Please note, although this course is associated with the University of Chicago, the course takes place in the Marine Biological Laboratory in Woods Hole, Massachusetts
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;
a) increase students’ breadth of knowledge in fungal pathogenesis research
b) introduce and explore both standard and
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 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 onexperience 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
- To discuss research ethics, professional development (academic, industrial, or government careers), and issues specific to the medical mycology field.