The Fungus Testing Laboratory (FTL) is involved in various areas of mycological research. The Antifungal Susceptibility Testing section is heavily involved in research with the pharmaceutical industry, as well as with small biotech companies, in the search for new antifungal compounds. Efforts begin at the discovery stage when new compounds are evaluated for activity, and continue into the final stage of filing for FDA licensure. The FTL maintains a sizable collection of clinical isolates and can test a large battery of fungi against various types of compounds with potential antifungal activity. Similar interactions occur with the cosmetic industry where additives are evaluated for possible inclusion in OTC products. In addition, as a member of the Subcommittee on Antifungal Susceptibility Testing of the National Committee for Clinical Laboratory Standards, the FTL conducts numerous research studies in the development of standardized methods for antifungal susceptibility testing. The FTL is also at the forefront of evaluating new diagnostic products/systems for performance standards.
As the central laboratory for a large number of clinical trials, the FTL acts as a full-service laboratory and actively assists with protocol development and design, supply distribution, and reporting, as well as infection confirmation. At the completion of clinical trials, the FTL is frequently involved in developing responses to FDA queries.
In the Special Chemistry section, HPLC, GLC, and bioassay methods are developed and validated to determine antifungal drug levels in biological fluids and tissues. Data from human and animal pharmacokinetic studies, correlated with dosing regimens, assists in the determination of the distribution/concentration of these compounds at various body sites.
Taxonomic research studies are carried out in the Fungal Identification section. This research consist of conducting mating and physiological studies, tracking emerging agents from various parts of the globe, publishing descriptions of these new agents of disease, and describing new taxa.