John Robert Perfect, MD

Professor of Medicine
James B. Duke Distinguished 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, Ann Arbor, 1975 - 1977
  • Intern, Riverside Methodist Hospital, 1974 - 1975
  • M.D., The University of Toledo, 1974


Mourad, A., Melissa Johnson, and John Perfect. “A Decade of Voriconazole Use at Duke University Medical Center: What are the Challenges with Dosing?” New Orleans, LA: American Society of Microbiology - Microbe, 2017.


Thammahong, Arsa, Srisombat Puttikamonkul, John R. Perfect, Richard G. Brennan, and Robert A. Cramer. “Central Role of the Trehalose Biosynthesis Pathway in the Pathogenesis of Human Fungal Infections: Opportunities and Challenges for Therapeutic Development.” Microbiol Mol Biol Rev 81, no. 2 (June 2017).

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Lestner, Jodi, Laura McEntee, Adam Johnson, Joanne Livermore, Sarah Whalley, Julie Schwartz, John R. Perfect, Thomas Harrison, and William Hope. “Experimental Models of Short Courses of Liposomal Amphotericin B for Induction Therapy for Cryptococcal Meningitis.” Antimicrob Agents Chemother 61, no. 6 (June 2017).

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Chen, Yuan, Rhys A. Farrer, Charles Giamberardino, Sharadha Sakthikumar, Alexander Jones, Timothy Yang, Jennifer L. Tenor, et al. “Microevolution of Serial Clinical Isolates of Cryptococcus neoformans var. grubii and C. gattii.” Mbio 8, no. 2 (March 7, 2017).

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Farber, S Harrison, Kelly R. Murphy, Carter M. Suryadevara, Ranjith Babu, Siyun Yang, Liqi Feng, Jichun Xie, John R. Perfect, and Shivanand P. Lad. “Comparing outcomes of early, late, and non-surgical management of intraspinal abscess.” J Clin Neurosci 36 (February 2017): 64–71.

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Parente, V., R. H. Clark, L. Ku, C. Fennell, M. Johnson, E. Morris, A. Romaine, et al. “Risk factors for group B streptococcal disease in neonates of mothers with negative antenatal testing.” J Perinatol 37, no. 2 (February 2017): 157–61.

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Kwon-Chung, Kyung J., John E. Bennett, Brian L. Wickes, Wieland Meyer, Christina A. Cuomo, Kurt R. Wollenburg, Tihana A. Bicanic, et al. “The Case for Adopting the "Species Complex" Nomenclature for the Etiologic Agents of Cryptococcosis.” Msphere 2, no. 2 (February 2017).

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