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Dr. Garry Cole

Dr. Garry Cole

Professor and Margaret Batts Tobin Endowed Chair in Medical Mycology


Research Profile


Research Interests

Research  in our laboratory is focused on development of human and veterinary vaccines against a fungal disease, as well as investigations of virulence mechanisms of medically-important fungi. Fungal infections of  humans continue to escalate, particularly as the number of immune compromised  patients increases. Coccidioides is both an opportunistic and primary fungal pathogen of humans that can cause mild to fatal respiratory disease (coccidioidomycosis, San Joaquin Valley fever, desert rheumatism) even  in immunocompetent individuals. About 30 million people reside in the endemic regions of this respiratory disease in the United States (West Texas to Southern California), and over 350,000 military personnel are stationed in semi-desert areas where Coccidioides is abundant in the soil. Inhalation of as few as 10 Coccidioides spores has been shown to cause symptomatic disease in primates. More than 40% of people infected with this microbe develop symptomatic disease. The health impact and cost of long-term antifungal therapy of patients who contract this infection support the need for a vaccine. A compelling argument for the feasibility of  generating a vaccine against coccidioidomycosis is based on retrospective clinical observations that symptomatic human infection with Coccidioides results in lifelong immunity against recurrent coccidioidal disease. Although about 50% of people exposed to Coccidioides may only experience mild discomfort and typically do not seek medical intervention, clinical evidence suggests that reactivation of the respiratory disease can occur months to years after the original insult. Therefore, even people with mild symptoms of Coccidioides infection are at risk of contracting the respiratory disease later in life. No person-to-person transmission of coccidioidomycosis is known to occur.

Curriculum Vitae


Recent Publications

Neafsey DE, B.M. Barker, T.J. Sharpton, J.E. Stajich, D.J. Park, E. Whiston, C.-Y. Hung, C. McMahan, J. White, S. Sykes, D. Heiman, S. Young, Q. Zeng, A. Abouelleil, L. Aftuck, D. Bessette, A. Brown, M. Fitzgerald, A. Lui, J.P. Macdonald, M. Priest, M.J. Orbach, J.N. Galgiani, T.N. Kirkland, G.T. Cole, B.W. Birren, M.R. Henn, J.W. Taylor and S.D. Rounsley. 2010. 

Population genomic sequencing of Coccidioides fungi reveals recent hybridization and transposoncontrol. Genome Research 20:938-946.


Gonzalez, A., C.-Y. Hung, and G. T. Cole. 2011.

Coccidioides releases a soluble factor that suppresses nitric oxide production by murine primary macrophages. Microbial Path. 50: 100-108.


Wüthrich, M., G. Benjamin, C.-Y. Hung, K. Ersland, N. Rocco, J. Pick-Jacobs, K. Galles, H.  Filutowicz, T. Warner, M. Evans, G. Cole, and B. Klein. 2011.

Vaccine-induced  protection against 3 mycoses endemic to North America requires Th 17 cells in mice. J. Clin. Invest.  121:554-568.


Gonzalez, A., C.-Y. Hung, and G. T. Cole. 2011.

Nitric oxide synthase is not required for the control of Coccidioides infection in mice. Microbial Path. 51:161-168.


Wüthrich, M., C.-Y. Hung, B. H. Gern, J. C. Pick-Jacobs, K. J. Galles, H. I. Filutowicz, G. Cole, and B. S. Klein. 2111.

A TCR transgenic mouse reactive with multiple systemic dimorphic fungi. J. Immunol. 187:1421-1431.


Hung, C.-Y., A. Gonzalez, M. Wüthrich, B. S. Klein, and G. T. Cole. 2011.

Vaccine immunity to coccidioidomycosis occurs by early activation of three signal pathways of T helper cell response (Th1, Th2, Th17). Infect. Immun. 79:4511-4522.


Gonzalez, A., C.-Y. Hung, and G. T. Cole. 2011.

Absence of phagocyte NADPH oxidase 2 leads to severe inflammatory response in lungs of mice infected with Coccidioides. Microbial Path. 51:432-441. 


Sanchez, C.S., B.J. Hurtgen, A. Lizcano, P. Shivshankar, G.T. Cole, and C.J. Orihuela. 2011.  

Biofilm and planktonic pneumococci demonstrate disparate immunoreactivity to human convalescent sera. BMC Microbiology 11:245-257.


Hung C.-Y., H. Z. Wise and G. T. Cole. 2012.

Gene disruption in Coccidioides using hygromycin or phleomycin resistance markers.  In Brand, A. C. and MacCallum, D. M. (eds.), Host-Fungus Interactions: Methods and Protocols. Humana Press, New York, Chap. 9, pp. 131-147.


Hung, C.-Y., M. Bellecourt, B. Hurtgen, S. D. Sanderson, E. Morgan, and G. T. Cole. 2012.

An agonist of human complement fragment C5a enhances vaccine immunity against Coccidioides infection. Vaccine 30:4681-4690.


Mgbemena, V., J.A. Segovia, T.-H. Chang, S.-Y. Tsai, G.T. Cole, C.-Y. Hung, and S. Bose. 2012.

Transactivation of inducible nitric oxide synthase gene by Kruppel-like factor 6 regulates apoptosis during influenza A virus infection. J. Immunol. 189:606-615.


Hurtgen, B.J., C.-Y. Hung, and G.T. Cole. 2012.

Construction and evaluation of a novel recombinant T cell epitope-based vaccine against coccidioidomycosis. Infect. Immun., submitted