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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:

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 ( 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 (, 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  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


Dvorak, Christopher C., Brian T. Fisher, Lillian Sung, William J. Steinbach, Michael Nieder, Sarah Alexander, and Theoklis E. Zaoutis. “Antifungal prophylaxis in pediatric hematology/oncology: new choices & new data.” Pediatr Blood Cancer 59, no. 1 (July 15, 2012): 21–26.

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Steinbach, W. J. “International pediatric fungal network: Changing the world for pediatric invasive fungal infections.” Current Fungal Infection Reports 6, no. 2 (June 1, 2012): 138–39.

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Steinbach, W. J., and K. A. Marr. “Mold infections after hematopoietic stem cell transplantation.” In Transplant Infections: Third Edition, 2012.


Rogg, Luise E., Jarrod R. Fortwendel, Praveen R. Juvvadi, and William J. Steinbach. “Regulation of expression, activity and localization of fungal chitin synthases.” Med Mycol 50, no. 1 (January 2012): 2–17.

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Juvvadi, Praveen Rao, Jarrod R. Fortwendel, Luise E. Rogg, Kimberlie A. Burns, Scott H. Randell, and William J. Steinbach. “Localization and activity of the calcineurin catalytic and regulatory subunit complex at the septum is essential for hyphal elongation and proper septation in Aspergillus fumigatus.” Mol Microbiol 82, no. 5 (December 2011): 1235–59.

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Rebong, Rachelle A., Ricardo M. Santaella, Brian E. Goldhagen, Christopher P. Majka, John R. Perfect, William J. Steinbach, and Natalie A. Afshari. “Polyhexamethylene biguanide and calcineurin inhibitors as novel antifungal treatments for Aspergillus keratitis.” Invest Ophthalmol Vis Sci 52, no. 10 (September 21, 2011): 7309–15.

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Rogg, Luise E., Jarrod R. Fortwendel, Praveen Rao Juvvadi, Amanda Lilley, and William J. Steinbach. “The chitin synthase genes chsA and chsC are not required for cell wall stress responses in the human pathogen Aspergillus fumigatus.” Biochem Biophys Res Commun 411, no. 3 (August 5, 2011): 549–54.

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Mennink-Kersten, M. A. S. H., D. Ruegebrink, P. E. Verweij, and W. J. Steinbach. “Calcineurin-dependent galactomannan release in Aspergillus fumigatus.” Eur J Clin Microbiol Infect Dis 30, no. 4 (April 2011): 551–53.

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Steinbach, William J., Praveen R. Juvvadi, Jarrod R. Fortwendel, and Luise E. Rogg. “Newer combination antifungal therapies for invasive aspergillosis.” Med Mycol 49 Suppl 1 (April 2011): S77–81.

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Fortwendel, Jarrod R., Praveen R. Juvvadi, Luise E. Rogg, and William J. Steinbach. “Regulatable Ras activity is critical for proper establishment and maintenance of polarity in Aspergillus fumigatus.” Eukaryot Cell 10, no. 4 (April 2011): 611–15.

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