Newswise — MAYWOOD, IL –  Ravi Durvasula, MD, has been named chair of the department of medicine of Loyola Medicine and Loyola University Chicago Stritch School of Medicine.

Dr. Durvasula has held senior leadership positions at Yale University and the Veterans Administration and has conducted groundbreaking research in global infectious diseases. Most recently, he was a professor of medicine and infectious diseases and director of the Center for Global Health at the University of New Mexico School of Medicine. The center has partnered with 13 medical centers in India, Kenya, China and Colombia.

Dr. Durvasula assumed his new role at Loyola on November 1, 2017. The department of medicine is dedicated to excellence in clinical care, research and education. It includes 14 divisions: allergy, cardiology, dermatology, endocrinology, gastroenterology, general internal medicine, health services research program, hematology/oncology, hepatology, hospital medicine, infectious disease, nephrology, pulmonary and critical care medicine and rheumatology.

"I'm very excited to be joining Loyola, which is a national leader in many areas of clinical medicine, research and education," Dr. Durvasula said.

From 2005 to 2014, Dr. Durvasula was chair of the department of medicine of the New Mexico Veterans Affairs Health Care System, where he oversaw programs affecting 50,000 veterans and a budget of nearly $400 million. Prior to the VA, Dr. Durvasula served as chief medical officer of Yale University Health Services, overseeing operations affecting 30,000 students, faculty, dependents and alumni through 11 divisions with 250 employees.

Dr. Durvasula is a world leader in global infectious diseases research. He has pioneered a new approach to control the spread of vector-borne diseases, including Leishmaniasis and Chagas disease.

Dr. Durvasula's lab currently is researching new strategies to control multidrug-resistant infections, such as clostridium difficile (C. diff), and developing new molecules to diagnose and treat emerging diseases, such as the Zika and Ebola viruses.

Since 1994, Dr. Durvasula has been awarded 17 research grants totaling $9.6 million, including nine National Institutes of Health grants totaling $6.9 million. Other agencies that have funded Dr. Durvasula's research include the Centers for Disease Control, U.S. Department of Agriculture and Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. His two most recent grants are to study environmentally friendly mosquito insecticides.

Dr. Durvasula is an author of five books and more than 120 peer-reviewed publications, abstracts and conference proceedings.

Dr. Durvasula earned his medical degree from McGill University in Montreal. He completed a residency in internal medicine at Baylor College of Medicine/Methodist Hospital in Houston, where he was chief medical resident. He completed a fellowship in infectious diseases at Yale University School of Medicine and was awarded the prestigious physician postdoctoral fellowship of the Howard Hughes Medical Institute. He is board certified in internal medicine and infectious diseases.

Dr. Durvasula replaces J. Paul O'Keefe, MD, who retired as chair July 1 after a distinguished 40-year career at Loyola.