James Zachary Porterfield, MD, PhD

Clinical Fellow in Medicine (Infectious Diseases)

Departments & Organizations

Infectious Diseases

Yale Medicine

Yale Institute for Global Health


Dr. Porterfield is a physician-scientist with clinical training in Internal Medicine and Infectious Disease and a research focus on HIV and global health. His basic science interests focus on informing vaccination and cure efforts through study of factors that modulate infectivity in HIV and on latent populations of HIV in lymphoid reservoir sites. Additionally, he studies to overlap of HIV with other diseases, such as chronic ear infections, cancer, and non-communicable diseases. Perhaps the most striking juxtaposition of these conditions with HIV occurs in South Africa, where he has a 17 year history of work and study. In addition to his position as a research fellow in the Section of Infectious Disease at Yale, he holds has a faculty position at the University of KwaZulu-Natal as an Honorary Senior Lecturer.

Dr. Porterfield has a keen interest in building research capacity in global health and has spearheaded development of the Yale-University of KwaZulu-Natal Collaborative over the last three years. This partnership focuses on capacity building and the mutual exchange of ideas and training through educational, research, and clinical initiatives with an aim to address health disparities.

Education & Training

MD University of Oklahoma College of Medicine (2012)
PhD University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center, Biochemistry and Molecular Biology - Virology (2010)
ABIM Research Pathway Resident Yale School of Medicine/Yale New Haven Hospital

Honors & Recognition

  • Fellow of the Year Award for Contributions by a Clinical FellowDepartment of Internal Medicine, Yale University (2015)

  • Samuel D. Kushlan Award for the Internal Medicine Resident who has Contributed the Most to Patient CareDepartment of Internal Medicine, Yale University (2014)

  • Podalirian Award for the Medical Student of the YearUniversity of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center (2012)


  • Development of the University of KwaZulu-Natal/Yale Collaborative Durban, South Africa; Durban, South Africa (2015)

    Dr. Porterfield spearheaded the development of the University of KwaZulu-Natal/Yale Collaborative with a dedicated group of collaborators. This partnership is dedicated to an equitable and bilateral relationship that supports clinical, research, and advocacy initiatives aimed at health and social...

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