-- Theories Covered to Include Extraterrestrial Introduction of Disease, Microbes as the Cause of Dinosaur Extinction, and Global Warming as a Factor in the Increase of Infectious Diseases --
The first presentation in the college’s Distinguished Speaker Seminar series will feature Queens College alumnus Arturo Casadevall M.D., Ph.D., renowned interdisciplinary researcher in microbiology and immunology at the Johns Hopkins School of Public Health. Casadevall earned a B.A. in Chemistry from Queens College in 1979.
Among the more than 1.5 million fungal species in existence, only about 150–300 cause disease in humans, and of these, only 10–15 are relatively common. In contrast to mammals, insects and plants are highly susceptible to fungal diseases. Using insights from the fungal kingdom, Casadevall will explore how certain microbes acquire the capacity to produce disease through interactions with non-animal hosts that, under certain conditions, produce disease in humans. He will examine the notion that a human being’s controlled body temperature prevents the majority of fungal species from developing into disease-producing toxins. Other topics to be explored include whether disease could have been acquired extraterrestrially, leading to the demise of dinosaurs and the rise of mammals. Casadevall will also comment on the potential consequences of climate warming for the emergence and proliferation of infectious diseases, and what we can do to reduce the global burden of disease.
This lecture is supported in part by a grant from Con Edison.
Friday, April 7, 10 am
Queens College Science Building C-201
65-30 Kissena Boulevard, Queens, NY 11367
Click here for directions to QC, and here for a campus map.
Background: Arturo Casadevall was born in Sancti Spíritus, Cuba, in 1957. He moved to Elmhurst, Queens, in 1968 and became a U.S. citizen in 1976. Casadevall received his Bachelor of Arts degree in Chemistry from Queens College, City University of New York, in 1979, and his M.S. and Ph.D. in Biochemistry from New York University in 1983 and 1984. He then received his M.D. from New York University in 1985. Casadevall completed his internship and residency in internal medicine at the Bellevue Hospital Center, and a fellowship in infectious diseases at the Montefiore Medical Center of the Albert Einstein College of Medicine. He held a postdoctoral fellowship in cell biology at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine from 1989 to 1991.
In March 2015 Casadevall was named a Bloomberg Distinguished Professor at Johns Hopkins University for his accomplishments as an interdisciplinary researcher and excellence in teaching. He holds appointments in the Bloomberg School of Public Health’s Department of Molecular Microbiology and Immunology and the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine’s Department of Infectious Diseases.
He was recognized by the American Society for Microbiology with the William Hinton Award for “outstanding contributions toward fostering the research training of underrepresented minorities in microbiology.”