates at the South Carolina Department of Corrections.
 

PharmD Faculty

Brandon Bookstaver, PharmD Associate Professor
Dr. Brandon Bookstaver is an Associate Professor and Vice Chair in the Department of Clinical Pharmacy and Outcomes Sciences in the South Carolina College of Pharmacy at the University of South Carolina. Following graduation from the USC College of Pharmacy, he completed PGY1 and 2 residencies at Wake Forest University Baptist Medical Center. 

Celeste Caulder, PharmD Assistant Professor
Dr. Celeste Caulder is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Clinical Pharmacy and Outcomes Sciences in the South Carolina College of Pharmacy in Columbia, South Carolina. She also maintains a practice site in infectious diseases at Palmetto Health Richland. Celeste received her Doctor of Pharmacy degree from the University of North Carolina College of Pharmacy in 2004. She completed a pharmacy practice residency (2004-2005) at University of Virginia Health System in Charlottesville, VA, and an infectious diseases specialty residency (2005-2006) at the University of Houston College of Pharmacy and MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston, TX.
Caroline Derrick, PharmD Assistant Professor
Dr. Justo is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Clinical Pharmacy and Outcomes Sciences at the South Carolina College of Pharmacy. She received her Doctor of Pharmacy degree from the University of Florida College of Pharmacy in 2009. She completed a pharmacy practice residency (2009-2010) and an infectious diseases pharmacotherapy fellowship (2010-2013) at the University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC) College of Pharmacy. She also received her Master of Science in Clinical and Translational Science from the UIC School of Public Health in 2013. Dr. Justo is a Board Certified Pharmacotherapy Specialist and an HIV Pharmacist through the American Academy of HIV Medicine.
Omar Lucas, PharmD Assistant Professor