• 2021 MGM Graduate students
    April 21, 2021

    Congratulations to MGM’s new incoming 2021 Graduate Students: Alexandria Bartlett Rhodry Brown Rob Davidson Emma Heckenberg Dasean Nardone-White Jessica Portillo …

  • Welcoming Carolyn Coyne
    January 26, 2021

    We are pleased to announce that Carolyn Coyne, PhD will join the Department of Molecular Genetics and Microbiology and the …

  • Thursday Seminar Series
    January 19, 2021

    Kat Milligan Myhre, Ph.D. University of Connecticut “Adapting an evolutionary model organism for host-microbe interaction studies” April 29, 2021  


Heitman Elected to the National Academy of Science. Congratulations to Joseph Heitman, James B. Duke Professor and Chair of MGM, who was one of two Duke Faculty members elected to the U.S. National Academy of Sciences (NAS). Heitman studies model and pathogenic fungi to address unsolved problems in biology and medicine. His pioneering research using the model budding yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae led to the discovery of FKBP12 and TOR as the targets of rapamycin, a drug now widely used in organ transplantation, cancer chemotherapy, and interventional cardiology. Joe joins 3 other MGM faculty members, Sue Jinks-RobertsonTom Petes, PhD and Bill Joklik, PhD who were previously elected to the National Academy of Sciences.

“This honor is a direct reflection of having been fortunate to be surrounded by amazingly talented and motivated cadre of students, fellows, lab personnel, collaborators, and colleagues over the past several decades.  It is their efforts that made any such success both possible and a reality.  It is also a direct reflection on an institutional ethos and culture that supports, sustains, inspires, and celebrates discovery-driven science.”  – Joseph Heitman

To read the full article click here.

Heaton receives 2021 Young Investigator Award. Congratulations to Nick Heaton, Assistant Professor in MGM, on being the recipient of the Viruses 2021 Young Investigators Award. Heaton’s current work broadly focuses on understanding how respiratory RNA viruses induce inflammation and lung disease, as well as how virally induced damage is eventually repaired. His most recent study has revealed a new mechanism that prevents influenza-virus-induced lung inflammation from being transferred to a developing fetus during maternal infection. For full article posting please click here.

Ashley Chi Headshot

Chi receives award from the American Association for Cancer Research. Congratulations to Ashley Chi, M.D., Ph.D. on receiving the Michael Kastan Award for research excellence from the American Association for Cancer Research. The Michael B. Kastan Award for Research Excellence is formally bestowed on the first or corresponding author of an article in Molecular Cancer Research (the flagship AACR journal for fundamental cancer research discoveries) that’s had a significant impact on the fields represented by the journal, but all co-authors are named as recipients of the award in recognition of the importance of team science.

“This is fantastic and richly deserved recognition of Ashley’s myriad contributions to understanding tumor microenvironments, addiction of tumor cells to nutrients, and pathways and proteins involved in oncogenesis.
I am delighted to see his research recognized in this very visible way, and all the more so that it is in honor of Michael Kastan the DCI director.” – Joseph Heitman

To read more click here.

Cronan and Hughes co-authors on new publication in Cell. Mark Cronan and Erika Hughes, in the Tobin Lab, are co-first authors on a new publication in Cell describing how the host immune system coordinates formation of the granuloma, a central host structure in tuberculosis. Other contributors include Jared Brewer, Gopinath Viswanathan, Emily Hunt, and MGM secondary faculty member Simon Gregory. Please click here to read more.

Telzrow awarded inaugural OBGE Administrative Fellowship. Calla Telzrow, a 5th year MGM student in Dr. Andy Alspaugh’s lab, has been named the 2021 Inaugural OBGE Administrative Fellow. The Administrative fellowship, currently in the pilot phase, is a new student professional development opportunity intended to provide current biomedical PhD students with direct experience in graduate education administration, curriculum development, and strategic planning. Calla is undertaking a 6-month fellowship funded by OBGE during which she will focus on establishing two new student-centered resources for SoM biomedical PhD trainees. Learn more about Calla’s project and the Fellowship here: https://medschool.duke.edu/about-us/news-and-communications/med-school-blog/calla-telzrow-inaugural-obge-administrative-fellow

Dolat on the cover of Journal of Cell Science. A new infection model created by Lee Dolat and Valdivia is featured on the cover of the Special Issue on Cell Biology of Host-Pathogen Interactions in the Journal of Cell Science. Their study describes how endometrial organoids – tissue-like structures grown in a three-dimensional matrix – can be used to investigate the cell biology of Chlamydia infections and demonstrate how Chlamydia virulence factors regulate immune cell recruitment and activation. Read the full story here and check out the beautiful cover image!

Harrell research featured in American Society for Microbiology. Lizzie Harrell, emeritus primary faculty member in MGM, research has been featured in a recent article in the ASM news. Dr. Harrell has been a member of ASM for over 40 years, joining at the height of the American civil rights movement and the protests against Vietnam war. Harrell received her undergraduate degree from North Carolina Central University and her master’s degree at University of North Carolina (UNC) – Chapel Hill, where she was among the group known as the “Black Pioneers,” the first 414 Black students to attend UNC between 1952-1972. When she completed her master’s degree, she had a 6-week-old child at home and a husband in medical school. She was the first African American to receive a Ph.D. in microbiology from North Carolina State University in 1978 and the first full-time Black faculty member in the Basic Science Department at Duke University.

“It is terrific to see Lizzie recognized in such a visible way by the American Society for Microbiology, and as someone with a long history at Duke and in MGM, I am especially proud to see her many contributions in clinical microbiology and medicine recognized and celebrated.” – Joseph Heitman

To read more click here.

Sullivan selected as recipient of the 2021 Gordon G. Hammes Faculty Teaching Award. Congratulations to Beth Sullivan, Professor in MGM, on being the recipient of the 2021 Gordon G. Hammes Faculty Teaching Award. The Hammes Faculty Teaching Award honors a faculty member for continuing excellence in teaching and mentoring and for exemplary commitment to the education of graduate students within Basic Science Departments and Graduate Training Programs of the School of Medicine.  The nominees and winners are selected by a graduate student committee that is assembled each year with representation from all SoM PhD training programs. The School of Medicine established this award in 2001 in honor of Gordon G. Hammes, PhD, Professor of Biochemistry and University Distinguished Professor, who served as Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs from 1991 through 1998.  During his tenure as Vice Chancellor, Professor Hammes led a number of major initiatives to improve the scope and quality of our graduate program within the School of Medicine.

“Congratulations on receiving the 2021 Gordon Hammes Faculty Teaching Award!  This award recognizes and reflects your stellar commitment to teaching, mentoring, and administration.  Your teaching in the graduate school, the medical school, and Trinity College in the Genomics Forum have been exemplary and highly impactful in conveying excitement about human genetics and genomics.  Your mentoring through your research program has been outstanding and inspired and inspirational to the next generation.  And your administrative service as past co-director of the UPGG Program, currently as Associate Dean for Research Training, and your service on myriad committees for the department, SOM, and university have set a very high bar for selfless service to our institution.  As someone who overlapped at Duke with Gordon Hammes from 1992-1998, I know how pleased he will be to see your efforts and contributions so recognized as he was highly passionate about support for graduate programs, and graduate students, in the SOM” – Joseph Heitman

For past news articles please click here.