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American Society for Microbiology honors Xiaorong Lin for work on Cryptococcus neoformans

American Society for Microbiology

The 2009 American Society for Microbiology (ASM) ICAAC Young Investigator Award will be presented to Xiaorong Lin, Assistant Professor, Department of Biology, Texas A & M University, College Station. Sponsored by Merck U.S. Human Health, this award recognizes early career scientists for research excellence in microbiology and infectious diseases.

C. neoformans, an opportunistic fungal pathogen, has a defined sexual cycle with two mating types. In nature and clinical isolates though, one mating type (α) predominates. Dr. Lin's work provided evidence for a modified form of the sexual cycle involving only one mating type suggesting that the population can undergo sexual recombination despite the presence of predominantly only one mating type. This work implies that recombination can produce spores with greater genetic diversity, and it can have profound effects on how pathogenic characteristics appear in a population.

Dr. Lin established her lab at Texas A & M in 2008. Her first independent studies described the use of agrobacterium as a transkingdom mutagenesis tool for Asperigillus fumigatus and showed that pigment mutants are highly virulent in a heterologous host model system.

Dr. Lin received her Ph.D. from the University of Georgia and completed her postdoctoral fellowship at Duke University Medical Center.

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The ICAAC Young Investigator Award will be presented during ASM's 49th Interscience Conference on Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy, September 12-15, 2009 in San Francisco, CA. ASM is the world's oldest and largest life science organization and has more than 43,000 members worldwide. ASM's mission is to advance the microbiological sciences and promote the use of scientific knowledge for improved health, economic, and environmental well-being.

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