Please note: This is an open invitation and may be forwarded to interested parties.
Intrinsic and acquired drug resistance of microbial
pathogens poses a grave threat to human health and has enormous economic
consequences worldwide. Fungal pathogens present a particular challenge because
they are eukaryotes and share many of the same biological processes as the
human hosts they infect. The number of drug classes that have distinct targets
in fungi is very limited and the usefulness of current antifungal drugs is
compromised by dose-limiting host toxicity and the frequent emergence of
high-grade resistance. New, non-cross-reactive drugs for the treatment of
life-threatening fungal infections are urgently needed. This session will focus
on our recent work to address this challenge, examining functional genomics,
chemical biology and structure guided drug design. Novel compound classes with
potent single agent antifungal activity will also be highlighted, in addition
to those that have synergistic activity with current antifungal drugs to enable
resistance-disfavoring combination regimens.
By the end of this session, participants will be able to:
- Apply genomic approaches to dissect mechanisms
of fungal pathogenesis;
Demonstrate how fungal virulence strategies can
impact clinical outcomes of fungal infection;
Implement strategies for antifungal drug
Demonstrate potential application of emerging
agents for the treatment of challenging fungal infections.
E. Cowen, Ph.D
E. Cowen, Ph.D., is Professor and Chair of the Department of
Molecular Genetics at the University of Toronto. She received her undergraduate
degree from the University of British Columbia, a PhD from the University of
Toronto and pursued postdoctoral studies at the Whitehead Institute. Her
laboratory takes an interdisciplinary approach to understand fungal
pathogenesis and develop new therapeutic strategies. Dr. Cowen has been recognized
with a Burroughs Wellcome Fund Career Award, Grand Challenges Canada Star in
Global Health Award, Canada Research Chair in Microbial Genomics &
Infectious Disease, and Fellowship of the American Academy of Microbiology. She is co-founder of Bright Angel Therapeutics, which
leverages state-of-the-art technologies for development of novel antifungal
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