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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

Wong, Sarah Sze Wah, Orhan Rasid, Paris Laskaris, Arnaud Fekkar, Jean-Marc Cavaillon, William J. Steinbach, and Oumaima Ibrahim-Granet. “Treatment of Cyclosporin A retains host defense against invasive pulmonary aspergillosis in a non-immunosuppressive murine model by preserving the myeloid cell population.” Virulence 8, no. 8 (November 17, 2017): 1744–52. https://doi.org/10.1080/21505594.2017.1339007.

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Shwab, Elliot K., Praveen R. Juvvadi, Greg Waitt, Erik J. Soderblom, Martin A. Moseley, Nathan I. Nicely, and William J. Steinbach. “Phosphorylation of Aspergillus fumigatus PkaR impacts growth and cell wall integrity through novel mechanisms.” Febs Lett 591, no. 22 (November 2017): 3730–44. https://doi.org/10.1002/1873-3468.12886.

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Moreno-Velásquez, Sergio D., Constanze Seidel, Praveen R. Juvvadi, William J. Steinbach, and Nick D. Read. “Caspofungin-Mediated Growth Inhibition and Paradoxical Growth in Aspergillus fumigatus Involve Fungicidal Hyphal Tip Lysis Coupled with Regenerative Intrahyphal Growth and Dynamic Changes in β-1,3-Glucan Synthase Localization.” Antimicrob Agents Chemother 61, no. 10 (October 2017). https://doi.org/10.1128/AAC.00710-17.

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COMMITTEE ON INFECTIOUS DISEASES, A., and A. COMMITTEE ON FETUS AND NEWBORN. “Elimination of Perinatal Hepatitis B: Providing the First Vaccine Dose Within 24 Hours of Birth.” Pediatrics 140, no. 3 (September 2017). https://doi.org/10.1542/peds.2017-1870.

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Steinbach, William J., and Brian T. Fisher. “International Collaborative on Contemporary Epidemiology and Diagnosis of Invasive Fungal Disease in Children.” J Pediatric Infect Dis Soc 6, no. suppl_1 (September 1, 2017): S1–2. https://doi.org/10.1093/jpids/pix039.

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King, Jill, Zoi-Dorothea Pana, Thomas Lehrnbecher, William J. Steinbach, and Adilia Warris. “Recognition and Clinical Presentation of Invasive Fungal Disease in Neonates and Children.” J Pediatric Infect Dis Soc 6, no. suppl_1 (September 1, 2017): S12–21. https://doi.org/10.1093/jpids/pix053.

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Huppler, Anna R., Brian T. Fisher, Thomas Lehrnbecher, Thomas J. Walsh, and William J. Steinbach. “Role of Molecular Biomarkers in the Diagnosis of Invasive Fungal Diseases in Children.” J Pediatric Infect Dis Soc 6, no. suppl_1 (September 1, 2017): S32–44. https://doi.org/10.1093/jpids/pix054.

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Lehrnbecher, Thomas, Paula Robinson, Brian Fisher, Sarah Alexander, Roland A. Ammann, Melissa Beauchemin, Fabianne Carlesse, et al. “Guideline for the Management of Fever and Neutropenia in Children With Cancer and Hematopoietic Stem-Cell Transplantation Recipients: 2017 Update.” J Clin Oncol 35, no. 18 (June 20, 2017): 2082–94. https://doi.org/10.1200/JCO.2016.71.7017.

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Vargas-Muñiz, José M., Hilary Renshaw, Greg Waitt, Erik J. Soderblom, M Arthur Moseley, Jonathan M. Palmer, Praveen R. Juvvadi, Nancy P. Keller, and William J. Steinbach. “Caspofungin exposure alters the core septin AspB interactome of Aspergillus fumigatus.” Biochem Biophys Res Commun 485, no. 2 (April 1, 2017): 221–26. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.bbrc.2017.02.116.

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Bernstein, Henry H., Joseph A. Bocchini, and Joseph A. COMMITTEE ON INFECTIOUS DISEASES. “Practical Approaches to Optimize Adolescent Immunization.” Pediatrics 139, no. 3 (March 2017). https://doi.org/10.1542/peds.2016-4187.

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