Duke University Medical Center

NEWS AND EVENTS

Recalled Yogurt Contained Highly Pathogenic Mold 
Samples isolated from recalled Chobani yogurt have been found to contain the most virulent form of a fungus called Mucor circinelloides, which is associated with infections in immune-compromised people.

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Deadly Human Pathogen Cryptococccus neoformans Fully Sequenced
Duke researchers have sequenced the entire genome and all the RNA products of the most important pathogenic lineage of Cryptococcus neoformans, a strain called H99. 
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Heitman Receives F1000Prime Faculty Member of the Year Award 
Joseph Heitman, MD, PhD, James B. Duke Professor and Chair of the Department of Molecular Genetics and Microbiology at Duke University, has received a 2013 F1000Prime Faculty Member of the Year Award.

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Valdivia Appointed Vice Dean of Basic Research 
Raphael H. Valdivia, PhD, has been appointed the new vice dean for basic science for the Duke University School of Medicine, beginning July 1, 2014.   
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Steinbach Leads Worldwide Effort to Treat Pediatric Fungal Infections 
William Steinbach, MD, is the only pediatric fungal infection specialist at Duke and one of only about a dozen of these niche specialists in the world. 
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Salmonella Jams Signals From Bacteria-Fighting Mast Cells
A protein in Salmonella inactivates mast cells -- critical players in the body’s fight against bacteria and other pathogens -- rendering them unable to protect against bacterial spread in the body, according to researchers at Duke Medicine and Duke-National University of Singapore (Duke-NUS).
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Microbes R Us: Duke Faculty Explore the Microbiome and Its Role in Health and Disease
When we look in the mirror, what we see looks entirely human. But lurking both under and on the surface — in our arm pits, belly buttons and, of course, in our guts — is an absolutely incredible number of microbes. The microbial cells in and on our bodies outnumber human cells ten to one.
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Fungal Sex Can Generate NEW Drug Resistant, Virulent Strains  
Though some might disagree, most biologists think the purpose of sex is to create diversity among offspring. Such diversity underpins evolution, enabling organisms to acquire new combinations of traits to adapt to their environment. However, scientists have been perplexed to find that many fungi and microorganisms procreate with exact replicas of themselves, where the expected outcome would simply be more of the same.
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Nielsen and Lin Receive Tenure and Promotion
Congratulations to Kirsten Nielsen, PhD, who was promoted to Associate Professor and awarded tenure by the University of Minnesota and to Xiaorong Lin, PhD, for receiving conferral of tenure at the rank of Assistant Professor of Biology by the Texas A & M University.
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Duke to Co-Lead NIH Research Network on Antibacterial Resistance
Investigators at Duke Medicine and the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF) have been selected to oversee a nationwide research program on antibacterial resistance, which includes a focus on the growing unmet challenges associated with methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) and E. coli.
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Duke Honors Distinguished Professor, John R. Perfect
Three members of the Duke School of Medicine faculty, including John R. Perfect, MD, were named to endowed professorships by Duke University on May 2, 2013. 
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Insights and Solutions for Emerging Infectious Diseases Symposium
The Duke Department of Molecular Genetics and Microbiology, Department of Immunology and Global Health Institute and the Duke-NUS Graduate Medical School Singapore will convene the Insights and Solutions for Emerging Infectious Diseases symposium in the Jones Research Building April 22 and 23.
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Perfect Appointed Chief of the Division of Infectious Diseases
Mary Klotman, MD, chair of the Department of Medicine has announced that, after a rigorous national search, John Perfect, MD, has agreed to be the chief of the Division of Infectious Diseases.
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Heitman Receives 2012 Research Mentoring Award
Joseph Heitman, MD, PhD, James B. Duke Professor and Chair of the Department of Molecular Genetics and Microbiology, has received the 2012 Research Mentoring Award for Translational Research. 
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Duke Symposium in Celebration of Mycology and Mycologists
Please join us for a symposium at Duke University April 5-6, 2012 in celebration of mycology and mycologists. During this meeting, we will review the latest exciting breakthroughs in the field, including fungal biology virulence and novel ways to intervene therapeutically, and enrich our scientific community through shared interests and visions.
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Vaccines to Boost Immunity Where It Counts, Not Just Near Shot Sites
Researchers at Duke University Medical Center have created synthetic nanoparticles that target lymph nodes and greatly boost vaccine responses, said lead author Ashley St. John, PhD, a researcher at Duke-NUS Graduate Medical School.
