In this radical episode, we talk about the dark and mysterious fungi found growing in extreme environments like the Chernobyl reactor no.4. We are pleased to have one of the few scientist who study such fungi— Ekaterina Dadachova—with us on the show. In this episode, you will learn more about relationships between fungi and radiation, melanin as a functional molecule, and the implication of these discoveries for space exploration.
Ekaterina Dadachova received her Bachelor in Chemistry and PhD in Physical Chemistry degrees from Moscow State University in Moscow, Russia. She did her postdoctoral studies in radiopharmaceutical chemistry at the Australian Nuclear Science and Technology Organization (ANSTO) in Sydney, Australia, followed by a stint as a Visiting Associate at the National Institutes of Health (NIH) in the USA.
She subsequently held a Professorship in Radiology, Microbiology and Immunology at the Albert Einstein College in New York.
At the end of 2016 she joined the University of Saskatchewan for Nuclear Innovation, is the Chair in Radiopharmacy and a Professor at the College of Pharmacy and Nutrition.
Her melanin-based research is currently funded by the Canadian Space Agency.
Kate's research has been funded by NIH, US Department of Energy (DOE), US Department of Defense (DOD), the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation as well as private industries. She has over 150 published peer-reviewed articles, 11 book chapters, and has 6 US patents. She received several awards such as Philips Young Investigator Award, Young Professionals Award, Mary Kay Ash Research Award, Top 10 researchers at Einstein in 2013, and 2017 Burroughs Welcome Travel Award. She is an Academic Editor for Public Library of Science, and for the Scientific Reports Journal.