Medical Research Council and University of Exeter


Welcome to Fungicast! Our podcast series exploring topical issues relating to medical mycology and the wider world of fungi with our researchers and special invited guests.

Episode 1:

What do dinosaurs, Alexander the Great, and Napoleon have in common?

Join host Sarah Campbell as she explores the potency, power and potential of fungi with Professor Neil Gow, a lead researcher at the MRC Centre for Medical Mycology, and Merlin Sheldrake, biologist and author of the excellent 2020 book Entangled Life: How Fungi Make Our Worlds, Change Our Minds, and Shape Our Futures. The conversation delves into some big fungal questions, including how fungi can coax us towards a more interconnected world-view, and what role fungi might play in the climate crisis.

Episode 2:

Researching fungal infections in children 

Over half of people with the condition Cystic Fibrosis have the fungus Aspergillus in their lungs, which can cause problems with breathing and lead to very reduced lung function. This disease particularly impacts on children, and in this episode of Fungicast, Paediatric Infectious Diseases Specialist Professor Adilia Warris, a Co-Director of the MRC Centre for Medical Mycology, discusses the research being undertaken with colleagues at the Royal Devon and Exeter Hospital, and St George’s Hospital London, to improve the outcomes for children. Prof. Warris is joined by MRC Centre for Medical Mycology Clinical Research Fellows and hospital consultants Dr Emily Chesshyre, and Dr Laura Ferreras-Antolin.

Episode 3:

Did fungi help to kill the dinosaurs?

Eminent microbiologist Professor Arturo Casadevall of John Hopkins University in the USA is a leading proponent of the theory that microscopic fungi played a role in the downfall of the mighty dinosaur. In this episode of Fungicast, Professor Gordon Brown, Director of the MRC Centre for Medical Mycology and Prof. Casadevall discuss this theory, and what it might tell us about the fungal threat to humans on a warming planet in the 21st Century.