The Fungal Kingdom is remarkable in the breadth and depth of its impact on life on Earth. Its six million species produce everything from edible mushrooms to infectious disease, and have major impacts on human health, the food supply, and the environment.
The harm that fungi can do is startling, causing epidemics in staple crops that feed billions and producing toxins that contaminate food supplies and cause cancer. At the same time, fungi are tremendously beneficial. They produce antibiotics such as penicillin, as well as immunosuppressive drugs that inhibit transplant rejection and drugs that reduce the risk of heart disease. They are crucial to the production of food. And fungi play an important role in the health of plants.
The complexity of the Fungal Kingdom demands a multidisciplinary approach. This CIFAR team includes diverse experts to understand the unique facets of fungal biology and develop new strategies to mitigate the threats posed by fungi and harness their extraordinary potential.