Faculty and Research
John Perfect, MD
James B. Duke Professor
Department of Medicine, Division of Infectious Diseases
Chief, Division of Infectious Diseases
Director, Duke University Mycology Research Unit (DUMRU)
Research in my laboratory focuses around several aspects of medical mycology. We are investigating antifungal agents (new and old) in animal models of candida and cryptococcal infections. We have examined clinical correlation of in vitro antifungal susceptibility testing and with in vivo outcome. Our basic science project examines the molecular pathogenesis of cryptococcal infections. We have developed a molecular foundation for C. neoformans, including transformation systems, gene disruptions, differential gene expression screens, and cloning pathogenesis genes. The goal of this work is to use C. neoformans as a model yeast system to identify molecular targets for antifungal drug development. There are a series of clinical trials in fungal infections which are being coordinated through this laboratory, and my work also includes a series of antibiotic trials in various aspects of infections. Finally, we have now been awarded an NIH- sponsored Mycology Unit for five years with six senior investigators, which is focused on C. neoformans as a pathogenic model system but will include multiple areas of medical mycology from diagnosis to treatment.