John E. Bennett, M.D.

Senior Investigator

Clinical Mycology Section


Building 10, Room 12C103B
10 Center Drive
Bethesda, MD 20892


Research Topics

The Clinical Mycology Section focuses on pathogenesis, diagnosis, treatment, prevention, and epidemiology of mycoses, particularly cryptococcosis and candidiasis.

Cryptococcus neoformans var. neoformans: India Ink preparation of cells from a mucoid colony, note the exhuberant capsule.

Cryptococcus neoformans

The incidence of cryptococcosis has risen dramatically in the United States since the onset of the HIV-1 epidemic. Most centers now report that 95 percent of their patients with cryptococcosis are co-infected with HIV-1. Peter Williamson, M.D., Ph.D., and Dr. Bennett are studying previously healthy patients with cryptococcal meningitis to discover underlying predisposing factors and improve therapy. Despite the absence of immunosuppression, these patients are surprisingly difficult to treat compared to those with AIDS and cryptococcosis. A major cause of morbidity and death is cerebral edema and increased intracranial pressure, which usually coexist. Our goals in studying these patients are as follows:

  • Understanding the mechanisms causing cerebral edema and increased intracranial pressure
  • Searching for genetic markers in the patients and their families that might have predisposed patients to cryptococcosis
  • Assessing the role of corticosteroids in controlling cerebral edema
  • Evaluating potential new treatments for cryptococcosis


Dr. Bennett received his B.S. in chemistry (cum laude) from Stanford University. He earned his M.D. (Alpha Omega Alpha) from The Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. Dr. Bennett is board-certified in internal medicine and infectious disease. His other honors include master in the American College of Physicians; former president of the Infectious Diseases Society of America; charter president of the Greater Washington Infectious Diseases Society; member of the American Society for Clinical Investigation and the American Association of Physicians; co-editor of seven editions of Principles and Practice of Infectious Diseases; and consultant to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, American College of Physicians-American Society of Internal Medicine, U.S. Public Health Association, Food and Drug Administration, and U.S. Department of Defense.

Selected Publications

  1. Miyazaki T, Miyazaki Y, Izumikawa K, Kakeya H, Miyakoshi S, Bennett JE, Kohno S. Fluconazole treatment is effective against a Candida albicans erg3/erg3 mutant in vivo despite in vitro resistance. Antimicrob Agents Chemother. 2006;50(2):580-6.
  2. Patterson TF, Boucher HW, Herbrecht R, Denning DW, Lortholary O, Ribaud P, Rubin RH, Wingard JR, DePauw B, Schlamm HT, Troke P, Bennett JE, European Organization for Research and Treatment of Cancer (EORTC) Invasive Fungal Infections Group (IFIG)., Pfizer Global Aspergillus Study Group.. Strategy of following voriconazole versus amphotericin B therapy with other licensed antifungal therapy for primary treatment of invasive aspergillosis: impact of other therapies on outcome. Clin Infect Dis. 2005;41(10):1448-52.

Related Scientific Focus Areas

This page was last updated on Wednesday, February 15, 2017