Arturo Casadevall, MD
- Chair, Molecular Microbiology & Immunology
- Bloomberg Distinguished Professor
- Molecular Microbiology and Immunology (Primary)
- School of Medicine (Primary)
615 N. Wolfe Street
Baltimore, Maryland 21205
MD, New York University, 1985
PhD, New York University, 1984
MS, New York University, 1983
Perhaps the most important medical advance in history was the reduction in deaths by infectious diseases in the 20th century. This resulted from improved sanitation, the development of many vaccines and the introduction of antibiotics. Unfortunately, the last two decades have witnessed a return of infectious diseases as a major contributor to death and illness. The causes include the emergence of new pathogens (disease-causing agents), the spread of resistant organisms, medical progress that predisposes to infection, and the HIV pandemic. Also, medical researchers are realizing that many organisms can be engineered as biological weapons, providing a new specter for terrorism. These two phenomena have heightened the resurgence of research in microbes (disease-causing microorganisms) and the means by which they cause disease. Furthermore, it is now apparent that all healthy humans have a complex microbial flora that regulates many of the physiological process of the body and contributes to both wellness and disease. These changes, together with tremendous advances in immunology and molecular biology have launched a new golden age of microbiological research.
Dr. Arturo Casadevall is a microbiologist and immunologist. His laboratory studies two fundamental questions: First, how do microbes cause disease? Second, how do hosts, such as humans, protect themselves against microbes? To address these large questions, the laboratory has a multidisciplinary research program spanning several areas of basic immunology and microbiology.
A major focus of the laboratory is the fungus Cryptococcus neoformans, a ubiquitous environmental microbe that is a frequent cause of disease in individuals with impaired immunity. The fungus causes lung infection, including a particularly dangerous fungal meningitis observed primarily in immune-compromised patients such as those with AIDS. Many of the laboratory’s projects seek to understand how hosts defend against C. neoformans and how the Cryptococcus organism’s virulence contributes to disease. For example, melanin production in C. neoformans, is associated with virulence. Melanin is a pigment with an undefined chemical structure and tremendous physical stability. This pigment accumulates in the cell wall of C. neoformans and allows growth and budding to occur. But melanin research also has wide reach: an antibody to fungal melanin made in the Casadevall laboratory is currently in evaluation for the treatment of melanoma, a type of skin cancer.
In recent years the laboratory has also worked with other microorganisms including Bacillus anthracis, a bacterium that causes anthrax and is a major agent of biological warfare because it produces spores that can be easily dispersed. The laboratory is interested in devising antibody-based countermeasures to protect against anthrax.
Honors and Awards
Stanley Konkol Memorial Award, 1979
Chemistry Department Service Award, 1979
Salk Scholarship, 1979-1983
Medical Scientist Training Program Fellowship, 1979-l985
Montefiore Fellow of the Year Award, 1989
Pfizer Postdoctoral Fellowship Award, 1990
James S. McDonnell Scholar Award, 1992
Burroughs Wellcome Trust Fund Developmental Therapeutics Award, 1996
Foundation for Microbiology Lectures Program 1997-1998
Elected to the American Society for Clinical Investigation 1999
Melini Award 1999
Leo M. Davidoff Society (for outstanding teaching) 2001
Sam Rosen Award for outstanding teaching in Pre-Clinical Curriculum 2001
Alpha Omega Alpha 2002
Elected to Fellowship in American Academy of Microbiology 2002
Burroughs Wellcome Visiting Professorship to University of Wisconsin 2002
Elected to American Association of Physicians 2004
Solomon A Berson Medical Alumni Achievement Award in Basic Science -NYU School of Medicine 2005
Elected AAAS Fellow 2006
Maxwell L. Littman Award (mycology award) 2006
Rhoda Benham Award from Medical Mycology Society of America 2007
NIH Merit Award 2007
ASM William Hinton Award 2008 (for mentoring scientists from underrepresented groups)
Albert Einstein College of Medicine Faculty Mentoring Award 2008
Elected to the Inter Urban Club 2010
ASM Founders Award Distinguished Service Award 2014
Elected to the Institute of Medicine 2014
- molecular microbiology and immunology:pathogenic microbes:cryptococcus neoformans:cryptococcosis:anthrax:bacillus anthracis:mycobacterium tuberculosis:vaccines
Casadevall A, Pirofski LA. What is a host? Incorporating themicrobiota into the damage-response framework. Infect Immun. 2015 Jan;83(1):2-7. doi: 10.1128/IAI.02627-14. Epub 2014 Nov 10. Review. PMID: 25385796.
Fang FC, Casadevall A. (2015) Competitive Science: Is Competition ruining science. Infect Immun. 2015 Jan 20. pii: IAI.02939-14. [Epub ahead of print]. PMID 25605760.
Achkar Achkar JM, Chan J, Casadevall A. (2015) B cells and antiboides in the defense against Mycobacterium tuberculosis infection. Immunol Rev. Mar;264(1):167-81. doi: 10.1111/imr.12276. PMID: 25703559
Coelho C, Oliveira Souza AC, Derengowski L, de Leon-Rodriguez C, Wang B, Leon-RiveraR, Bocca, AL, Gonçalves T, Casadevall A (2015) Macrophage mitochondrial and stress response to ingestion of Cryptococcus neoformans. J. Immunol. Mar 1;194(5):2345-57. doi: 10.4049/jimmunol.1402350. Epub 2015 Feb 2. PMID: 25646306
Duprex WP, Casadevall A (2014) Falling down the Rabbit Hole: aTRIP Toward Lexiconic Precision in the "Gain-of-Function" Debate. MBio pii: e02421-14. doi: 10.1128/mBio.02421-14. PMID: 25505123
Imperiale MJ, Casadevall A (2014) Vagueness and Costs of the Pause on Gain-of-Function (GOF) Experiments on Pathogens with Pandemic Potential, Including Influenza Virus. MBio pii: e02292-14. doi: 10.1128/mBio.02292-14. PMID 25503219