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New Way to Learn About--and Potentially Block--Traits in Harmful Pathogens 
Researchers at Duke University Medical Center have developed a new way to identify the genes of harmful microbes, particularly those that have been difficult to study in the laboratory.   
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Premature Babies Harbor Fewer, But More Dangerous Microbe Types
One of the most comprehensive studies to date of the microbes that are found in extremely low-birthweight infants found that hard-to-treat Candida fungus is often present, as well as some harmful bacteria and parasites.   
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Genetic Difference in Staph Infects Some Heart Devices, Not Others
Researchers from Duke University Medical Center and Ohio State University have discovered how and why certain strains of Staphylococcus aureus (SA) bacteria have infected thousands of implanted cardiac devices.  
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Four Duke Researchers Win NIH New Innovator Awards
Four Duke University scientists are winners of the 2011 National Institutes of Health (NIH) Director's New Innovator Award.Seok-Yong Lee, David Tobin, Nicolas Buchler and Charles Gersbach earned the honor for their highly innovative research and promise as young, developing scientists.
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Cryptococcus Infections Misdiagnosed in Many AIDS Patients
Most AIDS patients, when diagnosed with a fungal infection known simply as cryptococcosis, are assumed to have an infection with Cryptococcus neoformans, but a recent study from Duke University Medical Center suggests that a sibling species, Cryptococcus gattii, is a more common cause than was previously known.
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Newly Designed Molecule Blocks Chlamydia Bacteria
Researchers at Duke University Medical Center have discovered a way to block the damaging actions of Chlamydia, the bacteria responsible for the largest number of sexually transmitted infections in the United States.
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Mitchell Announces Retirement
Thomas G. Mitchell, PhD, will retire from his position as Associate Professor in the Department of Molecular Genetics and Microbiology and Director of the Molecular Mycology and Pathogenesis Training Program (MMPTP) on August 1, 2011.
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Size Matters--in Virulent Fungal Spores--and Suggests Ways to Stop a Killer 
Scientists at Duke University Medical Center have found that larger fungal spores can be more lethal. Their findings about two different spore sizes of the fungus Mucor circinelloides, a pathogen that kills half or more of its victims, could help to develop new treatments and fight other types of fungal infections. 
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Heitman Receives Prestigious NIH MERIT Award for Studies on Fungal Unisexual Reproduction in Microbial Pathogen Evolution  
Joseph Heitman, MD, PhD, James B. Duke Professor and Chair of the Department of Molecular Genetics and Microbiology, Pharmacology and Cancer Biology, and Medicine at Duke University, has received an NIH MERIT (Method to Extend Research in Time) Award from the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases. 
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Duke-NUS Researchers Identify New Cell That Attacks Dengue Virus
Mast cells, which help the body respond to bacteria and pathogens, also apparently sound the alarm around viruses delivered by a mosquito bite, according to researchers at Duke-NUS Graduate Medical School in Singapore. 
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Coers Receives 2011 ICAAC Young Investigator Award
Jörn Coers, PhD, an assistant professor in the Department of Molecular Genetics and Microbiology at Duke University Medical Center, was selected by the American Society for Microbiology (ASM) to receive the 2011 ICAAC Young Investigator Award.
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Fowler Wins Prestigious Medical Research Award
Vance G. Fowler, MD, Associate Professor of Medicine in the Division of Infectious Diseases, is this year’s winner of the major award from the American Federation for Medical Research, the AFMR Outstanding Investigator Award. 
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The Smell of Infection
There is finally definitive proof in a preclinical study published in Science on April 7 about which sensory neurons control innate (inborn and immediate) immunity in a pathogen’s presence.  
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Plans Underway for Keystone Symposia’s 2012 Meeting
Plans are underway for Keystone Symposia’s 2012 meeting on Fungal Pathogens: From Basic Biology to Drug Discovery to be held in Sante Fe, NM January 15-20, 2012.
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Alspaugh Elected to American Society for Clinical Investigation (ASCI)
J. Andrew Alspaugh, MD, an associate professor in the Department of Medicine, Division of Infectious Diseases, is one of over 60 new members elected to the American Society for Clinical Investigation (ASCI) for 2011.
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O’Meara Receives DeLill Nasser Award from the Genetics Society of America
Teresa O’Meara, a graduate student in the Duke University Program in Genetics and Genomics and the Department of Molecular Genetics and Microbiology at Duke University Medical Center, has received the DeLill Nasser Award from the Genetics Society of America.
