Medical Research Council and University of Exeter


Watch longer talks given by our scientists on their research into medical mycology. These talks are aimed at audiences age 14+.

We will add more talks here so please check back for updates.

Talk 1:

How does our immune response combat ‘hidden killers’?

Dr Peter Cook

This talk was recorded in 2020 during lockdown, for the University of Exeter’s ‘Discover University’ programme for prospective students.  

Our immune response has a huge challenge: it has to continually respond and clear ‘germs’ to ensure we stay fit and healthy. Traditionally, when we think of germs most people tend to think of bacteria, parasites or viruses. However, infections caused by fungi are a huge burden on global health, as highlighted by the fact that more people die from these compared to malaria and tuberculosis. Despite this, fungal infections remain understudied compared to these other infectious diseases and there is much we do not understand.

Dr Peter Cook is a Wellcome Trust Sir Henry Dale Fellow at the MRC Centre for Medical Mycology. Peter’s research focuses on understanding how the lung-airway environment influences innate immunity to mediate anti-fungal allergic disease, a recognised key neglected area of research.

Talk 2:

My life with a Killer Fungus!

Professor Neil Gow

This talk was recorded in 2020 during lockdown, for the University of Exeter’s ‘Britain Needs Scientists’ programme for prospective students.  

Professor Neil Gow is Deputy Vice-Chancellor for Research and Impact and Professor of Microbiology at the University of Exeter.  His research speciality is in medical mycology and in particular the study of the structure and immunology of fungi that cause life-threatening infections.  He is a Fellow of the Royal Society, the Academy of Medical Sciences, Royal Society of Edinburgh and American Academy of Microbiology and has acted as President of four major international societies of mycology and microbiology.

Talk 3:

Your Body is a Planet

Léonie Hampton, Prof. Neil Gow and Prof. Elaine Bignell

For the University Of Exeter’s Arts and Culture Exchange Symposium, Devon based artist Léonie Hampton discusses her embedded residency with the University’s MRC Centre for Medical Mycology (CMM) alongside Prof. Neil Gow and Prof. Elaine Bignell from the University of Exeter. During the talk Léonie touches on her interdisciplinary exploration of ideas and practices around biomedical research at the CMM, including ways in which the scientific process of discovery and invention can be understood and represented. Chaired by Brigid Howarth, Head of Society, Culture and Organisations (IIB), University of Exeter.

Talk 4:

Deadly fungus in your brain: a tale of Cryptococcus neoformansis 

Dr Carolina Coelho

The MRC CMM’s Dr Carolina Coelho speaks about her research for Soapbox Science Bristol 2021, a day celebrating female researchers. This unique platform brings together women from different research institutes, fields of Science and career stages to share their cutting edge STEMM research with the public and to promote the visibility of women in Science.