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William J. Steinbach, MD

Samuel L. Katz 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 laboratory focusing on the molecular pathogenesis of Aspergillus fumigatus and development of novel antifungal drugs and diagnostic assays, and numerous translational and clinical studies centered on several diagnostic and therapeutic aspects of invasive fungal infections.  

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 knock-out or mutate pathogenesis genes and proteins to analyze their function and role in disease, including various genomic, proteomic, 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 two 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 eight Advances Against Aspergillosis international conferences, the leading forum for this deadly disease and most recently at  I am the co-editor of the largest textbook in the field, Aspergillus fumigatus and Aspergillosis, and have co-edited eight other pediatric infectious diseases textbooks, including Feigin & Cherry's Textbook of Pediatric Infectious Diseases (nearly 4,000 pages), and the American Academy of Pediatrics Nelson's Pediatric Antimicrobial Therapy textbook.

Education and Training

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

Selected Grants and Awards


Steinbach, W. J., and C. C. Dvorak. “Antifungal Agents.” In Principles and Practice of Pediatric Infectious Diseases: Fourth Edition, 1484-1492.e5, 2012.

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Steinbach, W. J. “Aspergillus Species.” In Principles and Practice of Pediatric Infectious Diseases: Fourth Edition, 1203-1209.e4, 2012.

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Smith, P. B., and W. J. Steinbach. “Candida Species.” In Principles and Practice of Pediatric Infectious Diseases: Fourth Edition, 1196-1202.e4, 2012.

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Fortwendel, Jarrod R., Praveen R. Juvvadi, Luise E. Rogg, Yohannes G. Asfaw, Kimberlie A. Burns, Scott H. Randell, and William J. Steinbach. “Plasma membrane localization is required for RasA-mediated polarized morphogenesis and virulence of Aspergillus fumigatus..” Eukaryot Cell 11, no. 8 (August 2012): 966–77.

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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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