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Tiny Molecules Protect From the Dangers of Sex
Pathogenic fungi have been found to protect themselves against unwanted genetic mutations during sexual reproduction, according to researchers at Duke University Medical Center. A gene-silencing pathway protects the fungal genome from mutations imposed by a partner during mating.
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Perfect Receives Distinguished Faculty Award
John R. Perfect, MD, Professor of Medicine and Interim Chief of the Division of Infectious Diseases at Duke was honored by the Duke Medical Alumni Association for his significant contributions to Duke and to medicine.
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St. Geme Elected to Institute of Medicine
Joseph W. St. Geme, III, MD, Chair of the Department of Pediatrics at Duke University Hospital, is one of 65 new members elected to the Institute of Medicine (IOM) at their 40th annual meeting.
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Serendipity Contributes to MRSA Susceptibility Findings
Duke University Medical Center researchers have found two genes in mice which might help identify why some people are more susceptible than others to potentially deadly staph infections.
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ASM Press Announces Publication of Cryptococcus: From Human Pathogen to Model Yeast
ASM Press recently announced the publication of the book entitled Cryptococcus: From Human Pathogen to Model Yeast. Joseph Heitman, MD, PhD, James B. Duke Professor and Chair of the Department of Molecular Genetics and Microbiology, and four of his colleagues co-edited the 620-page book which focuses on the dramatic advance of Cryptococcus neoformans as a human fungal pathogen since its first clinical appearance in the 1890s.
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Shertz Receives American Heart Association Predoctoral Fellowship
Cecelia Shertz, a graduate student in the University Program in Genetics and Genomics and the Department of Molecular Genetics and Microbiology at Duke University Medical Center, has received an American Heart Association Predoctoral Fellowship.
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New Strain of Virulent Airborne Fungi, Unique to Oregon, Is Set to Spread
A newly discovered strain of an airborne fungus has caused several deaths in Oregon and seems poised to move into California and other adjacent areas, according to scientists at Duke University Medical Center.
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This is Your Brain on Cryptococcus: Pathogenic Fungus Loves Your Brain Sugar
Highly dangerous Cryptococcus fungi love sugar and will consume it anywhere because it helps them reproduce. In particular, they thrive on a sugar called inositol which is abundant in the human brain and spinal cord.
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St. Geme Selected as 2009 Fellow of AAAS
Joseph W. St. Geme, III, MD, James B. Duke Professor and Chair of the Department of Pediatrics, and Professor of Molecular Genetics and Microbiology, has been selected as a 2009 Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS).
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Shertz Receives Marcy Speer Memorial Scholarship
Cecelia Shertz, a graduate student in the University Program in Genetics and Genomics and the Department of Molecular Genetics and Microbiology at Duke University Medical Center, has received the Marcy Speer Memorial Scholarship.
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Jorgensen Receives ASM Mary Poston Best Student Paper Award
Ine Jorgensen, a graduate student in the Department of Molecular Genetics and Microbiology at Duke University, has received the Mary Poston Best Student Paper Award for her paper entitled, The Chamydial Protease CPAF Targets a Subset of Early Effector Proteins.
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Li Receives ASM Best Poster Award
Charles Li, an undergraduate student majoring in biology and chemistry at Duke University, has received the Best Poster Award for his presentation entitled, Investigation of the sex locus and construction of a mutant library of Mucor circinelloides, a human pathogenic zygomycete.
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Genomic Signature in Blood Identifies Underlying Viral Infection
Scientists have identified a genomic "signature" in circulating blood that reveals exposure to common upper respiratory viruses, like the cold or flu, even before symptoms appear.  
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Yeast Missing Sex Genes Undergo Unexpected Sexual Reproduction
An emerging form of the pathogenic yeast Candida is able to complete a full sexual cycle in a test tube, even though it's missing the genes for reproduction. And it may also do so while infecting us, according to Duke University Medical Center researchers.
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Duke Awarded Federal Contract to Support Clinical Research on Antibacterial Resistance
Duke University Medical Center was awarded up to $11 million for a six-year contract from the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), part of the National Institutes of Health, to conduct clinical trials aimed at reducing drug resistance associated with medications used to treat bacterial infections.
