About the Duke Division of Infectious Diseases

The Duke Division of Infectious Diseases is an academic unit specializing in the diagnosis, treatment, and clinical and laboratory investigation of infections.

Division activities emphasize three main areas:

  • Clinical care of inpatients and outpatients
  • Training of students, residents, and fellows
  • Basic, translational, and clinical research

In 1930, David T. Smith, MD, founded the infectious diseases program at Duke. As chairman of microbiology, he built a nationally recognized department and simultaneously lent his expertise to clinical problems.

Norman F. Conant, MD, in Smith's group, built Duke's strong reputation in mycology. In 1959, Suydam Osterhout, MD, moved from the Rockefeller University to strengthen the clinical microbiology service, and in 1977, David Durack, MD, came to Duke from the University of Washington to become the first chief of the division.

Over the next 28 years, our division greatly expanded, growing from four to 23 full-time faculty and from one to 12 fellows. In 1994, John Hamilton, MD, became the division chief, and this growth has been sustained. In 2008, John Perfect, MD, was appointed interim division chief and then the Division Chief in 2012.

At present we have 40 full-time faculty with 12 fellows. The division also has five MD, MD/PhD, or PhD faculty with secondary appointments. Fellowship is generally a 3 year experience with effort placed in creating academic faculty. In the last decade, we have placed >90% fellowship graduates into academic positions.

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