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)
lab members publications
John Perfect received his BA from Wittenberg University in 1971. He attended the Medical College of Ohio in Toledo from 1971-1974 and received his medical degree in 1974. He recently received the 2003 Distinguished Alumnus Award from this institution. He trained in Internal Medicine at the University of Michigan and moved to Duke University in 1977 to complete an Infectious Disease Fellowship and study under the mentorship of Dr. David Durack. In his fellowship, he studied various aspects of treatment and pathogenesis for bacterial and fungal meningitis and endocarditis. He started on the faculty at Duke University Medical Center in 1980 and focused on animal models and pathogenesis of fungal infections. In 1987, he completed a Yeast Molecular Biology Course at Cold Spring Harbor and took a research leave to work in the laboratory of Dr. Paul T. Magee at the University of Minnesota. His research focus began on the molecular pathogenesis of Cryptococcus neoformans. In 1997, he was promoted to Professor of Medicine and Associate Professor of Microbiology and received the Duke University Scholar-Teacher of the Year in 1999. He was elected a member of the Association of American Physicians (AAP) in 2001, and was elected a fellow of the American Academy of Microbiology (AAM) in 2004 and a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) in 2007. In addition, he serves on the editorial board for the journal, Virulence. Dr. Perfect is currently the acting Chief of the Division of Infectious Diseases, Department of Medicine, Duke University Medical Center and is also the Director of the Duke University Mycology Research Unit.
Dr. Perfect and his colleagues presently focus on a series of investigations into medical mycology. First, his laboratory is engaged in molecular pathogenesis studies of Cryptococcus neoformans. In these studies, there is a merging of molecular biology manipulations of the pathogenic yeast with animal models and dissection of immune host factors. There are also studies with other important pathogenic fungi such as Candida albicans and Aspergillus fumigatus. Second, the laboratory is also involved in preclinical development of antifungals. It examines compounds for both in vitro and in vivo antifungal activities. Third, there is a clinical component to the research focus with designs for therapeutic and diagnostic strategies in invasive mycoses of humans.