The Center for Fungal Pathogenesis (CeFP) was established in 2008 as one of the premier science research centers (SRC) funded by the Korea Science and Engineering Foundation and the Ministry of Education, Science, and Technology.
Fungi are one of major eukaryotic kingdoms along with animals and plants. Fungi not only play an important role as key degraders in completing food-chain in the biological ecosystem, but also have a close relationship with human life in many aspects. Fungi are considered as important microorganisms for industrial purposes by producing a plethora of metabolites that can be used as drugs like antibiotics penicillin and biological materials of high economic values, such as various enzymes. In contrast to the beneficial roles, a number of fungi are pathogens that often cause lethal diseases in plants, animals, and humans. Damages caused by various fungal pathogens impose huge impacts on human life in social and cultural aspects as well as economical and industrial aspects. Therefore, demand for development of antifungal therapeutic methods of novel paradigm has been increasing due to the emergence of antifungal drug resistant strains and diverse pathogenic variants.
The major research goal of CeFP is to establish the novel paradigm for controlling fungal diseases by investigating the pathogenesis and virulence mechanism of plant and animal fungal pathogens. The main goal will be achieved by interdisciplinary and collaborative researches in systems levels of efforts between the following three main projects. The first project will tackle identification and characterization of fungal pathogenicity determinants. The second project will characterize signaling and regulation mechanisms of fungal pathogenicity. Finally, the third project aims to construct predictive and integrative in silico models for system-level approaches to study fungal pathogenicity. Our study of fungal pathogens with wide range of life-cycle and host specificity through multi-disciplines, biochemistry, cellular and molecular biology, genetics, structural biology, phylogenetics, genomics, proteomics, bioinformatics and systems biology, will not only provide novel paradigm for fungal pathogenesis research, but also lead development of eukaryotic systems biology that is emerging as a new interdisciplinary science field.