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Darren J. Perkins, PhD

Academic Title:

Assistant Professor

Primary Appointment:

Microbiology and Immunology

Additional Title:

Assistant professor

Phone (Primary):


Phone (Secondary):




Education and Training

Duke University, Department of Biology, Durham, NC, B.S., 1996

Emory University, Depertment of Microbiology and Immunology, Atlanta, GA, Ph.D. 2003



I am an immunologist working in the field of innate immunology, which can be broadly defined as the set of molecular immune defenses each of us is born with prior to encountering any specific infection out in the world.    

I began my research in innate immunology beginning with my doctoral work at Emory University where I studied the ways in which cells detect infection by RNA viruses and how host protein synthesis is controlled as a defense mechanism to restrict viral growth.

Subsequently, as a post-doctoral fellow with Dr. Stefanie Vogel I studied the ways in which the innate Toll Like Receptors (TLRs) sense many types of bacterial pathogens and orchestrate complex patterns of inflammation to clear infections

At the University of Maryland Baltimore, I am jointly appointed within the Department of Microbiology and Immunology in the School of Medicine and as a scientist within the Greenebaum Comprehensive Cancer Center

Research/Clinical Keywords

Macrophage, lipopolysaccharide, LPS, type I Interferon, Toll-Like Receptors (TLRs), Salmonella

Highlighted Publications

Perkins DJ, Polumuri SK, Pennini ME, Lai W, Vogel SN. Reprogramming of murine macrophages through TLR2 confers viral resistance via TRAF3-mediated, enhanced interferon production. PLoS Pathog. 2013;9(7): Epub 2013 Jul 11.

Perkins DJ, Rajaiah R, Tennant SM, Ramachandran G, Higginson EE, Dyson TN, Vogel SN.Salmonella Typhimurium Co-Opts the Host Type I IFN System To Restrict Macrophage Innate Immune Transcriptional Responses Selectively. J Immunol. 2015 Sep 1;195(5):2461-71

Richard K, Vogel SN, Perkins DJ. Type I interferon licenses enhanced innate recognition and transcriptional responses to Francisella tularensis live vaccine strain.  Innate immunity. 2016; 22(5):363-72. 

Research Interests

 The Perkins laboratory at UMB is focused on fundamental questions about how the human innate immune system maintains a constant surveillance for infection by a vast array of microbes (viral, bacterial and fungal) as well as simultaneously searching for signs of malignant tumor formation.  We are particularly interested in the roles of innate pattern recognition systems and the regulation of key genes driving an inflammatory response.

Overall we try to create an aspirational environment that fosters both trainee progress and concept development in innate immunology in a data driven manner

Links of Interest