Michael S. Price, PhD

Professor of Microbiology

(434) 592-7277


  • PhD in Plant Pathology, North Carolina State University
  • MS in Plant Pathology, North Carolina State University
  • BS in Animal Science, University of Delaware


Working with Dr. John Dohms at the University of Delaware, Dr. Price conducted research toward a senior thesis on sequencing a putative cytahesin gene in the poultry pathogen Mycoplasma gallisepticum. Dr. Price 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 in 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. Currently, his research focuses on the role of nutrient acquisition and host-environment sensing in the establishment of infection by pathogenic fungi.

Courses Taught

  • Biological Foundations of Medicine – BFOM

Professional Memberships

  • American Association for the Advancement of Science
  • American Society for Microbiology
  • Genetics Society of America
  • Sigma Xi
  • Virginia Academy of Science


  • Lawton, A, CR Morgan, CR Schreiner, CG Schreiner, J Baumann, B Upchurch, F Xu, MS Price, and GD Isaacs. 2020. Folate-dependent cognitive impairment associated with specific gene networks in the adult mouse hippocampus. Frontiers in Nutrition. In Press.
  • 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 species. 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 neoformans Related 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 neoformans requires 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 neoformans mutants 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 neoformans histone 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 neoformans Rim101 and protein kinase A regulates capsule. PLoS Pathogens 6:e1000776.

Research Interests

  • Role of fungal carbon metabolism in host-pathogen interactions
  • Mechanisms of pathogen adaptation to carbon metabolism deficiencies
  • Mechanisms of pathogen pH sensing in virulence