Dr. Duncan is an Associate Professor of Medicine in the Division of Infectious Diseases. He is the Director of the Infectious Diseases Training Program and Director of the Physician-Scientist Training Program.

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Alex Duncan, MD, PhD

What is your clinical expertise?

In the inpatient setting I cover both general infectious diseases and immune compromised host infectious diseases consult services and I am probably at my best working on diagnostic dilemmas in medically complex patients.

In the outpatient setting, I spend a majority of my time on the diagnosis and management of Sexually Transmitted Infections.

What is your current role in the Department of Medicine?

My primary role is as a physician scientist investigator in the division of infectious diseases where I run a laboratory focused on understanding the role of the human immune system both in protecting us from infection but also in understanding how host immunity is exploited by pathogens to promote infections. I am also the Director of our Infectious Diseases Training Program which includes ACGME accredited clinical subspecialty training in Infectious Diseases for Internal Medicine trained physicians as well as scientific training and career development of physician scientists working in the field of Infectious Diseases. I have recently taken on the role of director of the department of medicine’s new Physician Scientist Training Program which will serve as a comprehensive career development program encompassing clinical medicine specialty and subspecialty training through the ABIM Research Track Pathway and scientific postdoctoral training.

What current project or initiative at UNC are you involved in that you are excited about?

I am excited about both my training programs, the Infectious Diseases Training program and the Physician Scientist Training program, because they give me an opportunity to contribute to the future of science in medicine far beyond what I can do with my own research program.

I am also very excited about my labs’ collaborative work on studies of host immune response to N. gonorrhoeae infection. My lab is a member of an NIH-funded Atlantic Coast Sexually Transmitted Infection Cooperative Research Center that includes Uniformed Services University of Health Services, Emory, and Duke focused on multidisciplinary research into STIs. Of the five funded STI Cooperative Research Centers, our center is the only center focused on N. gonorrhoeae, which was recently named by the CDC as one of the top public health threats in emerging antimicrobial resistance. Along these lines, I also have an amazing collaborative effort with Marcia Hobbs, also of our Infectious Diseases Division, utilizing a unique model of experimental infection of the human male urethra to identify novel N. gonorrhoeae factors that can be targeted pharmacologically or with vaccines to stop these infections.

How do you like to spend your free time?

I am a rabid Carolina basketball fan, so watching games at the Dean Dome is my favorite way to spend my free time.

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