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William J. Steinbach, MD

Samuel L. Katz Distinguished Professor of Pediatrics
Professor of Pediatrics
Chief, Division of Pediatric Infectious Diseases
Professor in Molecular Genetics and Microbiology
Core Faculty in Innovation & Entrepreneurship
Member of the Duke Human Vaccine Institute
Campus mail: Box 3499 Med Ctr, Durham, NC 27710
Phone: (919) 681-1504
Email address: bill.steinbach@duke.edu

My overall clinical and research focus is to improve the diagnosis, treatment, and outcomes of immunocompromised patients, specifically those with invasive fungal infections.  My research enterprise is divided between my basic, translational, and clinical approaches.  My laboratory focuses on the molecular pathogenesis of Aspergillus fumigatus, a leading invasive fungal killer, and the development of novel antifungal drugs and diagnostic assays.  I also oversee numerous translational and clinical research studies centered on several diagnostic and therapeutic aspects of invasive fungal infections and other infections in immunocompromised patients.  

My laboratory (www.steinbachlab.org) work is very translational in nature by design – all of it is performed with the specific goal of directly improving our fundamental understanding of how and why Aspergillus fumigatus, a leading killer in patients with cancer or following transplantation, is so deadly and how to best prevent and treat it. Our laboratory uses molecular genetic tools to delete or mutate pathogenesis genes and proteins to analyze their function and role in disease, including various genomic, proteomic, structural biologic and biochemical approaches. We also perform extensive in vitro and in vivo testing of antifungal compounds . Since we are focused on the pathogenesis, we utilize numerous different animal models specifically designed to mimic the immune system of a cancer patient or transplant recipient.

I am also the Chief of Pediatric Infectious Diseases and my clinical research includes my founding and directing the International Pediatric Fungal Network (www.ipfn.org), a 55-site multinational NIH-funded consortium dedicated to the epidemiology, diagnosis, treatment, and outcomes of pediatric invasive fungal infections.  This Network is the largest of its kind in the world and is currently leading three NIH-funded global clinical studies that will allow us to generate the first ever pediatric-specific international guidelines for these diseases.

I am the co-founder and continuing co-chair of the past nine Advances Against Aspergillosis adn Mucormycosis international conferences, the leading forum for these deadly diseases and most recently at https://aaam2020.org.  I have co-edited 12 infectious diseases textbooks, including as co-editor of the largest textbook in the field, Aspergillus fumigatus and Aspergillosis, Feigin & Cherry's Textbook of Pediatric Infectious Diseases (approx. 4,000 pages), the American Academy of Pediatrics Nelson's Pediatric Antimicrobial Therapy textbook, and most recently as the lead editor of the only textbook in the subfield Pediatric Transplant and Oncology Infectious Diseases.

I am the Basic Science Research Director for the Duke Transplant Center, and Medical Director of the Duke Children’s Clinical Research Unit overseeing 813 studies.  I am a member of the American Academy of Pediatrics Red Book committee, and recently completed a Board of Directors tenure for the Pediatric Infectious Diseases Society, where I currently chair the Division Chief working group.  I am a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science and have been elected into the American Society for Clinical Investigation and the Association of American Physicians, for which I currently serve on the Council. 

Education and Training

  • Fellow, Pediatric Infectious Diseases, Pediatrics, Duke University, 2001 - 2004
  • Resident, Pediatrics, Stanford University, 1998 - 2001
  • M.D., University of North Carolina - Chapel Hill, 1998

Selected Grants and Awards

Publications

Groll, Andreas H., Hisham Abdel-Azim, Thomas Lehrnbecher, William J. Steinbach, Amanda Paschke, Eric Mangin, Gregory A. Winchell, Hetty Waskin, and Christopher J. Bruno. “Pharmacokinetics and safety of posaconazole intravenous solution and powder for oral suspension in children with neutropenia: an open-label, sequential dose-escalation trial.” International Journal of Antimicrobial Agents, July 16, 2020, 106084. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ijantimicag.2020.106084.