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Heitman to Chair the Department of Molecular Genetics and Microbiology
Joseph Heitman, M.D., Ph.D., James B. Duke Professor, Director of the Center for Microbial Pathogenesis, and former Director of the Duke University Program in Genetics and Genomics, has been named Chair of the Department of Molecular Genetics and Microbiology at Duke University Medical Center.
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Unlocking the Secret of the Bladder's Bouncers
Researchers at Duke University Medical Center may have a new way to stop and even prevent the urinary tract infections (UTIs) that plague more than a third of all adults, some of them repeatedly.
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Duke Scholars in Infectious Diseases Program (DSID)
The Department of Molecular Genetics and Microbiology, in conjunction with the the Center for Microbial Pathogenesis, Pediatric Infectious Diseases, and Adult Infectious Diseases, announces the Duke Scholars in Infectious Diseases Program (DSID).
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Perfect Receives Research Mentoring Award for Translational Research
John R. Perfect, MD, Professor in the Department of Medicine and Chief of the Division of Infectious Diseases received the Research Mentoring Award for Translational Research.
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Aballay Receives Promotion to Associate Professor with Tenure
The Duke University Medical Center Department of Molecular Genetics and Microbiology recently promoted Alejandro Aballay, PhD, to Associate Professor with tenure.
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O’Meara Receives American Heart Association Pre-Doctoral Fellowship Award
Teresa O’Meara, a graduate student at Duke University Medical Center, has received funding for the American Heart Association Pre-Doctoral Fellowship for the Mid-Atlantic Affiliation (MAA Spring 09 Pre-Doctoral Fellowship). 
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Possible Target for Novel Antifungal Therapy Revealed
William Steinbach, MD, an associate professor of Pediatrics and assistant professor in Molecular Genetics and Microbiology and coworkers recently established that an Aspergillus fumigatus calcineurin-binding protein called calcipressin is involved in hyphal growth and calcium homeostasis and is essential for full virulence in animal models of aspergillosis, suggesting utility as a possible target for novel antifungal therapy.
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Yeast Missing Sex Genes Undergo Unexpected Sexual Reproduction
An emerging form of the pathogenic yeast Candida is able to complete a full sexual cycle in a test tube, even though it's missing the genes for reproduction. And it may also do so while infecting us, according to Duke University Medical Center researchers.
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Lin Receives 2009 ICAAC Young Investigator Award
Xiaorong Lin, PhD, an assistant professor in the Department of Biology at Texas A & M University and former Heitman lab member, was selected by the American Society for Microbiology (ASM) to receive the 2009 ICAAC Young Investigator Award.
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Byrnes Receives Outstanding Young Investigator Award
Edmond Byrnes, a graduate student at Duke University Medical Center, has received the Eukaryotic Cell Outstanding Young Investigator Award for his poster presentation at the Third FEBS Advanced Lecture Course in La Colle sur Loup, France.
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Zaas and Colleagues Receive Wallace H. Coulter Translational Partners Grant
Aimee Zaas, MD, Assistant Professor in the Department of Medicine and colleagues have received the Wallace H. Coulter Translational Partners Grant. This grant supports collaborative translational research projects that involve co-investigators in Biomedical Engineering and the School of Medicine.
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Aboobaker and Li Selected for 2009 ASM Undergraduate Research Fellowship (URF) Program
Eanas Aboobaker and Charles Li, undergraduate students at Duke University Medical Center, have been selected to participate in the 2009 ASM Undergraduate Fellowship (URF) Program.
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Fungus Among Us
Alex Idnurm, Assistant Professor of Cell Biology and Biophysics at UMKC and former Heitman lab member, is featured in this video about the world's only fungus warehouse that sends thousands of fungal strains to researchers all over the globe.
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O'Meara Receives Outstanding Young Investigator Award
Teresa O’Meara, a graduate student at Duke University Medical Center, has received the Eukaryotic Cell Outstanding Young Investigator Award for her poster presentation at the 25th Annual Asilomar fungal Genetics meeting.
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Durham Bulls Baseball
Faculty, fellows, and students involved in microbial pathogenesis research are invited to join us for a season of fun, friendship, and Durham Bulls baseball. Don't miss out on this special opportunity to collaborate with your colleagues from Duke and UNC-Chapel Hill! More ...

Duke Team Discovers New Strain of Dangerous Airborne Fungus
A new strain of an airborne fungus has been discovered in Oregon, adding to a death toll that in recent years began in British Columbia, according to detailed molecular studies by Duke University researchers.
