The summer course ?Molecular Mycology: Current approaches to Fungal Pathogenesis?? has been offered at the Marine Biological Laboratory since 1997 with the purpose to? make the area of Medical Mycology accessible to those whose training involved other? organisms, and to provide molecular training for classical Medical Mycologists. There is? a great need for effective training of researchers who can address the molecular aspects? of fungi in an effort to prevent, diagnose and treat infections caused by the fungal? pathogens in immuno-compromised individuals. Eighteen students who are outstanding? graduate, post-graduate and experienced investigators are immersed in an intensive? three-week lecture-laboratory intensive schedule.
The aims of the course are to provide? the students with: an introduction to the biology and pathogenesis of medically-important? fungi; laboratory training in manipulation of these fungi, especially the applications of? molecular and classical genetics, and assays of virulence and host-pathogen interaction;? and a broad perspective on experimental issues pertinent to these fungi, such as the? definition and determination of virulence, the determination of host responses relevant to? infection, and the identification of antifungal drug targets. The course provides an? introduction to the biology and pathogenesis of medically important fungi, including? Candida albicans, Cryptococcus neoformans, and Aspergillus fumigatus. Specific? laboratory exercises include biolistic transformation and manipulation of the? Cryptococcus genome, tetrad dissection and meiotic analysis in fungal pathogens? having sexual cycles, the use of gene disruption in analyses of gene function, gene? cloning strategies, in vivo pathogenecity assays, and the identification of antifungal drug? targets. During a relatively short period of time, this course has established a strong? reputation in the field. Both students and faculty are of the highest quality. Funding is? requested for partial support to continue this unique training opportunity in its present? form.