Joseph Heitman, MD, PhD is James B. Duke Professor and Chair of the Department of Molecular Genetics and Microbiology, and Professor in the Departments of Medicine and Pharmacology and Cancer Biology at Duke University Medical Center. Hislaboratory focuses on the evolution of sex in fungi and roles of sexual reproduction in microbial pathogens, how cells sense and respond to nutrients and the environment, targets and mechanisms of action of immunosuppressive and antimicrobial drugs, and the genetic and molecular basis of microbial pathogenesis and its emergence.
J. Andrew Alspaugh, MD is a Professor in the Departments of Medicine (Adult Infectious Diseases) and Molecular Genetics and Microbiology at the Duke University School of Medicine. His laboratory studies the pathogenesis of human fungal infections, especially those due to Cryptococcus neoformans. In addition to promoting basic science research among clinician-scientists, Dr. Alspaugh has a strong interest in developing new educational initiatives in the field of microbiology and mycology. He is the Microbiology course director for the Duke University School of Medicine, and the recent Director of the “Molecular Mycology” research training course at the Marine Biological Institute in Woods Hole, Massachussetts.
Leadership for the Tri-Institutional Molecular Mycology and Pathogenesis Training Program (Tri-I MMPTP) comprises a Director, two Co-Directors, an Executive Committee, and an Advisory Board of external experts.
Thomas G. Mitchell, PhD is an Associate Professor (Emeritus), and in a Duke career spanning nearly four decades, he has been integral to the success of Duke Medicine's microbiology enterprise. He has trained a cadre of investigators who are now running independent laboratories and has advanced both the understanding of how pathogens interact with host immune cells and the delineation of population structures of major pathogens. Dr. Mitchell contributed to medical education for 32 years, teaching and directing courses in microbiology, medical mycology, and lab work. He officially retired in 2011, but continues to participate in research and other university activities.
Ralph Goldman, PhD is Professor and Chair of Microbiology and Immunology at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. His laboratory’s research focuses on the pathogenesis of several infectious respiratory diseases, including histoplasmosis, pertussis, and pneumonic plague. The work on Histoplasma capsulatum is focused on the interactions of this dimorphic fungus with macrophages and the identification of genes that are important for intracellular survival and proliferation. He is a Fellow of the American Academy of Microbiology (since 2002) and a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (since 2012).
Ralph Dean, PhD is a William Neal Reynolds Distinguished Professor of Plant Pathology at North Carolina State University. His work is focuses on the mechanisms regulating fungal phytopathogenesis, primarily in Magnaporthe oeyzae, the causal agent of rice blast disease. Areas of emphasis include signal pathways, effector proteins, transcription networks, comparative genomics and proteomics. He is the founder and first director of the Center for Integrated Fungal Research (CIFR).
John R. Perfect, MD is James B. Duke Professor of Medicine, Chief of Infectious Diseases, and Director of the Duke University Mycology Research Unit (DUMRU). His laboratory examines the molecular pathogenesis/epidemiology, diagnosis and treatment of cryptococcosis. He has broad interests in the treatment of yeast and mould infections and and participates in investigations from bench to bedside. From antifungal drug development to clinical guidelines, he advises the pharmaceutical industry and is on the Board of Directors of the International Mycoses Study Group.
Dennis J. Thiele, PhD is the George Barth Geller Professor in the Department of Pharmacology and Cancer Biology and the Department of Biochemistry at the Duke University School of Medicine. The Thiele laboratory investigates the role of the essential metal ion copper at the host-pathogen axis with emphasis on the fungal pathogen Cryptococcus neoformans. Areas of investigation include how host innate immune cells use copper as a powerful anti-microbial, how C. neoformans mounts both copper acquisition and detoxification responses as part of its virulence program and how the chemistry of copper can be harnessed for the creation of new anti-fungal therapeutics.
Amy Gladfelter, PhD is a quantitative cell biologist and an Associate Professor of Biology at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. She applies a variety of microscopy and biophysical approaches to study fungal cell biology in diverse model fungal systems and is working to establish new marine fungal systems. She has been honored with the 2014 Graduate Mentoring Award from Dartmouth, the 2015 Mid-Career Award for Excellence in Research from the American Society of Cell Biology and is an Howard Hughes Medical Institute Faculty Scholar.
Tri-Institutional Molecular Mycology and Pathogenesis Training Program (Tri-I MMPTP)
Barbara D. Alexander, MD, MHS is Professor of Medicine and Pathology at Duke University and the Director of the Transplant Infectious Diseases Service. She is also the Head of the Clinical Mycology Laboratory and the Director of the Medical Microbiology & Transplant ID Fellowship Programs at Duke. She is the leader of the CLSI antifungal susceptibility testing section and an expert in both the diagnosis and treatment of invasive fungal infections in immunocompromised hosts.