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Seed Selected to Join National Preterm Birth Research Initiative
Patrick Seed, MD, PhD, an assistant professor in the Division of Pediatric Infectious Diseases and an assistant professor in Molecular Genetics and Microbiology has been invited to help establish a national initiative to inspire more research into preterm birth.
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Mitchell Selected as 2008 Fellow of AAAS
Thomas G. Mitchell, PhD, an associate professor in the Department of Molecular Genetics and Microbiology and director of the Molecular Mycology and Pathogenesis Training Program (MMPTP) has been selected as a 2008 Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), the world's largest general federation of scientists.
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Fowler Receives 2008 IDSA Oswald Avery Award for Early Achievement
Vance G. Fowler, Jr., MD, MHS, recognized for his scholarly research of serious infections caused by Staphylococcus aureus, is the recipient of the 2008 IDSA Oswald Avery Award for Early Achievement. Dr. Fowler is an associate professor in the Department of Medicine, Division of Infectious Diseases at the Duke University Medical Center.
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Tiny Fungi May Have Sex While Infecting Humans
Collaborative studies between Duke, the University of British Columbia in Vancouver and the University of Murcia in Spain have revealed that a fungus called microsporidia that causes chronic diarrhea in AIDS patients, organ transplant recipients, and travelers has been identified as a member of the family of fungi that have been discovered to reproduce sexually.
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Bastidas Receives ASM Best Poster Award
Robert Bastidas, PhD, a graduate student in the University Program in Genetics and Genomics and the Department of Molecular Genetics and Microbiology at Duke University Medical Center, has received the Best Poster Award for his presentation entitled, Tor signaling regulates cell-cell adhesion in Candida albicans.
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Duke Researchers Find Genetic Link Between Immune and Nerve Systems
Duke University Medical Center researchers have discovered genetic links between the nervous system and the immune system in a well-studied worm, and the findings could illuminate new approaches to human therapies.
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Alexander and Steinbach Selected as 2008 IDSA Fellows
Barbara Alexander, MD, Assistant Professor of Medicine, Director of Transplant Infectious Disease Services, and Head of the Clinical Mycology Laboratory at Duke University Medical Center, and William Steinbach, MD, Assistant Professor of Pediatrics, Infectious Diseases and Assistant Professor of Molecular Genetics and Microbiology have been selected as 2008 Fellows of the Infectious Diseases Society of America (IDSA).
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Aziz Wins Sarnoff Fellowship
Hamza Aziz, a graduate medical student at Duke University School Medicine, has received the Sarnoff Fellowship from the Sarnoff Cardiovascular Research Foundation. Aziz completed his third-year research project with Aimee Zaas, MD, Geoffrey Ginsburg, MD, PhD, and John Perfect, MD as mentors.
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Saka Named 2008 Pew Fellow in the Biomedical Sciences
The Pew Charitable Trusts and the University of California at San Francisco (UCSF) recently announced that ten promising biomedical scientists, including Alex Saka, a post-doctoral associate in the Valdivia lab, have been named 2008 Pew Latin American Fellows in the Biomedical Sciences.
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The Fungal Kingdom: Diverse and Essential Roles in Earth's Ecosystem
In this recent American Academy of Microbiology (AAM) colloquium report, experts in mycology, medicine, plant pathogens, and ecology discuss the current state of research in mycology and explore the roles fungi play in the world around us.
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Ellis Awarded Hartwell Foundation Fellowship
Terri N. Ellis, PhD, a postdoctoral associate in the Kuehn lab, has been awarded a $100,000 postdoctoral fellowship at Duke from The Hartwell Foundation of Memphis, Tennessee. Ellis' work is helping medical science understand how to stimulate the immune system against pediatric pneumonia and infections associated with cystic fibrosis.
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Hsueh Receives Genetics Society of America (GSA) DeLill Nasser Award
Yen-Ping Hsueh, a graduate student in the Heitman lab, Department of Molecular Genetics and Microbiology, Duke University Medical Center, was selected to receive a Genetics Society of America (GSA) DeLill Nasser Award for Professional Development in Genetics
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Evolution of the Sexes: What a Fungus Can Tell Us
Fungi don't exactly come in boy and girl varieties, but they do have sex differences. In fact, a new finding from Duke University Medical Center shows that some of the earliest evolved forms of fungus contain clues to how the sexes evolved in higher animals, including that distant cousin of fungus, the human.
