The Malassezia Foundation is a Montreal-based charity, officially recognized as such by the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA). It exists to support medical research aimed at elucidating the role played by the fungal genus Malassezia in human diseases, and at developing safe and effective therapeutic protocols for their treatment. 

At the present time, the main focus of the Foundation is promoting and funding pre-clinical and clinical research for Crohn's disease and pancreatic cancer, two diseases in which Malassezia’s role has been directly demonstrated (Limon 2019; Aykut 2019). A secondary objective is the advancement of basic research focused on diseases for which Malassezia’s role is suspected based on strong indirect evidence: prostate cancer, spondyloarthritides (especially ankylosing spondylitis) and Parkinson’s disease (Sutcliffe 2014; Laurence 2018; Laurence 2019). As medical and scientific research into Malassezia progresses, we expect our research interests to expand to additional diseases.

If you are a researcher interested in working on Malassezia or one of the above diseases and would like to inquire about funding or possible collaborations, please visit our “For Researchers” page.


If you want to help us out, you’re welcome to visit the “Help Us” page where you can learn more about the ways in which you can support us.


Martin Laurence is the Foundation’s President.

He is a bioinformatician specialized in microbiome analysis. He has been studying the role of fungi in human diseases for nearly a decade in collaboration with university research groups. He is also a founder and board member of Octasic Semiconductor.


Guillaume Nourry-Marquis is the Foundation’s Treasurer.

He graduated in Computer Engineering at École Polytechnique de Montréal. He is president/CEO of Commit2Security, a Montreal-based Cybersecurity firm. Prior to joining Commit2Security, he held different roles at GoSecure and Bell Canada.

Julien Thieser is the Foundation’s Secretary.

He holds a M. Sc. in Telecommunication engineering and worked in the IT and TMT industries for several years. He now holds a position of Senior Manager at Deloitte in the tax incentives practice. He also has served on the board of several not for profit organizations.



Here you can find summary information about projects supported by the Foundation, including run in-house projects and third-parties projects funded through grants.

Project: MFPRJ_20200713_PHACMR

Amount: 0 CAD

Project lead: Martin Laurence (Malassezia Foundation)

Objective: Obtain risk group classification for Malassezia restricta in Canada (via PHAC).

Outcome: Completed successfully in December 2020, with Malassezia restricta classified as RG1.

Project: MFPRJ_20210908_FUN

Amount: 120000 USD (2021/09/08)

Project lead: Dr. James Rosenbaum (OHSU)

Regulatory Oversight: Oregon Health & Science University IRB - Study #21565

Title: Terbinafine Treatment of Axial Spondyloarthropathy

Objective: Determine if oral terbinafine improves axial spondyloarthritis symptoms (double blind, crossover study). Terbinafine is an inexpensive and widely used antifungal drug.

Outcome: Completion expected in 2023.

ClinicalTrials.gov Identifier: NCT05119712

Recruitment Info: Spondylitis Association of America



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