Category Archives: conferences & courses

Fungal ITS database workshop

We held a workshop last for some of the people using and developing tools and databases for fungal molecular ecology in Fungi in (beautiful) Boulder, CO last week as part of our efforts in the Microbiome of the Built Environment. I am working with my co-organizer and participants to prepare a meeting summary and some descriptions of concrete plans forward. We expect this to make it easier to analyze Fungal ITS sequences in tools like QIIME and provide linkage with resources built around phylogenetic analyses of Fungi. An longer meeting summary will be posted in the coming week after we have all the presentations gathered and the details of the meeting written out.


Hello from ISHAM 2012

I am enjoying a wonderful visit to Berlin for the ISHAM 2012 conference. This meeting is at the intersection of clinical and basic researchers focused on Mycoses. Take a look at the program for a peek at what was presented. The sessions have covered a variety of tool-based, genetics, and applications of antifungals in treatments of mycoses. The connection to animal infections as well as human is especially important as there are some good lessons learned from each systems.

One thing that has become abundantly clear to me is the importance of Candida glabrata as a research system as well as clinically relavant system. I have been particularly interested in studies that have highlighted the variability in the cell wall such as work presented by Piet de Groot on Adhesins (see Kraneveld et al 2011). Jure Piskur gave a provocative talk on why C. glabrata is a haploid through some comparisons of forced diploids made in the lab and profiling of growth and metabolism. Geraldine Butler also gave a nice talk on evolution of the hypoxic response. Many other talks on C. glabrata that highlight its importance and distinct adaptations and this is clearly different from C. albicans.

Several other interesting sessions on fungal genomics, systems biology, evolution and comparative genomics of fungi, the fungal cell wall. For example, Carol Munro spoke about the new tools to develop the Candida ORFeome and over expression constructs. Several new genome sequences were described from Athlete’s foot, microsporida that infect C. elegans, basal Mucormycotina, and dandruff causing Malassezia fungi.

I also want to highlight that this has been one of the most organized and well run conferences I have been to in a while. The Interplan conference organizer really has done an excellent job and the bcc conference venue in Berlin is really well equipped. Let’s see more conferences in Berlin please!

Summer course in molecular mycology

Still time to apply for the Molecular Mycology course at MBL this summer- the deadline is April 11, 2012.  A fantastic experience in laboratory techniques, experimental design & analysis, and pathogenesis in fungi.

This dynamic course provides state-of-the-art training in molecular methods and assays for studying fungal pathogens and fungi-host interactions. In addition, it provides opportunities to interact with colleagues from academia and industry with different areas of expertise relevant to the study of fungal diseases. The upcoming Molecular Mycology course promises to be exceptional. See the attached flyer or the course website to see the list of interactive visiting and resident faculty who will make up the course curriculum.

Laboratory exercises, demos, lectures, and informal panel discussions make up the curriculum. Laboratory exercises focus on CandidaAspergillus, and Cryptococcus, and include genetic manipulation, discussion of new genetic tools, genetic screening strategies, cell culture and animal models, host response assays, antifungal susceptibility assays and live cell imaging of fungi. Additional topics include current research problems and strategies in medical mycology and topics relating to careers in fungal pathogenesis. Among the topics to be addressed in lectures include new animal models, immunology and fungal diseases, and fungi within microbial communities.

The course runs from August 1-17.

**Students accepted to the course often receive GENEROUS scholarships towards tuition and travel. **

The course website and on-line application give more details about the costs and the application process. You will need letters of reference so don’t delay if you want to apply. The application deadline is April 11, 2012.

Deadlines for meetings and courses

The MSA abstract deadline is today (March 15) for the 2012 meeting at Yale this summer

Application for the Woods Hole Molecular Mycology course is April 11 at the Marine Biological Lab.  A fantastic summer course providing hands-on molecular experience with techniques in working with filamentous and yeast biology and a series of lectures on topics from fungal pathogenesis, immunology, animal models, career development, and some basic techniques for fungal bioinformatics. The course is August 1-17.

The Gordon Conference on Cellular and Molecular Fungal Biology is coming June 17-22 in Holderness, NH. The deadline for registration is May 20 but it can be oversubscribed so go register now if you want to attend.

MSA 2012 registration is open

The website for the MSA 2012 meeting to be held 16-18 July at Yale University  is now available on-line at

Abstract submission ( and registration ( will open February 1, and abstract submission will close on March 15.

The Karling Lecturer this year will given by Barbara Valent, Distinguished Professor of Genetics at Kansas State University.

Oxford summer school in Computational Biology

This looks fun!

Applications are invited from students with a strong background in mathematics, statistics, computer science, physics or chemistry, who will have completed at least two years of undergraduate study by summer 2012.

For more information see the attached flyer, and visit


Year end deadlines – register for the 2012 conferences

Don’t forget to sign up for the Neurospora 2012 conference by Dec 31, 2011. The meeting will be held at the Asilomar Conference grounds March 8-11.


The European Fungal Genetics meeting is help March 30-April 2, 2012 in Marburg, Germany and abstract submission is open until Jan 9, 2012 with registration closing on Jan 31, 2012. Asperfest 9 and several other satellite meetings will be held in conjunction with EFCG.