Tag Archives: infection

Postdoc: Aspergillus Pathogenesis and Immune Activation Dartmouth

A postdoctoral position is available to study the molecular mechanisms of pathogenesis and host defense during Aspergillus fumigatus infection. The project will focus on fungal and host factors that are responsive to in vivo oxygen levels which subsequently modulate virulence and host inflammatory responses in clinically relevant models of aspergillosis.

Two years of initial funding are guaranteed for generating data and applying for independent funding. Applicants should have a PhD in microbiology, immunology or closely related field. Experience in molecular mycology and/or immunology are preferred, but those interested in mycology from other backgrounds are welcome to apply.

The Cramer Laboratory is located at the Geisel School of Medicine at Dartmouth in Hanover, New Hampshire in the Department of Microbiology and Immunology. The position affords the opportunity to utilize state-of-the-art facilities and resources associated with a major research and teaching institution, while enjoying the quality of life characteristic of the upper valley in New England.

For further information on our institution and department see: http://geiselmed.dartmouth.edu and http://geiselmed.dartmouth.edu/microbio/. For the Cramer laboratory, see http://www.thecramerlab.com and the Dartmouth Lung Biology Center: http://www.dartmouth.edu/~lbcobre/.

PDF: CramerDartmouth_Postdoc_2014

Bats beware of white nose

An outbreak of a fungal infection called “white-nose syndrome” is killing bats in the Northeastern US.  This New Scientist article mentions the outbreak briefly and an NPR story and recent Boston Globe story also gives it some coverage.  Sounds like we still don’t know much about the causal agent or how it is killing the bats at this time, but some researchers, including Elizabeth Buckles at Cornell University, Vishnu Chaturvedi at NY State Dept of Health, and Jon Reichard at Boston University are working on it.

This is of course old news if you read what Hyphoid Logic has been saying.

That there is a previously undescribed cold loving fungus sounds very interesting, there have been some recent discoveries of psychrophilic fungi like Cryptococcus laurentii and Rhodotorula himalayensis so it would be interesting to learn more when the researchers publish some of these results.

Some more links

Thanks Kathyrn B for reminder about this story.

Cochliobolus genome released

Just noticed that the JGI has released the Cochliobolus heterostrophus genome sequence at their site predicting 9,633 protein-coding genes.  Torrey Mesa Research Institute had access to a sequence many years ago, but it isn’t until now that public version of this genome is available.  Cochliobolus is has been a model plant pathogen system and its production of T-Toxin by a PKS gene (Yang et al).

Coprinus on the heart?

Here’s a fungal infection you don’t hear much about. One of the fungi we work on, a model for mushroom development as it can be fruited in the lab is Coprinopsis cinerea (previously named Coprinus cinereus). C. cinerea is a saprobric coprophillic fungus so it is usually found on dung.  Although rare in human infections there are a few reports in immunocopromised patients.  Below is an abstract describing isolation of C. cinerea from an implanted heart valve from a pig. This definitely not its typical habitat and Coprinus growing in yeast form I’m sure I’ve really heard of either.  Would be great to see if the clinical strains are still sexually competent and/or are significantly different in other ways (growth rate, resistance to drugs and oxidative stress) from the wild or laboratory strains.

A 77-year-old female initially presented with symptomatic mitral valve stenosis involving a bioprosthesis that had been implanted 8 months earlier for myxomatous mitral valve disease and severe valvular regurgitation. The patient was taken for a second mitral valve replacement due to stenosis. Intraoperatively, the bioprosthetic mitral valve was noted to have an unusual clot-like mass on the atrial side. Initial fungal smears were positive for yeast stains, and pathology revealed extensive colonization by thick filamentous fungus with apparent true hyphae, pseudohyphae, and yeast forms. The fungus was identified as Hormographiella aspergillata, the asexual form of Coprinus cinereus, a common inky cap mushroom that grows in the lawn.

Continue reading Coprinus on the heart?

Coccidioides in the news

The NY Times has an article on the high rate of Coccidioides incidence at the state prison in Pleasant Valley, California. The infection rate has been documented by Pappagianis et al in an in-depth study of Coccidioidomycosis in the California state prisons. The disease has stalled some plans for constructing a new prison the edge of the San Joaquin Valley so the state is definitely taking note.

Cocci map
Also see Figure here with prettier links.

Thanks Liz!

Fungal Genetics 2007 details

I’m including a recapping as many of the talks as I remember. There were 6 concurrent sessions each afternoon so you have to miss a lot of talks. The conference was bursting at the seams as it was- at least 140 people had to be turned away beyond the 750 who attended.

If there was any theme in the conference it was “Hey we are all using these genome sequences we’ve been talking about getting”. I only found the overview talks that solely describe the genome solely a little dry as compared to those more focused on particular questions. I guess my genome palate is becoming refined.

Continue reading Fungal Genetics 2007 details