Chiung-Yu Hung, Ph.D.
Areas of Specialization
- Fungal Immunology
- Fungal Pathogenesis
- Medical Mycology
- Vaccine Development
Ph.D. in Biological Sciences; University of Texas at Austin
B.S. in Biology; National Taiwan Normal University
Dr. Hung's lab studies host-pathogen interactions, specifically host immunity to fungal infections with Coccidioides species. These fungi are known to live in the soil in the southwestern United States and parts of Mexico and Central and South America. An estimated 150,000 people in the United States become infected with Coccidioides annually. VF is typically transmitted by inhalation of airborne spores of Coccidioides spp. The most common clinical presentation of coccidioidomycosis is pulmonary disease while dissemination of infection to skin, bone, and central nerve system can occur. Patients who present with severe acute pneumonia, chronic pulmonary VF, and disseminated coccidioidomycosis require antifungal therapy, which is potentially life-long with currently available drugs. There is an urgent and unmet need to develop better chemotherapies and a vaccine against Coccidioides infection.
The Hung Lab has the expertise, instrument and infrastructure to provide multidisciplinary training opportunities to students who are interested in immune mechanisms against fungal infection, vaccine development, production of recombinant antigens, and discovery of novel fungal chemotherapies. Students will gain hands-on experience in cutting-edge technologies to study host immune response and fungal pathogenesis.