Friday , February 23 2024

Momentum Builds Around Valley Fever Research With Funding Boosts

Researchers have been trying to understand valley fever for decades, but the playing field remained small until recently. “When I started in valley fever research just six or seven years ago, the field was largely full of professors and senior clinicians and really didn’t have many of the junior faculty and students as part of the group,” said Katrina Hoyer, an assistant professor at the University of California, Merced. “I think they really wanted people, there just wasn’t much funding.” Hoyer is an immunologist studying the human body’s response to valley fever, which results from breathing fungal spores and is common in California’s Central Valley. After embarking in 2013 on what she thought would be a one-time collaboration to study the disease, she got hooked, and now runs a cocci-centric lab with contributions from graduate and undergraduate students. Where Hoyer really sees change, however, is in interest from other researchers. In October, she was tasked with hosting UC Merced
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