Ken Kassenbrock

Ken Kassenbrock, MD, PhD has been an avid hunter of wild mushrooms since the late 1970s. Trained as a physician-scientist, he has worked in Cell and Molecular Biology, including post-doctoral work with the brewers yeast, Saccharomyces cerevisiae. Although his interests in fungi were initially largely culinary, over the years they mushroomed (what else?) to include other aspects of the biology of this fascinating kingdom including ecology, toxicology, biotechnology and cultivation.  Avocation and vocation eventually converged, and Ken currently teaches Mycology (mushrooms, molds, mildews and more) at Colorado State University, where he is on the faculty in the Biology Department.

Ken’s Presentations:

  1. Mushrooms from Mesoamerican Prehistory to Current Clinical Trials:  an opportunity to learn more about the long history of mushrooms in religious and cultural rituals in the Americas and receive an update on current research into possible therapeutic uses of mushrooms for a variety of conditions including treatment-resistant depression, alcohol and other drug addiction disorders, and even some types of headaches
  2. Mushrooms and Human Health:  a review of the nutritional information about wild and cultivated mushrooms and the concept of mushrooms as “functional foods”, which are foods with increased health benefits beyond basic nutrition.