Raphael Valdivia Named Chair of Immunology

Raphael Valdivia, PhD, has been named chair of the Department of Immunology, effective Oct. 1, 2022. Dr. Valdivia is the Nanaline H. Duke Distinguished Professor of Molecular Genetics and Microbiology and has served as the interim chair of the Department of Immunology since August 2022. He has served the School of Medicine in multiple roles including Director of Graduate Studies, Director of the Center for the Genomics of Microbial Systems, and most recently Vice Dean for Basic Science from 2014-2018. He is a member of the Duke Microbiome Center and the Duke Cancer Institute. In his new role, Dr. Valdivia will oversee a restructuring of the Department of Immunology to reflect the increased importance of immunity and inflammation in all aspects of human health. 

Dr. Valdivia is an internationally renowned microbiologist whose research focuses on applying genetic, genomic, and cell and molecular approaches to understand how pathogens evade innate immune responses and how commensal bacteria regulate immune homeostasis at the host-microbe interface.  

Dr. Valdivia has earned recognition as a Pew Scholar in the Biomedical Sciences, a Burroughs Wellcome Fund Investigator in the Pathogenesis of Infectious Diseases, and as the recipient of the Merck Irving S. Sigal Award from the America Society for Microbiology. He serves as an editor in multiple journals and is a standing member of National Institutes of Health review panels. He is an elected Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Sciences, the American Academy of Microbiology, and President-elect of the Chlamydia Basic Research Society.  

Dr. Valdivia received his PhD in microbiology and immunology from Stanford University in 1997 and was a Damon Runyon Cancer Foundation postdoctoral researcher at the University of California, Berkeley. He joined the faculty at Duke in 2002.