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Roundtree, Mark T., Praveen R. Juvvadi, E Keats Shwab, D Christopher Cole, and William J. Steinbach. “Aspergillus fumigatus Cyp51A and Cyp51B Proteins are Compensatory in Function and Localize Differentially in Response to Antifungals and Cell Wall Inhibitors.” Antimicrob Agents Chemother, July 13, 2020. https://doi.org/10.1128/AAC.00735-20.

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Lehrnbecher, Thomas, Brian T. Fisher, Bob Phillips, Sarah Alexander, Roland A. Ammann, Melissa Beauchemin, Fabianne Carlesse, et al. “Guideline for Antibacterial Prophylaxis Administration in Pediatric Cancer and Hematopoietic Stem Cell Transplantation.” Clin Infect Dis 71, no. 1 (June 24, 2020): 226–36. https://doi.org/10.1093/cid/ciz1082.

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Renshaw, Hilary, Praveen R. Juvvadi, D Christopher Cole, and William J. Steinbach. “The class V myosin interactome of the human pathogen Aspergillus fumigatus reveals novel interactions with COPII vesicle transport proteins.” Biochem Biophys Res Commun 527, no. 1 (June 18, 2020): 232–37. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.bbrc.2020.04.111.

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Lehrnbecher, Thomas, Brian T. Fisher, Bob Phillips, Melissa Beauchemin, Fabianne Carlesse, Elio Castagnola, Nathan Duong, et al. “Clinical Practice Guideline for Systemic Antifungal Prophylaxis in Pediatric Patients With Cancer and Hematopoietic Stem-Cell Transplantation Recipients.” J Clin Oncol, May 27, 2020, JCO2000158. https://doi.org/10.1200/JCO.20.00158.

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Juvvadi, Praveen R., Benjamin G. Bobay, Sophie M. C. Gobeil, D Christopher Cole, Ronald A. Venters, Joseph Heitman, Leonard D. Spicer, and William J. Steinbach. “FKBP12 dimerization mutations effect FK506 binding and differentially alter calcineurin inhibition in the human pathogen Aspergillus fumigatus.” Biochem Biophys Res Commun 526, no. 1 (May 21, 2020): 48–54. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.bbrc.2020.03.062.

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Gobeil, Sophie M-C, Benjamin Bobay, Praveen Juvvadi, Christopher Cole, Joseph Heitman, William Steinbach, Ronald Venters, and Leonard Spicer. “Designing Selective and Non-Immunosuppressive Antifungal FK506 Analogs: Structures, Biophysics and Dynamics of Fungal and Human Calcineurin-Inhibitor Complexes,” April 15, 2020. https://doi.org/10.1101/2020.04.14.039800.

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COMMITTEE ON INFECTIOUS DISEASES, K. “Recommended Childhood and Adolescent Immunization Schedule: United States, 2020.” Pediatrics 145, no. 3 (March 2020). https://doi.org/10.1542/peds.2019-3995.

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Mayer, Erick F., Gabriela Maron, Ronald H. Dallas, Jose Ferrolino, Li Tang, Yilun Sun, Lara Danziger-Isakov, et al. “A multicenter study to define the epidemiology and outcomes of Clostridioides difficile infection in pediatric hematopoietic cell and solid organ transplant recipients.” Am J Transplant, February 16, 2020. https://doi.org/10.1111/ajt.15826.

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Chung, Sarita, Carl R. Baum, Ann-Christine Nyquist, and Ann-Christine DISASTER PREPAREDNESS ADVISORY COUNCIL, COUNCIL ON ENVIRONMENTAL HEALTH, COMMITTEE ON INFECTIOUS DISEASES. “Chemical-Biological Terrorism and Its Impact on Children.” Pediatrics 145, no. 2 (February 2020). https://doi.org/10.1542/peds.2019-3750.

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