Published January 3, 2022
Mark D. Hicar, associate professor of pediatrics in the Jacobs School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences at UB, has been named a fellow of the Infectious Diseases Society of America (IDSA).
Fellowship in the IDSA is one of the highest honors in the field of infectious diseases; it recognizes distinguished clinicians and scientists around the globe who have achieved professional excellence and provided significant service to the profession.
Hicar, an attending physician at Oishei Children’s Hospital and a physician with UBMD Pediatrics, conducts research focused on discovery of antibodies against infectious agents. In his career, he has discovered antibodies to novel targets on the HIV envelope protein and assisted in cloning antibodies from survivors of the 1918 influenza pandemic. He has pursued similar studies as well as epidemiologic and therapeutic response modeling in Kawasaki disease, the most common form of acquired heart disease in children.
During the COVID-19 pandemic, Hicar has initiated studies focused on antibodies that could target similar protein structures found in both SARS-CoV-2 and HIV. That research includes the study of samples from children diagnosed with Multisystem Inflammatory Syndrome of Children (MISC), a condition with symptomatic overlap with Kawasaki disease.
He has National Institutes of Health funding to study antibodies against HIV, and is lead investigator on a SUNY multi-site clinical study on antibody responses in HIV long term non-progressors, rare individuals who are infected with HIV but do not need therapy to control the disease.
A UB faculty member since 2012, Hicar earned his MD and PhD from The Ohio State University College of Medicine. He did his internship, residency and fellowship in pediatric infectious diseases at the Vanderbilt University School of Medicine.
“The 199 individuals chosen to receive the FIDSA designation this year are committed to blazing trails in the field of infectious diseases, and IDSA is proud to honor them,” says Dan McQuillen, president of IDSA. “There has never been a more critical or more exciting time for the field of infectious diseases. These ID physicians and scientists are on the front lines of research and clinical care, and represent the passion and commitment to educate and protect us from dangerous illness. We all benefit as a result of their vital contributions to local communities and expertise within the field of medicine.”
Applicants for IDSA fellowship must be nominated by their peers and meet specified criteria that include continuing identification with the field of infectious diseases, national or regional recognition, and publication of their scholarly work. Nominees are reviewed and elected by the IDSA Board of Directors. Fellows of IDSA work in many different settings, including clinical practice, teaching, research, public health and health care administration.
The Infectious Diseases Society of America is an organization of over 12,000 physicians, scientists, public health experts and other health care professionals dedicated to promoting health through excellence in infectious disease research, education, prevention and patient care.