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Arturo Casadevall, M.D., M.S., Ph.D.

Photo of Dr. Arturo Casadevall, M.D., M.S., Ph.D.

Chair, Department of Molecular Microbiology and Immunology, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health

Professor of Medicine

Research Interests: Molecular microbiology and immunology; Pathogenic microbes; Cryptococcus neoformans; Cryptococcosis; Anthrax; Bacillus anthracis; Mycobacterium tuberculosis; Vaccines

Background

Dr. Arturo Casadevall is a professor of medicine at the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine. He holds a joint appointment in molecular microbiology and immunology at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. His research focuses on how microbes cause disease and how the immune system defends itself.

Dr. Casadevall serves as chair of the W. Harry Feinstone Department of Molecular Microbiology and Immunology at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health.

He received his M.S., Ph.D. and M.D. from New York University.

Prior to joining Johns Hopkins, he served as director of the Center for Immunological Sciences at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine.

His team is currently engaged in understanding how hosts defend against the fungus Cryptococcus neoformans.

Dr. Casadevall’s work has been recognized with numerous awards, including the American Society for Microbiology Founders Distinguished Service Award, the National Institutes of Health Merit Award and the Rhoda Benham Award from Medical Mycology Society of America.

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Titles

  • Chair, Department of Molecular Microbiology and Immunology, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health
  • Professor of Medicine

Departments / Divisions

Education

Degrees

  • M.S., New York University (New York) (1983)
  • Ph.D., New York University (New York) (1984)
  • M.D., New York University (New York) (1985)

Research & Publications

Research Summary

Dr. Casadevall is a globally known expert in humoral immunity, molecular biology, virulence and cryptococcosis. The goal of his research is to protect people from harm caused by new pathogens and resistant organisms, and by compromised immune systems resulting from HIV, cancer therapy treatments and other causes.

Lab

Dr. Casadevall’s 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.

Selected Publications

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.

Fang FC, Casadevall A. "Competitive science: Is competition ruining science." Infect Immun. 2015 Jan 20. pii: IAI.02939-14.

Achkar JM, Chan J, Casadevall A. "B cells and antiboides in the defense against Mycobacterium tuberculosis infection." Immunol Rev. Mar;264(1):167-81. doi: 10.1111/imr.12276.

Coelho C, Oliveira Souza AC, Derengowski L, de Leon-Rodriguez C, Wang B, Leon-RiveraR, Bocca, AL, Gonçalves T, Casadevall A. "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.

Duprex WP, Casadevall A. "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.

Imperiale MJ, Casadevall A. "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.

Academic Affiliations & Courses

Courses and Syllabi

  • Research Forum in Molecular Microbiology and Immunology (260.821.01)
    Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health
    2015 - 2016
  • Seminars in Research in Molecular Microbiology and Immunology (260.822.01)
    Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health
    2015 - 2016

Activities & Honors

Honors

  • Bloomberg Distinguished Professor, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, 2015
  • Elected to the Institute of Medicine, 2014
  • ASM Founders Distinguished Service Award, American Society for Microbiology, 2014
  • Elected to the Interurban Clinical Club, 2010
  • Faculty Mentoring Award, Albert Einstein College of Medicine, 2008
  • William Hinton Award, American Society for Microbiology, 2008
  • Merit Award, National Institutes of Health,, 2007
  • Rhoda Benham Award, Medical Mycology Society of America, 2007
  • Maxwell L. Littman Award (Mycology Award), 2006
  • Elected AAAS Fellow, 2006
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