James Kronstad



  • Fellow
  • Fungal Kingdom: Threats & Opportunities


  • University of British Columbia
Michael Smith Laboratories and Department of Microbiology and Immunology


  • Canada


PhD, (Microbiology and Immunology) University of Washington, Seattle
MS, (Microbiology and Immunology) University of Washington, Seattle
BS, (Microbiology and Immunology) Oregon State University


James Kronstad is a microbiologist and immunologist who is interested in several aspects of fungal biology including pathogenesis, morphogenesis and recognition events that occur during mating and upon infection of the host.

His current research efforts focus on fungi that threaten human health either as plant pathogens that challenge crop production or as the direct agents of infectious diseases.  His research group investigates nutrient sensing mechanisms that support proliferation of the maize pathogen Ustilago maydis in host tissue and works to identify mechanisms of pathogenesis for the AIDS-associated pathogen Cryptococcus neoformans.


Burroughs Wellcome Fund Scholar Award in Molecular Pathogenic Mycology

Fellow, American Academy of Microbiology, American Society for Microbiology

Fellow, American Association for the Advancement of Science

Relevant Publications

Kretschmer, M., Croll, D. and Kronstad, JW.  2016. Maize susceptibility to Ustilago maydis is influenced by genetic and chemical perturbation of floral regulation and carbohydrate allocation. Mol. Plant Pathol. 18(9):1222-1237.

Mayer FL, Kronstad JW. 2017. Disarming Fungal Pathogens: Bacillus safensis Inhibits Virulence Factor Production and Biofilm Formation by Cryptococcus neoformans and Candida albicans.  mBio. 8(5). Pii: e01537-17.

Kretschmer M, Lambie S, Croll D, Kronstad JW. 2018. Acetate provokes mitochondrial stress and cell death in Ustilago maydis. Mol Microbiol. 107(4):488-507.

Attarian R, Hu G, Sánchez-León E, Caza M, Croll D, Do E, Bach H, Missall T, Lodge J, Jung WH, Kronstad, JW. 2018. The monothiol glutaredoxin Grx4 regulates iron homeostasis and virulence in Cryptococcus neoformans. mBio. 9(6). Pii: e02377-18.

Caza M, Hu G, Neilson ED, Cho M, Jung WH, Kronstad JK.  2018. The vacuolar sorting protein Vps45 links iron uptake, mitochondrial function and virulence in the pathogenic fungus Cryptococcus neoformans.  PLoS Pathogens. 14(8):e1007220.