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Radamés J.B. Cordero, PhD

  • Research Associate

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PhD, Albert Einstein College of Medicine, 2012
MS, Albert Einstein School of Medicine, 2008
BS, University of Puerto Rico - Arecibo, 2005


I apply a variety of biophysical methods to study fungal biology. These studies comprised primary and collaborative research projects between national and international microbiologists, resulting in >42 peer-reviewed publications and >1460 citations since 2009. For my doctoral thesis work, I proposed the last-standing structural model of the Cryptococcus neoformans capsule, described its dynamic nature, and identified a new mechanism of capsular antibody function. Following my Ph.D. dissertation in 2012, I received the Young Talent Attraction Award to continue my research at the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro. During my two years in Brazil, I served in various faculty roles that validated my academic vocation, described fungal virulence synergism in a murine model of co-infection, and estimated the Average Publishable Unit in the life sciences. In 2015, I re-joined and re-located the Casadevall laboratory at Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, where I currently serve as a Junior Faculty member of the Harry Feinstone Molecular Microbiology and Immunology Department. I am actively developing a novel research program in thermal microbiology and fungal melanins. I am also pursuing the commercialization of melanin-based biomaterials for long-term manned space journeys. Through my research work, I seek to expand innovation via co-creation and curiosity-driven research that is of high-impact to society while promoting science communication and underrepresented populations in all fields of science.

Honors and Awards

2018 Seed Grant Technology Accelerator, JHU Bloomberg, Baltimore, MD

2017 Center for AIDS Research Award for Faculty Development, JHU, Baltimore, MD

2016 Biomedical Scholar Association Milestone for Academic Excellence, JHU, Baltimore, MD

2012-14 Young Talent Attraction Award, Science without Borders, CnPq/CAPES, Brasil

2008 Honors in Master of Science Degree (Class 2012), Einstein, USA

2007-09 T32 Molecular and Cellular Biology and Genetics Training Grant Award, NIH, USA

2005 Intramural Research Opportunity Program Award, NIAID, NIH, USA

2005 UPR President Award for Highest GPA in Microbiology Dept., 2005 Graduation, Arecibo, PR

2005 Graduate Minority Research Conference Travel Award, UC Irvine, USA

2004 Life Sciences Excellent Student Award, University of Puerto Rico

2004 Summer Research Associate Award, Purdue Cancer Center, NCI CURE Program, NIH

2004 Society of Toxicology Annual Meeting Travel Award, MD, USA

  • fungal melanin
  • polysaccharide capsule
  • microbial pathogenesis
  • Cryptococcus
  • radioprotection
  • energy budgets
  • thermal biology
  • infrared imaging
  • color-mediated thermoregulation
  • thermography
  • infrared camera
  • energy transduction
  • heat
  • temperature
  • solar
  • radiation shielding
  • energy storage
  • photovoltaics
  • scholarly communication practices

Most recent publications about melanin:

  • Impact of Yeast Pigmentation on Heat Capture and Latitudinal Distribution. Cordero RJB, Robert V, Cardinali G, Arinze ES, Thon SM, Casadevall A. Curr Biol. 2018 Aug 20;28(16):2657-2664.
  • Cell-wall dyes interfere with Cryptococcus neoformans melanin deposition Perez-Dulzaides R, Camacho E, Cordero RJB, Casadevall A. Microbiology. 2018 Aug;164(8):1012-1022.
  • Melanin for space travel radioprotection. Cordero RJB. Environ Microbiol. 2017 Jul;19(7):2529-2532.
  • Melanin, Radiation, and Energy Transduction in Fungi Casadevall A, Cordero RJB, Bryan R, Nosanchuk J, Dadachova E. Microbiol Spectr. 2017 Mar;5(2).
  • Functions of fungal melanin beyond virulence Cordero RJB and Casadevall A. Fungal Biology Reviews. Volume 31, Issue 2, March 2017, Pages 99-112.
  • Structure and Function of the Cryptococcal Capsule
  • Structure and Functions of Fungal Melanins
  • Thermal biology of fungi