The worlds inside
and outside our bodies
teem with microorganisms,
don’t make us sick.
Fungi in particular
seem to leave mammals
alone. Of the 1.5
million known fungal
species, only a dozen
or so are relatively common human pathogens,
while insects and plants are frequent fungal targets.
Why the difference? Dr. Arturo Casadevall
will address that question—and the intriguing
possibility that the demise of dinosaurs and
the rise of mammals were linked by differing
susceptibility to fungal diseases—in the 2013
Joseph J. Kinyoun Memorial Lecture. The lecture
is scheduled for Monday, Dec. 16 at 2:30
p.m. in Lipsett Amphitheater, Bldg. 10.
Casadevall is professor and chair of the department
of microbiology and immunology at
Albert Einstein College of Medicine of Yeshiva
University in New York. His research centers
on the questions of how microbes cause disease
and how hosts, such as humans, defend themselves.
To explore this dynamic relationship,
Casadevall and colleagues have long examined Cryptococcus neoformans, a common fungus that
is harmless to healthy people but can cause serious
disease, including lung infections and fungal
meningitis, in immune-compromised people
such as those with HIV/AIDS. Many of the
laboratory’s projects seek to understand how
hosts defend against C. neoformans and how the
organism’s virulence contributes to disease.
Casadevall received doctoral and medical
degrees from New York University and completed
an internship and residency in internal
medicine at Bellevue Hospital in New York City.
He is the author of more than 570 papers and
currently serves as editor-in-chief of the online,
open-access journal mBio. Casadevall is a fellow
of the American Association for the Advancement
of Science and serves on the National
Science Advisory Board for Biosecurity and cochairs
the NIAID board of scientific counselors.
NIAID established the Kinyoun Lecture series
in 1979 to honor Dr. Joseph J. Kinyoun, who in
1887 founded the Laboratory of Hygiene, forerunner
of the NIH, which launched a new era of
scientific study of infectious diseases.