Welcome to the Cowen lab!

We are focused on the overarching goals of understanding what allows some microbes to exploit the host and cause disease, and developing new strategies to thwart drug resistance and treat life-threatening infections.

Research in the Cowen lab focuses on diverse facets of the biology and evolution of fungal pathogens, which have a staggering impact on human health. These eukaryotic pathogens infect billions of people worldwide and kill in excess of 1.5 million per year, on par with prominent bacterial or protozoan pathogens such as those causing tuberculosis or malaria. Treatment of invasive fungal infections is notoriously difficult, and mortality rates range from 30 to 90%, depending on the pathogen and patient population. Our goal is to address the pressing need for new antifungal drugs through an innovative and interdisciplinary approach that includes chemical genomics, functional genomics, experimental evolution, models of host-pathogen interaction, microbiome analysis of patient populations, and structure-guided drug design.

We are located in the heart of Toronto’s Discovery District.

Our laboratory is part of the Department of Molecular Genetics at the University of Toronto, a premier research institute and world-leader in biomedical research. The broad scope of award-winning research spearheaded in over 100 labs in the Department provides a rich environment for collaboration and innovation.

We are a dynamic and driven team with a passion for deciphering mechanisms underpinning microbial drug resistance, development, and disease. We are always looking for motivated researchers to join our team.