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!