The Mycoses Study Group (MSG) is a group of experts in medical mycology, focusing their work on understanding and treating invasive fungal infections. Members of the MSG are affiliated with leading academic institutions and healthcare organizations around the world. The MSG was initiated as a contract through the NIH National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) in 1978. NIAID awarded the contract to UAB, under the direction of Principal Investigator, William E. Dismukes, M.D., with the imperative to perform multicenter collaborative clinical trials for prevention and treatment of invasive fungal infections.

In the first decade of its existence (1978-1988), the main focus of the MSG was the treatment of relatively rare mycoses including cryptococcosis and the endemic mycoses including histoplasmosis, blastomycosis, and coccidioidomycosis. The first randomized and controlled studies of invasive mycoses were performed under the auspices of this group. Sentinel studies for each of these disorders led to important insights into the treatment of mycoses, and ushered in a new era of excellence in the conduct of clinical research.

In the decade of the 1990s, the MSG shifted its focus from the endemic mycoses and cryptococcosis to the treatment of candidemia, cryptococcosis in the HIV-infected patient, and empiric antifungal therapy in the persistently febrile and neutropenic patient. During this period, the MSG conducted the first large randomized controlled trial comparing two antifungal agents for the treatment of invasive candidiasis, two major trials for the treatment of cryptococcosis in patients with AIDS, and the first large randomized trial comparing two agents for the empiric antifungal treatment of patients with persistent fever and neutropenia.

The results of these studies have had an enduring impact on the manner in which patients with these disorders are managed, and have effectively created the standard to which all other new therapeutic approaches are compared. By the end of the 1990’s the MSG had successfully conducted over 40 clinical trials in mycology, more than any NIH-sponsored study group.

Today, the MSG maintains a strong presence in the field of medical mycology research and practice, and works with industry and government sponsored projects, both in the US and abroad. The MSG no longer works under the original NIAID contract, but continues the commitment to common goals. The MSG continues to work from its homebase at UAB under the leadership of Peter G. Pappas, MD and collaborates with scientists and clinicians around the world. Much of the MSG’s work is organized as a joint endeavor with The Mycoses Study Group Education and Research Consortium (MSGERC). The MSG is committed to continuing the highest caliber clinical research in the area of emerging fungal disease, prevention and treatment of invasive fungal infections and the diagnostics related to fungal disease. The MSG at UAB is making a difference in the lives of individuals around the world, who face the task of living with and battling an invasive fungal infection.