Michael S. Price, PhD

Professor of Microbiology


Courses Taught

  • Biological Foundations of Osteopathic Medicine (BFOM)
  • Gastroenterology (GI)
  • Gastrointestinal System and Nutrition (GINutri)
  • Urinary System (Uri)

Professional Memberships

  • American Society for Microbiology (ASM)
  • Genetics Society of America (GSA)
  • Sigma Xi
  • Virginia Academy of Science (VAS)


Working with Dr. John Dohms at the University of Delaware, Dr. Michael Price conducted research toward a senior thesis on sequencing a putative cytahesin gene in the poultry pathogen Mycoplasma gallisepticum. He attended graduate school at NC State University where he studied biomediation of hog waste using filamentous molds, as well as the genetic regulation of the production of the most potent naturally occurring carcinogen, aflatoxin, in Aspergillus species.

After graduating from NCSU, Dr. Price joined the Duke University Mycology Research Unit at Duke University Medical Center to investigate the genetic basis of pathogenicity in the Cryptococcus/human pathosystem. First, he worked with Dr. Andrew Alspaugh on the involvement of the GTPase regulatory protein Rdi1 in cryptococcal pathogenesis. Following publication of that work, he joined the lab of Dr. John Perfect to investigate carbon and nitrogen acquisition from the host by pathogenic Cryptococcus species. During his time at Duke, Dr. Price was able to mentor numerous undergraduate and graduate students in research resulting in multiple publications.

Following on his postdoctoral work, Dr. Price briefly joined Microban International as their mycologist overseeing antifungal product testing. After successfully developing a high-throughput method for testing antifungal efficacy of product samples, he decided to rejoin academia at Liberty University. At this time, he also received an appointment as Adjunct Assistant Professor in the Department of Medicine at Duke University School of Medicine. Currently, his research focuses on the role of nutrient acquisition and host-environment sensing in the establishment of infection by pathogenic fungi.


    • Berguson HP, Caulfield LW, Price MS. 2022. Influence of Pathogen Carbon Metabolism on Interactions with Host Immunity. Frontiers in Cellular and Infection Microbiology doi: 10.3389/fcimb.2022.861405.
    • Lawton A, Morgan CR, Schreiner CR, Schreiner CG, Baumann J, Upchurch B, Xu F, Price MS, Isaacs GD. Folate-Dependent Cognitive Impairment Associated With Specific Gene Networks in the Adult Mouse Hippocampus. Frontiers in Nutrition 7:574730.
    • Caza, M, G Hu, MS Price, JR Perfect, and JW Kronstad. 2016. The Zinc Finger Protein Mig1 Regulates Mitochondrial Function and Azole Drug Susceptibility in the Pathogenic Fungus Cryptococcus neoformans. mSphere 1:1-19.
    • Price, MS, J Turmenne, and GP Sloan. 2015. Evaluation of a Most Probable Number Quantitation System with a Modified AATCC Test Method 100 for Measuring Fungal Growth. AATCC Journal of Research 2:11-15.
    • Inoue M, Arikawa T, Chen Y-H, Moriwaki Y, Price M, Brown M, et al. 2014. T cells down-regulate macrophage TNF production by IRAK1-mediated IL-10 expression and control innate hyperinflammation. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. 111(14):5295-300. doi:10.1073/pnas.1321427111.
    • Frazzitta, AE, H Vora, MS Price, JL Tenor, M Betancourt-Quiroz, DL Toffaleti, N Cheng, and JR Perfect. 2013. Nitrogen source-dependent capsule induction in human pathogenic Cryptococcus Eukaryotic Cell 12(11):1439-1450.
    • Tseng, H.-K., C-P Liu, MS Price, AY Jong, J-C Chang, DL Toffaletti, M Betancourt-Quiroz, AE Frazzitta, W-L Chow, and JR Perfect. 2012. Identification of Genes from the Fungal Pathogen Cryptococcus neoformansRelated to Transmigration into the Central Nervous System. PLoS One,  7(9), e45083. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0045083.
    • Fang, W, MS Price, DL Toffaletti, J Tenor, M Betancourt-Quiroz, JL Price, W-H Pan, W-Q Liao, JR Perfect. 2012. Pleiotripic effects of deubiquitinating enzyme Ubp5 on growth and pathogensis of Cryptococcus neoformans. PLoS One, 7(6), e38326. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0038326.
    • Price, MS, M Betancourt-Quiroz, JL Price, DL Toffaletti, H Vora, G Hu, JW Kronstad, and JR Perfect. 2011. Cryptococcus neoformansrequires a functional glycolytic pathway for disease but not persistence in the host. mBio 2:e00111.
    • Lee, A DL Toffaletti, J Tenor, EJ Soderblom, JW Thompson, MA Moseley, MS Price, and JR Perfect. 2010. Survival defects of Cryptococcus neoformansmutants in human cerebrospinal fluid results in attenuated virulence in an experimental model of meningitis. Infection and Immunity 78:4213-4225.
    • O’Meara, TR, C Hay, MS Price, S Giles, and JA Alspaugh. 2010. Cryptococcus neoformanshistone acetyltransferase Gcn5 regulates fungal adaptation to the host. Eukaryotic Cell 9:1193-1202.
    • O’Meara, TR, D Norton, MS Price, C Hay, MF Clements, CB Nichols, and JA Alspaugh. 2010. Interaction of Cryptococcus neoformansRim101 and protein kinase A regulates capsule. PLoS Pathogens 6:e1000776.
    • Price, MS, CB Nichols, and JA Alspaugh. 2008. Cryptococcus neoformans Rho-GDP dissociation inhibitor mediates intracellular survival and virulence. Infection and Immunity 76(12):5729-5737.
    • He, ZM, MS Price, GR OBrian, DR Georgianna, and GA Payne. 2007. Improved protocols for functional analysis in the pathogenic fungus Aspergillus flavus. BMC Microbiology 7:104.
    • Cramer, KL, QD Gerrald, CB Nichols, MS Price, and JA Alspaugh. 2006. Transcription factor Nrg1 mediates capsule formation, stress response, and pathogenesis in Cryptococcus neoformans. Eukaryotic Cell 5:1147-1156.
    • Price, MS, J Yu, WC Nierman, HS Kim, B Pritchard, CA Jacobus, D Bhatnagar, TE Cleveland, and GA Payne. 2006. The aflatoxin pathway regulator AflR induces gene transcription inside and outside of the aflatoxin biosynthetic cluster. FEMS Microbiology Letters 255:275-279.
    • Price, MS, SB Conners, S Tachdjian, RM Kelly, and GA Payne. 2005. Aflatoxin conducive and non-conducive growth conditions reveal new gene associations with aflatoxin production. Fungal Genetics and Biology 42:506-518.
    • Price, MS, JJ Classen and GA Payne, 2000. Aspergillus niger removes copper and zinc from swine wastewater. Bioresource Technology. 77(1):41-49.

      Research Interests

      • Role of fungal carbon metabolism in host-pathogen interactions
      • Mechanisms of pathogen adaptation to the host environment