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Marchuk and Perfect Selected as 2007 Fellows of AAAS
Douglas Marchuk, PhD, professor in the Department of Molecular Genetics and Microbiology and co-director of the University Program in Genetics and Genomics (UPGG); and John Perfect, MD, professor in the Departments of Medicine, Division of Infectious Diseases and Molecular Genetics and Microbiology, and director of the Duke University Mycology Research Unit (DUMRU) have been selected as 2007 Fellows of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, the world's largest general federation of scientists.
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Fowler Receives Infectious Diseases Society of America (IDSA)/Society for Healthcare Epidemiology of America (SHEA) Special Recognition Award in MRSA
Vance Fowler, Jr., MD, MHS, an associate professor in the Department of Medicine, Division of Infectious Diseases at the Duke University Medical Center, was selected to receive an Infectious Diseases Society of America (IDSA)/Society for Healthcare Epidemiology of America (SHEA) Special Recognition Award in MRSA.
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Williams Receives Southeast Regional Center of Excellence for Emerging Infections and Biodefense (SERCEB) Award
Kristi L. Williams, PhD, an assistant research professor in the Departments of Cell Biology and Immunology at the Duke University Medical Center, was selected to receive a Southeast Regional Center of Excellence for Emerging Infections and Biodefense (SERCEB) Award to study NLR genes and anthrax.
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St. Geme and Abraham Elected 2007 Fellows of the American Academy of Microbiology (AAM)
Dr. Joseph St. Geme, III, professor and chair of the Department of Pediatrics and professor in the Department of Molecular Genetics and Microbiology, and Dr. Soman Abraham, associate professor in the Department of Pathology, at the Duke University Medical Center have been selected as a 2007 Fellows of the American Academy of Microbiology (AAM).
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Valdivia Selected as 2007 Burroughs Wellcome Fund Investigator in the Pathogenesis of Infectious Diseases
Raphael Valdivia, an assistant professor in the Department of Molecular Genetics and Microbiology at the Duke University Medical Center was selected as a 2007 Burroughs Wellcome Fund Investigator in the Pathogenesis of Infectious Diseases.
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Duke Honors Distinguished Professor, Joseph St. Geme III
Duke University has awarded distinguished professorships to 22 faculty members, including Joseph St. Geme, III, MD, professor and chair of the Department of Pediatrics and professor in the Department of Molecular Genetics and Microbiology. St. Geme was awarded a James B. Duke professorship, which was established in memory of James B. Duke, founder of the Duke Endowment, and is awarded to select tenured faculty who demonstrate outstanding scholarship.
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Walton Receives Edward C. Horn Memorial Prize
Felicia Walton, an undergraduate student majoring in biology and chemistry at Duke University, was awarded the Edward C. Horn Memorial Prize for Excellence in Biology.
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Chen and Yang Receive 2007 Dean's Summer Research Fellowships
Lydia Chen and Julie Yang, undergraduate students in the Department of Molecular Genetics and Microbiology at the Duke University Medical Center, have been invited to participate in the Dean's Summer Fellowship Program. in support of undergraduate research and inquiry in the arts and sciences this summer.  
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Steinbach Receives American Society of Transplantation Grant
William Steinbach, MD, an assistant professor in the Department of Pediatrics, Division of Pediatric Infectious Diseases at the Duke University Medical Center, was selected to receive an American Society of Transplantation grant in the amount of $80,000.
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Valdivia Receives Merck Irving S. Sigal Memorial Award
Raphael Valdivia, PhD, an assistant professor in the Department of Molecular Genetics and Microbiology at the Duke University Medical Center, was selected to receive the Merck Irving S. Sigal Memorial Award from the ASM for 2007. Dr. Valdivia is honored for his established record of creative and independent research in the area of molecular and cellular microbiology.
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Steinbach Receives Children's Miracle Network Grant
William Steinbach, MD, an assistant professor in the Department of Pediatrics, Division of Pediatric Infectious Diseases at the Duke University Medical Center, was selected to receive a Children's Miracle Network Grant in the amount of $50,000 for his proposed study: Calcineurin Inhibition to Prevent and Treat Invasic Aspergillosis.
