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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: August 3, 2011
Contact: Susan Joslin, (508) 289-7281; email@example.com
Carnegie Mellon Professor to Discuss Pathogenesis and Drug Resistance of Infectious Fungus at MBL Friday Evening Lecture, August 12
WOODS HOLE, MAAaron Mitchell, professor of Biological Sciences at Carnegie Mellon University, will discuss his research on the infectious fungus Candida albicans at the August 12 MBL (Marine Biological Laboratory) Friday Evening Lecture at 8:00 PM in the MBL's Lillie Auditorium, 7 MBL Street, Woods Hole. The lecture, titled "Genetic Insight into Candida Infection Biology" is free and open to the public.
Candida albicans is a type of yeast that approximately 80 percent of people have in their gastrointestinal and genitourinary tract with no ill effects. At elevated levels, it can cause non-life threatening conditions like thrush and yeast infections. A Candida albicans infection can become much more serious, and can be lethal, in those with compromised immune systems who have an implantable medical device or who use broad-spectrum antibiotics. Approximately 60,000 Americans develop such invasive Candida albicans infections each year.
Dr. Mitchells research focuses on various aspects of biology and genetics that are relevant to understanding pathogenesis and drug resistance in Candida albicans. This yeast often grows as biofilms, aggregates of microorganisms in which cells adhere to a surface and to each other. Millions of people with implanted medical devices such as pacemakers or artificial joints (surfaces where biofilms can form) and those who take broad-spectrum antibiotics are at especially high risk. Mitchell studies the genes that regulate Candida biofilm formation and growth, in hopes of discovering drug targets that could disrupt this process and prevent deadly infection.
Dr. Mitchell is a professor of Biological Sciences at Carnegie Mellon University (CMU). He also serves as director of the Howard Hughes Medical Institute programs at CMU, which provide research experiences for undergraduates in the biological sciences. He received a B.S. in Biology from Carnegie Mellon University and a Ph.D. in Microbiology from MIT. He was a course director in the MBLs Molecular Mycology course from 1997 through 2010.
On August 19, Erik M. Jorgensen from the University of Utah will present "Revisiting the Heuser and Reese Synapse in the 21st Century: Do Nerve Cells Kiss? the final lecture in the 2011 MBL Friday Evening Lecture series. For more information, visit www.mbl.edu/FEL.
The Marine Biological Laboratory (MBL) is dedicated to scientific discovery and improving the human condition through research and education in biology, biomedicine, and environmental science. Founded in 1888 in Woods Hole, Massachusetts, the MBL is an independent, nonprofit corporation.