John N Galgiani
Director, Valley Fever Center for Excellence
Professor, BIO5 Institute
Professor, Medicine
Primary Department
Department Affiliations
(520) 626-4968
Work Summary
Valley Fever (coccidioidomycosis) occurs more in Arizona than anywhere else. My research and others at the Valley Fever Center for Excellence involve understanding how disease is caused by infection, how the immune system stops or prevents illness, and how we can better diagnose, treat, or prevent this public health problem.
Research Interest
Dr. Galgiani has focused his career on Arizona’s special problems with Valley Fever. His work has included studies of the impact of Valley Fever on the general population and on special groups such as organ transplant recipients and patients with AIDS. For 19 years, as part of the NIH-sponsored Mycoses Study Group, Dr. Galgiani has been the project director of a coccidioidomycosis clinical trials group. Through collaboration, this group has evaluated new therapies for Valley Fever more rapidly and with greater clarity than might otherwise have been possible by investigators working in isolation. Dr. Galgiani has also been involved with efforts to prevent Valley Fever through vaccination. His group discovered and patented a recombinant antigen which is the basis for a vaccine candidate suitable for further development and clinical trials. Most recently, he has become the project leader for developing a new drug, nikkomycin Z, for treating Valley Fever. With recent NIH and FDA grant awards, clinical trials with this drug were resumed in 2007. Dr. Galgiani is also Chief Medical Officer of Valley Fever Solutions, Inc, a start-up company founded to assist in the drug’s development. In 1996, the Arizona Board of Regents accepted Dr. Galgiani’s proposal to establish the Valley Fever Center for Excellence for the Arizona universities. Based at the University of Arizona, the Center is pledged to spread information about Valley Fever, help patients with the severest complications of this disease, and to encourage research into the biology and diseases of its etiologic agent. The Center maintains a website (www.VFCE.Arizona.edu) and answers inquiries from health care professionals located in Arizona, other parts of the United States, and even from other countries. The Valley Fever Corridor Project, begun in 2009, intends to facilitate communication among Arizona clinicians to also improve patient care. In 2011, The Valley Fever Center in Phoenix was announced as a partnership between St. Joseph’s Hospital and the UA College of Medicine in Phoenix. It began operation in June, 2012. Research is increasing into the environmental biology of the fungus within its desert soil habitat as well as how the fungus caused disease and the body’s immunity controls it. Since Arizona has the only medical schools situated directly within the endemic region for Valley Fever, it is quite appropriate that Arizona lead in solving this problem. As Director of the Center, Dr. Galgiani is working for its full implementation as a means of ensuring an institutional commitment to accomplish this goal. Keywords: Coccidioidomycosis, Valley Fever, antifungal drugs, vaccines, serologic tests,

Publications

GALGIANI, J. N., CATANZARO, A., CLOUD, G. A., HIGGS, J., FRIEDMAN, B. A., LARSEN, R. A., & GRAYBILL JR, . (1993). FLUCONAZOLE THERAPY FOR COCCIDIOIDAL MENINGITIS. ANNALS OF INTERNAL MEDICINE, 119(1), 28-35.
PEAR, S. M., WILLIAMSON, T. H., BETTIN, K. M., GERDING, D. N., & GALGIANI, J. N. (1994). DECREASE IN NOSOCOMIAL CLOSTRIDIUM-DIFFICILE-ASSOCIATED DIARRHEA BY RESTRICTING CLINDAMYCIN USE. ANNALS OF INTERNAL MEDICINE, 120(4), 272-277.
Shubitz, L., Peng, T., Perrill, R., Simons, J., Orsborn, K., & Galgiani, J. N. (2002). Protection of mice against Coccidioides immitis intranasal infection by vaccination with recombinant antigen 2/PRA. Infection and immunity, 70(6), 3287-9.

Subcutaneous vaccination with recombinant antigen 2/PRA (rAg2/PRA) protected BALB/c mice against intranasal infection with Coccidioides immitis. Subcutaneously vaccinated C57BL/6 mice and intranasally vaccinated BALB/c mice were protected against larger numbers of infecting spores. Weight loss correlated with lethality, but histologic appearance did not. These studies support rAg2/PRA vaccination to prevent coccidioidomycosis.

Rohrbough, J. G., Galgiani, J. N., & Wysocki, V. H. (2007). The application of proteomic techniques to fungal protein identification and quantification. Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences, 1111, 133-46.

The number of sequenced genomes has increased rapidly in the last few years, supporting a revolution in bioinformatics that has been leveraged by scientists seeking to analyze the proteomes of numerous biological systems. The primary technique employed for the identification of peptides and proteins from biological sources is mass spectrometry (MS). This analytical process is usually in the form of whole-protein analysis (termed "top-down" proteomics) or analysis of enzymatically produced peptides (known as the "bottom-up" approach). This article will focus primarily on the more common bottom-up proteomics to include topics such as sample preparation, separation strategies, MS instrumentation, data analysis, and techniques for protein quantification. Strategies for preparation of samples for proteomic analysis, as well as tools for protein and peptide separation will be discussed. A general description of common MS instruments along with tandem mass spectrometry (MS/MS) will be given. Different methodologies of sample ionization including matrix-assisted laser desorption ionization (MALDI) and electrospray ionization (ESI) will be discussed. Data analysis methods including database search algorithms and tools for protein sequence analysis will be introduced. We will also discuss experimental strategies for MS protein quantification using stable isotope labeling techniques and fluorescent labeling. We will introduce several fungal proteomic studies to illustrate the use of these methods. This article will allow investigators to gain a working knowledge of proteomics along with some strengths and weaknesses associated with the techniques presented.

Noble, J. A., Nelson, R. G., Fufaa, G. D., Kang, P., Shafir, S. C., & Galgiani, J. N. (2016). Effect of Geography on the Analysis of Coccidioidomycosis-Associated Deaths, United States. Emerging infectious diseases, 22(10), 1821-3.

Because coccidioidomycosis death rates vary by region, we reanalyzed coccidioidomycosis-associated mortality in the United States by race/ethnicity, then limited analysis to Arizona and California. Coccidioidomycosis-associated deaths were shown to increase among African-Americans but decrease among Native Americans and Hispanics. Separately, in a Native American cohort, diabetes co-varied with coccidioidomycosis-associated death.