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Reconstructing the Early Evolution of Fungi Using a Six-Gene Phylogeny
This article, written by several authors including Rytas Vilgalys, PhD, professor in the Department of Biology and Francois Lutzoni, PhD, an associate professor in the Department of Biology, Duke University, presents readers with the concept that the ancestors of fungi are believed to be simple aquatic forms with flagellated spores, similar to members of the extant phylum Chytridiomycota (chytrides).
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Two Take Home Prestigious Scholarships
Two seniors have received prestigious postgraduate scholarships to study in the British Isles. Felicia Walton and Jimmy Soni have been awarded the Marshall Scholarship and the George J. Mitchell Scholarship, respectively. The Marshall Scholarship provides two years of study at universities in the United Kingdom, and the Mitchell Scholarship supports one year of postgraduate study at an Irish institution.
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Walton Discovers New Genes
Although Cryptococcus neoformans can make people sick, to Felicia Walton, senior undergraduate student at Duke University with majors in biology and chemistry, the fungus is also a work of art when captured in a through-the-microscope image.
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Why a Mutant Fungus is Blind
The gene whose mutation renders a fungus "blind" to light has been discovered by Duke University Medical Center researchers. They said their finding -- which solves a genetic mystery four decades old -- could give basic insights into how organisms sense and respond to environmental signals.
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Nielsen Receives ASM Women's Career Development Award
Kirsten Nielsen, PhD, a post-doctoral fellow in the Department of Molecular Genetics and Microbiology at Duke University Medical Center, has received a 2006 ASM Women's Career Development Award.
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Schell Receives Medical Mycological Society of the Americas' Billy H. Cooper Award
Wiley Schell, MS, an assistant research professor in the Department of Medicine, Division of Infectious Diseases and International Health and Director of the Medical Mycology Research Center at the Duke University Medical Center at the Duke University Medical Center, was selected by the Medical Mycological Society of the Americas to receive the Billy H. Cooper Award for excellence in clinical research, laboratory diagnostic procedures, and teaching.
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Fowler Receives Ruth and A. Morris Williams Faculty Research Prize
Vance Fowler, MD, MHS, an associate professor in the Department of Medicine, Division of Infectious Diseases at the Duke University Medical Center, was selected to receive the fifth annual Ruth and A. Morris Williams Faculty Research Prize.
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Walton Receives 2006 Dean's Summer Research Fellowship
Felicia Walton, an undergraduate student in the Department of Molecular Genetics and Microbiology at the Duke University Medical Center, has been invited to participate in the Dean's Summer Fellowship Program in support of undergraduate research and inquiry in the arts and sciences this summer.  
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Walton Receives 2006 ASM Undergraduate Research Fellowship (URF)
Felicia Walton, an undergraduate student majoring in biology and chemistry at Duke University, has been awarded ASM's Undergraduate Research Fellowship (URF) for the 2005-2006 academic year.
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Hull Receives Merck Irving S. Sigal Memorial Award
This year's second Merck Irving S. Sigal Memorial Award is presented to Christina M. Hull, Ph.D., Assistant Professor, Departments of Biomolecular Chemistry and Medical Microbiology and Immunology, University of Wisconsin, Madison School of Medicine and Public Health.  Dr. Hull is being honored for her significant contributions to understanding the basic biology of microbes. 
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Four Duke Students Win Goldwater Scholarships
Four Duke University students have been selected for Goldwater Scholarships for the 2006-07 academic year. The scholarship program is designed to foster and encourage outstanding students to pursue careers in the fields of mathematics, the natural sciences and engineering.
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Patel Appointed to HHMI Summer Scholars Program
Sweta Patel, an undergraduate student in the Department of Molecular Genetics and Microbiology at the Duke University Medical Center, has been invited to participate in the Howard Hughes Summer Scholars program this summer.  
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Chlamydia Escapes Defenses By Cloaking Itself With Lipids
Duke University Medical Center microbiologists have discovered that the parasitic bacteria Chlamydia escapes cellular detection and destruction by cloaking itself in droplets of fat within the cell.
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Same-Sex Mating by Fungi Spawned Infection Outbreak, Evidence Suggests
Same-sex mating between two less harmful yeast strains might have spawned an outbreak of disease among otherwise healthy people and animals on Vancouver Island, British Columbia.
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CO2 Sensing Proves Critical for Fungal Pathogens to Adapt to Life in Air and Human Hosts
By using pathogenic fungi as model systems for understanding fungal diseases, two groups of researchers are reporting new work that offers insight into how carbon dioxide (CO2) governs the morphogenic changes that allow pathogenic fungi to survive in different environments.
