How a Fungal Infection Could Be Driving Your Allergy—David Corry, MD—Baylor College of Medicine: Immunology, Allergy, and Rheumatology
Dr. Corry's Bio: David B. Corry is Professor of Pathology & Immunology and Medicine; Vice Chair for Immunology, Department of Pathology & Immunology at Baylor College of Medicine in Houston, Texas. Dr. Corry further holds the Fulbright Endowed Chair in Pathology. He received his M.D. degree from the University of Texas Southwestern Medical School and after residency training in Internal Medicine at Duke University Medical Center, he completed his clinical training in Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine at the University of California at San Francisco. In 1992, he joined the immunology laboratory of Dr. Richard Locksley to study mechanisms of T cell differentiation and immune injury. He then joined the faculty at San Francisco General Hospital as Adjunct Assistant Professor and in 1999 joined the faculty at Baylor College of Medicine. The primary objectives of Dr. Corry’s research are to discover the fundamental immune and environmental causes of chronic human inflammatory diseases to improve the diagnosis, prognosis, and therapy of these often profoundly disabling conditions. Dr. Corry’s laboratory discovered the seminal importance of the of the IL-4/IL-13 signaling pathway in asthma; the fundamental role that environmental and endogenous proteinases play in the pathogenesis of TH2-dependent allergic inflammation; the fibrinogen-Toll like receptor 4 interaction in the control of antifungal immunity and allergic inflammation; and the fungal infectious basis of allergic airway disease of humans, including chronic rhinosinusitis and asthma. In collaboration with Dr. Farrah Kheradmand, the Corry laboratory discovered the critical role that matrix metalloproteinases play in orchestrating allergic inflammation; first demonstrated the autoimmune TH1/TH17 basis of human emphysema; the critical roles that peroxisome proliferator activated receptor gamma (PPAR-g) and osteopontin play in emphysema; and that the primary disease-causing factor in tobacco smoke-related emphysema is nanoparticulate carbon black. Dr. Corry’s laboratory further pioneered the study of microRNAs (miRs) in pulmonary disease and discovered the pro-inflammatory role of let-7 miRs in experimental asthma and the critical role that miR-22 and histone deacetylase 4 (HDAC4) play in organizing pathologic TH17 responses in experimental emphysema. Most recently, Dr. Corry’s laboratory has discovered that low-grade fungal sepsis due to the yeast Candida albicans produces a durable cerebritis with features resembling Alzheimer’s Disease. Current research in the Corry laboratory is directed at translating these discoveries into improved diagnostic and therapeutic strategies for human allergic, smoking-related, and degenerative central nervous system diseases. Dr. David Corry is a physician and professor at Baylor College of Medicine who joins the show to discuss allergies, fungal infections, immunology, and so much more. In this episode, you will discover: What the most common reason is for death in people who suffer from asthma How a fungal infection could actually be the underlying cause of your allergic reaction to allergens in the environment Where in the body mycobiomes can be found, and what type of conditions they have been linked to Ever since the early days of his training as a physician, Dr. David Corry gravitated toward a strong clinical interest in diseases of the lungs, and discovered one of the major problems facing pulmonologists today: textbook and even the most advanced treatments don’t always work on some of the most common illnesses, including chronic sinusitis and asthma. Further, the more severe the disease, the less likely it is that treatment will work. This sparked Dr. Corry’s interest and compelled him to examine what is really going on with these conditions and how diagnoses and treatments for them might be improved. Dr. Corry’s clinic focuses on treating advanced, potentially life-threatening inflammatory airway diseases, as well as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) or emphysema that are complicated by sensitization to pollens or molds, which in turn leads to a particular pattern of inflammation called eosinophilic bronchitis. By using techniques that have been developed over the course of ten years’ worth of research using mouse models, Dr. Corry and his team have been targeting the core problem that underlies these different conditions. What might that problem be? This question leads him to explain one of the most important discoveries uncovered through his research, which is that in addition to continual exposure to an allergen such as pollen or cedar or mold, there is a factor that drives these allergies: airway mycosis, or the growth of mold in the airway. Dr. Corry explains what is really meant by the broad term “allergies” and the many different forms it can take in different people, how airway mycosis not only worsens but can also cause the symptoms of allergies, and how he treats his patients having been equipped with this knowledge. He also discusses the difficulty in prescribing antifungal medication, the presence of mycobiomes in the human body, and some of the most common sources of mold growth that you might not think of (and what to do about them). He shares the specifics of the research he and his team are currently conducting, which aims to determine why only a small percentage of people develop serious disorders related to airway mycosis. He explains his two-fold hypothesis and when they expect to have sufficient data on the matter. Tune in for all the details and visit https://www.bcm.edu/people-search/david-corry-19841 to learn more.