Molecular Mycology: Current Approaches to Fungal Pathogenesis


Course Date: June 12 – June 28, 2016

Extended Deadline: March 1, 2016 | Apply here

2015 Flyer

2015 Lecture Schedule (Subject to change) (PDF)

Directors: Damian KrysanUniversity of Rochester School of Medicine, and Xiaorong Lin, Texas A&M University

Course Mission:

Fungal diseases are significant causes of mortality and morbidity in both the developed and the developing world. The recent increases in the incidence and severity of invasive fungal infections are directly attributable to new susceptible patient populations. Examples of these large, at-risk populations include patients with AIDS; hospitalized patients being treated for cancer and autoimmune disorders; andthose receiving organ transplants. Despite this increasing threat, our understanding of the basic pathophysiology of fungal disease lags far behind our understanding of bacterial, parasitic and viral diseases. Furthermore, the number of antifungal therapies in clinical use is limited, and there is a paucity of novel antifungal strategies in the current drug pipeline. To address the need for more research in the area of fungal diseases, this course aims to:

a) increase students’ breadth of knowledge in fungal pathogenesis research

b) introduce and explore both standard and cutting edge model systems for the analysis of fungal virulence

c) create an environment that fosters interactions and idea-exchange among students, faculty, and the greater mycology research community.

Course material is suitable for advanced graduate students, post-doctoral fellows, research faculty, and clinician-scientists.

The specific objectives of the 2015 Molecular Mycology course:

  • To present the current conceptual models for the pathogenesis of medically important fungi, with a focus on the most frequently encountered pathogens – Candida, Cryptococcus, and Aspergillus
  • To train students in molecular manipulation of Candida, Cryptococcus, and Aspergillus
  • To provide hands on experience with mammalian, invertebrate, and cell culture models to assess virulence and analyze different types of host-pathogen interactions
  • To present a broad perspective on experimental issues pertinent to pathogenic fungi, such as the definition and determination of virulence, the determination of host responses relevant to infection, and the quantification of antifungal susceptibility
  • To instruct students in techniques relevant to the analysis of the function of fungal gene products such as determination of essentiality, microscopic analysis of morphology and fluorescent protein fusions, comparison of RNA expression profiles of wild-type and mutant strains, assessment of chromosome content
  • To provide insight into the clinical aspects of fungal diseases from the perspective of the host and the pathogen
  • To provide an introduction to tools for comparative genome and transcriptional analysis

This course is supported with funds provided by
Burroughs Wellcome Fund
Howard Hughes Medical Institute

2015 Faculty-In-Residence:

Andrew Alspaugh, Duke University School of Medicine (Cryptococcus pathogenesis, signal transduction)
Robert A. Cramer, Geisel School of Medicine at Dartmouth (Fungal Immunology, Aspergillus pathogenesis)
John E. Edwards, Harbor-UCLA Medical Center (Animal models of fungal diseases; clinical mycology)
Joseph Heitman, Duke University
(Research talk, career development, student interactions)
Deborah Hogan, Geisel School of Medicine at Dartmouth (Trans-kingdom interaction, Candida pathogenesis)
James B. Konopka, Stony Brook
(Advanced Workshop in Microscopy)
Aaron Mitchell, Carnegie Mellon University (Genetics tools to study fungal pathogenesis)
Donald C. Sheppard, McGill University
(Aspergillus fumigatus: Molecular Manipulation and Host-pathogen Interaction)
Robert Wheeler, University of Maine (Fungal mammalian cell interaction)
Theodore C. White, University Of Missouri – Kansas City (Antifungal Susceptibility and Resistance Mechanisms)

2015 Lecturers:

Alex Andrianopoulos, University of Melbourne
Angie Gelli, University of California – Davis
Amy Gladfelter, Dartmouth University
Neil Gow, University of Aberdeen
Bruce Klein, University of Wisconsin – Madison
Carol Kumamoto, Tufts University
Stuart Levitz, University of Massachusetts Medical School
Michael Lorenz, University of Texas – Houston Medical School
Keller Nancy, University of Wisconsin – Madison
Terry Reomer, Merck

2015 Teaching Assistants:

Fabrice Gravelat, McGill University, Canada
Virginia Havel, University of Rochester School of Medicine
Alex Hopke, University Of Maine
Pedro Miramon Martinez, University of Texas – Houston Medical School
Norma Solis, Harbor-UCLA Medical Center
Srijana Upadhyay, Texas A&M University

2015 Course coordinator:

Carol Edwards, Harbor-UCLA Medical Center