Meet Our Fellows
The Clinical Microbiology Postgraduate Fellowships draw trainees from across the U.S. and around the world. While all our trainees have a love of learning and a compassionate approach to patient care, they come from diverse backgrounds, family status, and professional and personal interests. Meet our current fellows and learn about their experiences in the program.
Clinical Microbiology ACGME fellow
James Vaillant, M.D., M.S.
Medical school: Saba University School of Medicine, Saba
About me: I grew up in Sarnia, Ontario, Canada. I graduated from Saba University School of Medicine, located on the small Caribbean island of Saba, and then completed an internal medicine residency at Western Michigan University in Kalamazoo, MI. I recently completed fellowship training in infectious diseases at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota, and am now pursuing an additional year of fellowship training in clinical microbiology. My interests include antibiotic and diagnostic stewardship, and phage therapy. I will be joining the Infectious Disease faculty at Marshall University, WV, in 2024. Outside of medicine, I enjoy traveling, playing the guitar, and spending time outdoors with my wife, Brittany, son, Liam, and dog, Darwin.
Clinical Microbiology CPEP fellows
Portia Mira, Ph.D.
Graduate school: University of California, Merced
About me: I am originally from central California. I received my Ph.D. in microbial evolution from the University of California, Merced, and was awarded an NIH Institutional Research and Career Development Award and the UC Presidential Postdoctoral Fellowship at UCLA studying antibiotic resistance and parasitology for my postdoc. I have nearly 10 years of experience collaborating with clinical laboratories as my research intertwines experimental evolution, whole genome sequencing, and theory to understand the evolution of antibiotic resistance in hospitals and how resistance affects temperature response in microbes. I have a love for teaching which is evident through my certification as a CIRTL Practitioner (Center for Integration, Research, Teaching, and Learning) and have taught clinical laboratory science courses for National University for more than three years. I love exploring the outdoors with my family of five (plus a dog) and can eat sushi all day, every day — except maybe for breakfast.
Nick Streck, Ph.D.
Graduate school: Penn State College of Medicine, Hershey, Pennsylvania
About me: I am from Columbus, Ohio. I received my undergraduate degree in medical laboratory sciences from the University of Kentucky and became a big Wildcats fan during my time in Lexington! I completed graduate school at Penn State College of Medicine in Hershey, Pennsylvania, where I studied the replication cycle of cytomegalovirus. I also completed a postdoctoral fellowship in the clinical microbiology and virology laboratories at Penn State Hershey Medical Center. Outside of the lab, my wife and I love to spend time outdoors with our dog Lex.
Clinical Microbiology CPEP 2nd year fellow
Josh Shirley, Ph.D.
Graduate school: Medicinal Chemistry from the University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, MN
About me: I am from Zumbrota, Minnesota. I obtained my B.S. in biomedical sciences with minors in microbiology and chemistry from the University of Wisconsin - La Crosse. I then briefly worked as a clinical lab tech in the Cell Kinetics Lab in the Division of Hematopathology at Mayo Clinic before moving on to earn my Ph.D. in medicinal chemistry from the University of Minnesota. My thesis research focused on the development of small molecules and biochemical methods to study penicillin-binding proteins in various bacterial species. Outside of work, I enjoy spending time with my wife, daughter, and friends, and trying to get outdoors as much as possible.