Mission Statement

Duke Microbiology strives to transform microbiology, medicine, and health locally and globally through innovative research and application of diagnostic tests, educating future leaders, and advancing, advocating, and practicing evidence-based medicine.

Program Aims

Train physician microbiologists to:

  1. Be expert in the selection, use, validation, troubleshooting and interpretation of conventional and state-of-the-art microbiologic tests
  2. Know and understand the strengths and limitations of various test modalities, sample types, and testing strategies.
  3. Understand the principles and value of diagnostic stewardship and clinical and analytical implications of pre- and post-test probability of disease in the contest of individual tests, patients, settings, and populations.
  4. Understand the role of microbiology laboratories in patient care, infection prevention, antibiotic stewardship, diagnostic stewardship, and public health.
  5. Be active participants and consultants in patient care from the laboratory.
  6. Communicate test and result information effectively to people of all levels.
  7. Understand, design evaluate and improve processes to detect laboratory errors, and measure, monitor, and ensure quality laboratory testing.
  8. Understand/know laboratory management principles and be ready to lead/direct a high-complexity, high-volume state-of-the-art microbiology laboratories.
  9. Complete 1-2 research projects or test validations.
  10. Write and publish 1-2 scientific papers.
  11. Be proficient at critically reviewing and interpreting the scientific literature, especially in clinical microbiology.
  12. Be comfortable and knowledgeable using data to ask and answer questions relevant to laboratory quality, performance, test utilization, and outcomes.
  13. Be adaptive, life-long learners capable of practicing in a variety of settings, in particular academic and public health laboratories.

Eligibility Requirements

MD applicants must have completed postgraduate training in an ACGME Anatomic and Clinical Pathology or Clinical Pathology, or an ACGME approved Infectious Disease training program.  
The Department of Pathology sponsors J1 Visa applications.

Applicant Package

  1. College of American Pathologists Standardized Application for Pathology Fellowships with signature (Click here for application)
  2. Personal statement
  3. Curriculum Vitae
  4. Medical School transcript
  5. ECFMG certificate (if applicable)
  6. Copies of USMLE/COMLEX transcripts
  7. Three letters of recommendation (including one from current training program director, if applicable)

Questions about the program and application materials should be emailed to:
Ms. Jennifer Alan

Links pertaining to eligibility requirements:

American Board of Pathology
Booklet of Information
Requirements for Certification - Medical Microbiology
J-1 Visa Policy

American Board of Medical Microbiology (ABMM)
American Board of Medical Microbiology Exam

Duke GME

Exchange Visitor Sponsorship Program (EVSP)

North Carolina Medical Board
Resident Training License (RTL) Application

Current Fellows


Christopher Polage

Christopher Polage, MD
Program Director
Associate Professor of Pathology


Barbara Alexander

Barbara Alexander, MD, MHS, FIDSA
Professor of Medicine & Pathology 

Nancy Henshaw

Nancy Henshaw, PhD
Assistant Professor of Pathology 

Maria Joyce

Maria Joyce, MD
Assistant Professor of Medicine

Mark Lee

Mark Lee, PhD
Assistant Professor of Pathology

Barth Reller

Barth Reller, MD
Professor of Pathology