John Robert Perfect, MD

Professor of Medicine
James B. Duke Professor of Medicine
Chief, Division of Infectious Diseases
Professor in Molecular Genetics and Microbiology
Campus mail Duke Box 102359, Durham, NC 27710
Phone (919) 684-4016
Email address

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 a NIH sponsored Mycology Unit for 5 years with 6 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.

Education and Training

  • Fellow, Infectious Diseases, Duke University School of Medicine, 1977 - 1980
  • Resident, University of Michigan at Ann Arbor, 1975 - 1977
  • Intern, Riverside Methodist Hospital, 1974 - 1975
  • M.D., University of Toledo, 1974


Maskarinec, Stacey A., Melissa D. Johnson, and John R. Perfect. “Genetic Susceptibility to Fungal Infections: What is in the Genes?.” Curr Clin Microbiol Rep 3, no. 2 (June 2016): 81–91.

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Homer, Christina M., Diana K. Summers, Alexi I. Goranov, Starlynn C. Clarke, Darin L. Wiesner, Jolene K. Diedrich, James J. Moresco, et al. “Intracellular Action of a Secreted Peptide Required for Fungal Virulence..” Cell Host & Microbe 19, no. 6 (June 2016): 849–64.

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Swamydas, Muthulekha, Ji-Liang Gao, Timothy J. Break, Melissa D. Johnson, Martin Jaeger, Carlos A. Rodriguez, Jean K. Lim, et al. “CXCR1-mediated neutrophil degranulation and fungal killing promote Candida clearance and host survival..” Sci Transl Med 8, no. 322 (January 20, 2016).

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Caza, Mélissa, Guanggan Hu, Michael Price, John R. Perfect, and James W. Kronstad. “The Zinc Finger Protein Mig1 Regulates Mitochondrial Function and Azole Drug Susceptibility in the Pathogenic Fungus Cryptococcus neoformans..” Msphere 1, no. 1 (January 2016).

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Bazemore, Taylor C., Stacey A. Maskarinec, Kahli Zietlow, Edward F. Hendershot, and John R. Perfect. “Familial Adenomatous Polyposis Manifesting as Lactococcus Endocarditis: A Case Report and Review of the Association of Lactococcus with Underlying Gastrointestinal Disease..” Case Rep Infect Dis 2016 (2016).

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Tenor, Jennifer L., Stefan H. Oehlers, Jialu L. Yang, David M. Tobin, and John R. Perfect. “Live Imaging of Host-Parasite Interactions in a Zebrafish Infection Model Reveals Cryptococcal Determinants of Virulence and Central Nervous System Invasion..” Mbio 6, no. 5 (September 29, 2015): e01425–e01415.

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