Infectious Disease Expert, Coronavirus Researcher Angela Branche, MD ’07 to Keynote AUC Commencement
Leading infectious disease specialist and Class of 2007 alumna Dr. Angela Branche will be the keynote speaker for AUC's Virtual Commencement Ceremony on Saturday, May 16. The ceremony will be broadcast on Facebook and YouTube beginning at 4:00 pm ET.
An assistant professor at the University of Rochester School of Medicine (UR), Dr. Branche serves as the Clinical Director, NIH Centers of Excellence for Influenza Research and Surveillance (CEIRS) and Co-Principal Investigator for the UR Vaccine and Treatment Evaluation Unit (UR VTEU). At UR, Dr. Branche’s focus in research has involved the use of viral molecular and immunological diagnostic assays to explore the pathogenesis and host response to acute viral respiratory illnesses in adults. Her research activities explore clinical disease, pathogenesis, development of therapeutics, and vaccine biology related to infection with viral and bacterial respiratory pathogens.
In her role, Dr. Branche is actively leading efforts to fight the coronavirus pandemic as part of a UR team that has launched a federally funded study of the immune response to COVID-19. Findings from this study could have “significant implications for the public health response to the pandemic, the development of COVID-19 vaccines, and decisions related to reopening the economy and society,” according to URMC.
“We’re interested in understanding how your body’s immune or defense system responds to an infection over time and specifically how you develop protection against COVID-19 after you’ve been infected,” Dr. Branche said in a Rochester City Newspaper article.
Dr. Branche is also working to educate the public about the ongoing research and how it supports global efforts to develop vaccines and treatments for the disease. She recently participated in a virtual public forum along with other researchers at URMC and Rochester Regional Health to answer questions around vaccine development, treatment, and research related to COVID-19.
Prior to the pandemic, Dr. Branche has been involved in research activities including assessment of asymptomatic carriage of Streptococcus pneumoniae and the impact of pneumococcal vaccination, surveillance of epidemic influenza infections and immunologic mechanisms of protection following natural infection versus vaccination, the development of pandemic influenza vaccines, population-based studies of RSV infection and the development of vaccine and anti-viral agents for RSV.
Dr. Branche received her bachelor’s degree in biology at the University of Pennsylvania before earning her MD from AUC in 2007. She completed a residency in Internal Medicine at NYU Langone Hospital—Brooklyn in Brooklyn, NY and an infectious disease fellowship at the University of Rochester. She has a clinical inpatient practice comprised of both general infectious diseases and HIV medicine patients, and she is a New York State designated HIV/AIDS provider. Dr. Branche is a member of the Infectious Disease Society of America and the NIH Human Cohorts Steering Committee.
Follow AUC School of Medicine on Facebook and tune into the Virtual Commencement Ceremony on Saturday, May 16 to hear Dr. Branche address AUC’s graduating class. For more information about the ceremony, visit our Commencement webpage.