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Ping Ren, PhDAssociate Professor

Department of Pathology
Associate Director of Clinical Microbiology Laboratory
Phone: (409) 772-5109
Email: piren@utmb.edu

Ping Ren, PhD

Fungal infections are increasing, and with the expanding use of new and established antifungal agents, antifungal resistance has become an important clinical problem. One of my research interests is to develop and standardize antifungal drug combination testing methods using traditional microbroth dilution and probe-based methods, with an ultimate goal to introduce these assays to routine clinical laboratory testing with short turnaround time. The second focus area is special investigations on clinical diagnoses such as fungal identification from paraffin-embedded tissues and other non-cultivable, non-viable specimens; real-time PCR assays on primary fungal pathogens including Coccidioides immitis/posadasii, Histoplasma capsulatum,Blastomyces dermatitidis, and Cryptococcus gattii/neoformans. The third area of my research interests is diagnostic method development and evaluation on any new emergent infectious organisms and infectious diseases.
BA Nanjing Normal University, Nanjing, China Biology 1991
PhD Georgia State University, Atlanta, GA Environmental Microbiology 1996
Post-doctoral Yale University, School of Public Health, New Haven, CT Epidemiology and Public Health 2000
The scanning electron photomicrograph showing sexual forms of Cryptococcus gattii (Filobasidiella bacillispora) with hyphae, basidia, and basidiospores was featured on the cover of Eukaryotic Cell July 2006, Volume 5, Issue 7 ( P. Ren et. al credits enclosed) and was also selected as Wadsworth Center's featured image.

Professional Affiliations

1992 - Present American Society for Microbiology

Appointments

2015 - Present Associate Director Division of Clinical Microbiology Department of Pathology, University of Texas Medical Branch, Galveston, Texas
2011 - 2015 Faculty Master of Science in Laboratory Sciences Program, Wadsworth Center, New York State Department of Health, Albany, New York
2000 - 2015 Research Scientist Mycology Laboratory, Department of Infectious Diseases, Wadsworth Center, New York State Department of Health, Albany, New York
2000 - 2015 NYSDOH Proficiency Test Coordinator Wadsworth Center, New York State Department of Health, Albany, New York
2000 - 2007 Consultant Department of Epidemiology and Public Health, Yale University School of Public Health, New Haven, Connecticut
2000 Associate Research Scientist Department of Epidemiology and Public Health, Yale University School of Public Health, New Haven, Connecticut

Editorial Responsibilities

2017 - Present Reviewer on the Clinical and Laboratory Standards Institute (CLSI)   Subcommittee on Antifungal Susceptibility Testing

Selected Publications

Roman, J., Bagla, P., Ren, P., Blanton, L.S., Berman, M.A. 2016.
Malassezia pachydermatis fungemia in an adult with multibacillary leprosy. Med. Mycol. Case Rep.12: 1-3.

2. Ren, P., Luo, M., Lin, S., Ghannoum, M.A., Isham, N, Diekema, D., Pfaller, M.A., Messer, S., Lockhart, S.R., Iqbal, N., and Chaturvedi, V. Multilaboratory testing of two-antifungal drug combinations against Candida species and Aspergillus fumigatus: utility of 100% inhibition as an end-point . Antimicrob. Agents Chemother. 2015. 59: 1759-1766.

3. Zhang, T., Ren, P., Chaturvedi, V., and Chaturvedi, S. Development of an Agrobacterium-mediated transformation system for the cold-adapted fungi Pseudogymnoascus destructans and P. pannorum. Fungal Genet Biol. 2015. 81: 73-81.

4. Ren, P., Chaturvedi, V., and Chaturvedi, S. Carbon dioxide is a powerful inducer of same sex (haploid fruiting) hyphae development in pathogenic yeast Cryptococcus gattii and carbonic anhydrase activity is dispensable in this dimorphic transition. PloS One. 2014. 9: e113147

5. Ren, P., Haman, K.H., Last, L.A., Rajkumar, S.S., Keel, M.K., and Chaturvedi, V. Clonal spread of Geomyces destructans among bats, midwestern and southern United States. Emerg. Infect. Dis. 2012. 18: 883-885.