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Novel Plague Virulence Factor Identified
Researchers at Duke University Medical Center have identified a previously unknown family of virulence factors that make the bacterium responsible for the plague especially efficient at killing its host. More ...

Joseph St. Geme to Lead Duke Pediatrics
Joseph St. Geme, III, M.D., professor of pediatrics and molecular microbiology at Washington University School of Medicine, has been named chair of the department of pediatrics at Duke University Medical Center.
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Microbes Mix it Up: Prokaryote-Eukaryote Promiscuity Shuffles the Gene Pool
A recently published study on horizontal gene transfer from bacteria to fungi by Charles Hall, a post-doctoral fellow, and Fred S. Dietrich, an assistant professor, in the Department of Molecular Genetics and Microbiology at the Duke University Medical Center was highlighted in both the ASM News and on the Faculty of 1000 web site.
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Same-Sex Mating Discovered in a Toxic Fungus
An infectious fungus has been found to defy the most basic tenet of sexual reproduction – that successful mating requires individuals of the opposite sex, according to Howard Hughes Medical Institute researchers at Duke University Medical Center.
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Light Therapy May Combat Fungal Infections, New Evidence Suggests
A newly discovered mechanism by which an infectious fungus perceives light also plays an important role in its virulence, according to Howard Hughes Medical Institute investigators at Duke University Medical Center. The findings suggest that changes in light following fungal invasion of the human body may be an important and previously overlooked cue that sparks infection.
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Scientists Decipher Genome of Fungus that Causes Life-Threatening Infections
In a project that already has benefited an important field of biomedical research, scientists have deciphered the genomes of two closely related strains of Cryptococcus neoformans, a fungus whose importance as a human pathogen has risen in parallel with the HIV/AIDS worldwide epidemic and the increased use of immunosuppressive therapies.
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Aballay Receives 2005 ICAAC Young Investigator Award
Alejandro Aballay, PhD, an assistant professor in the Department of Molecular Genetics and Microbiology at the Duke University Medical Center, was selected by the American Society for Microbiology (ASM) to receive the 2005 ICAAC Young Investigator Award. More ...

Steinbach Receives 2005 Dade Behring MicroScan Young Investigator Award
William Steinbach, MD, was selected by the American Society for Microbiology (ASM) to receive the 2005 Dade Behring MicroScan Young Investigator Award.
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Heitman Selected as 2004 Fellow of AAAS
Dr. Joseph Heitman has been selected as a 2004 Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, the world's largest general federation of scientists.
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Duke Receives $4 Million Grant for AIDS Study in Tanzania
Researchers at Duke University Medical Center, including Gary Cox, an assistant professor in the Department of Medicine, Division of Infectious Diseases, have received a $4 million, four-year grant from the National Institutes of Health to study infectious diseases that plague AIDS patients in Tanzania.
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Valdivia Earns Recognition as 2004 Pew Biomedical Scholar
Fifteen of America's most gifted biomedical scientists, including Raphael Valdivia, have been chosen as 2004 Pew Biomedical Scholars.
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Mitchell Receives Medical Mycological Society of the Americas’ Billy H. Cooper Award
Thomas Mitchell, PhD, an associate professor in the Department of Molecular Genetics and Microbiology, was selected by the Medical Mycological Society of the Americas to receive the Billy H. Cooper Award.
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Eads Receives HHMI Research Training Fellowship
Emily Eads, a medical student at Duke University Medical Center, has received an HHMI Research Training Fellowship to work in the laboratory of Joseph Heitman, MD, PhD beginning in August 2004.
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Griffith Receives Alpha Omega Alpha (AOA) Award
Brian Griffith, a medical student and HHMI Research Training Fellowship recipient at the Duke University Medical Center, received an Apha Omega Alpha (AOA) award.
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Duke Honors Distinguished Professor, Joseph Heitman
Duke University has awarded distinguished James B. Duke professorships to 25 faculty members, including Joseph Heitman, director of the Center for Microbial Pathogenesis.
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Heitman and Perfect Elected to Fellowship in the American Academy of Microbiology
Joseph Heitman, MD, PhD, professor in the departments of Molecular Genetics and Microbiology, Pharmacology and Cancer Biology, and Medicine at Duke University Medical Center, and John Perfect, MD, professor in the department of Medicine, division of Infectious Diseases, have been elected to Fellowship in the American Academy of Microbiology.
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