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By Richard Asinof
PROVIDENCE – Dr. Eleftherios Mylonakis has been appointed chief of infectious diseases at Rhode Island Hospital and The Miriam Hospital. Mylonakis comes from Massachusetts General Hospital; he was also an associate professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School.
In his new role, Mylonakis will lead the infectious disease division and will also oversee one of the hospitals’ largest research divisions, with major initiatives under way in HIV/AIDS, viral hepatitis, hospital-acquired infections, tuberculosis, substance use and prisoner health.
“Dr. Mylonakis is not only a leading researcher in the field of antimicrobial agents but he is also a consummate clinician-educator who has mentored many successful young investigators,” said Dr. Timothy J. Babineau, M.D., president and chief executive officer at Rhode Island and The Miriam hospitals as well as incoming president and CEO of Lifespan. “As someone who trained here, he understands our culture, expertise and potential, and is perfectly positioned to build upon these insights to inspire the next generation of researchers and propel us to become one of the nation’s leading infectious disease centers.”
Mylonakis is internationally recognized for his research on the study of host and microbial factors of infection and the discovery of antimicrobial agents, or substances that kill or inhibit the growth of microorganisms such as bacteria or fungi. His research has received support from the National Institutes of Health and the Ellison Medical Foundation and he has published more than 150 peer-reviewed scientific articles and book chapters. Mylonakis, who has edited five books on infectious diseases, is also the founding editor-in-chief of Virulence, an international peer-reviewed journal that focuses on microbial infections and host-pathogen interactions.
Mylonakis succeeds Dr. Timothy Flanigan, who has served as the division chief since 1999. Under Flanigan’s leadership, the division has grown into one of the nation’s leading infectious disease research enterprises. Flanigan will remain with the division to continue to pursue his research, and a number of important outside interests.
“It is a tremendous honor to be selected for this role. Tim Flanigan’s leadership has been tremendous and will continue to be an invaluable asset for the division,” said Mylonakis. “I look forward to collaborating with the entire team as we strive to be the bridge that will bring new discoveries from the bench to the bedside.”