6. Byrnes, E.J. 3rd*, Li, W.*, Ren. P.*, Lewit, Y., Voelz, K., Fraser, J.A., Dietrich, F.S., May, R.C., Chaturvedi, S., Chaturvedi, V., and Heitman, J. A diverse population of Cryptococcus gattii molecular type VGIII in southern Californian HIV/AIDS patients. PLoS Pathog. 2011.7:e1002205.

*These authors have contributed equally to this work.

7. Hemashettar, B.M., Patil, R.N., O'Donnell, K., Chaturvedi, V., Ren, P., and Padhye, A.A. Chronic rhino-facial mucormycosis caused by Mucor irregularis (= Rhizomucor variabilis in India. J. Clin. Microbiol. 2011. 49: 2372-2375.

8. Springer, D.J., Ren, P., Raina, R., Dong, Y., Behr, M.J., McEwen, B.F., Bowser, S.S., Samsonoff, W.A., Chaturvedi, S., and Chaturvedi, V. Extracellular fibrils of pathogenic yeast Cryptococcus gattii are important for ecological niche, murine virulence and human neutrophil interactions. PLoS One. 2010. 5: e10978.

9. Chaturvedi, V., Springer, D.J., Behr, M.J ., Ramani, R., Li, X., Peck, M.K., Ren, P., Bopp, D.J., Wood, B., Samsonoff, W.A., Butchkoski, C.M., Hicks, A .C., Stone, W.B., Rudd, R.J., and Chaturvedi, S. Morphological and molecular characterizations of psychrophilic fungus Geomyces destructans from New York bats with White Nose Syndrome (WNS). PLoS One. 2010. 5: e10783.

10. Loperena- Álvarez, Y. *, Ren, P.*, Li, X., Schoonmaker-Bopp, D.J., Ruiz, A., Chaturvedi, V., and Ríos-Velázquez, C. Genotypic characterization of environmental isolates of Cryptococcus gattii from Puerto Rico. Mycopathologia. 2010. 170: 279-285. Erratum in: Mycopathologia. 2010. 170: 287-289.

*These authors have contributed equally to this work.

11. Byrnes, E.J. 3rd, Li, W., Lewit, Y., Ma, H., Voelz, K., Ren, P., Carter, D.A., Chaturvedi, V., Bildfell, R.J ., May, R.C., and Heitman, J. Emergence and pathogenicity of highly virulentCryptococcus gattii genotypes in the northwest United States. PLoS Pathog. 2010. 6:e1000850.

12. Ren, P., Springer, D.J., Behr, M.J., Samsonoff, W.A., Chaturvedi, S., and Chaturvedi, V. Transcription factor STE12alpha has distinct roles in morphogenesis, virulence, and ecological fitness of the primary pathogenic yeast Cryptococcus gattii. Eukaryot. Cell. 2006. 5:1065-1080.

13. Narasipura, S.D.*, Ren, P.*, Dyavaiah, M., Auger, I., Chaturvedi, V., and Chaturvedi, S. An efficient method for homologous gene reconstitution in Cryptococcus gattii using URA5 auxotrophic marker. Mycopathologia. 2006. 162: 401-409.

*These authors have contributed equally to this work.

14. Ren, P., Rossettin, A., Chaturvedi, V., and Hanes, S.D. The Ess1 prolyl isomerase is dispensable for growth but required for virulence in Cryptococcus neoformans. Microbiol. 2005. 151: 1593- 1605.

15. Chaturvedi, S., Ren, P., Narasipura, S.D. and Chaturvedi, V. Selection of optimal host strain for molecular pathogenesis studies on Cryptococcus gattii. Mycopathologia. 2005. 160: 207-215.

16. Ren, P., Roncaglia, P., Springer, D.J., Fan, J.-J., and Chaturvedi, V. Genomic organization and expression of 23 new genes from MAT a locus of Cryptococcus neoformans var. gattii. BBRC. 2004. 326: 233-241.

17. Ren, P., Sridhar, S., and Chaturvedi, V. Saccharomyces cerevisiae in a baker's lung nodule: fungal identification by PCR and nucleotide sequencing from paraffin-embedded tissue. J. Clin. Microbial. 2004. 42: 2840-2842.