• By Oct 31
    Sign up and register your lab for the Fungus Olympics.
  • By Nov 31
    Receive microfluidic devices to your lab.
  • By Jan 31
    Receive a microscope and upload your images to the cloud.
  • August
    Winners officially announced at the MSA 2020 meeting.

Sign up now

Our Mission

Mold, yeast, mushroom. Beer, cheese, antibiotic. Thrush, rot, blight. Fungi touch so many aspects of our lives! Learning more about how fungi grow, search for food, and overcome obstacles is important for health, agriculture, and industry. The First Fungus Olympic Games will pit filamentous fungi against each other as they navigate a microscale obstacle course. The fungus that is fastest, strongest, and most agile will be the winner. But, everyone will benefit from the insights gained in this crowd-sourced, worldwide tournament.

Sign up your lab

Sign up your lab and enter up to six strains to race.

Receive equipment

Schedule a time for your lab to receive a microscope and microfluidic devices to be used in the race.

Upload images to cloud

Microscope images will be uploaded to the cloud for real time analysis and tracking.

Get race results

Winners will be determined for multiple race categories.

Who's Participating?

Some of the best scientists from across the World will participate in the 2020 Fungus Olympics.

Twentynine teams from eleven countries on five continents signed up for the last Fungus Olympics, in 2018. Learn more about some of these teams from their interviews with Fungitown.

How It Works

Now that you signed-up for the Olympics, what next?

  • We will contact you at the beginning of October about the fungi you want to represent your team in the Olympiad. You could enroll one favorite or up to six, your choice. You will have to disclose the species and growth conditions that you will be using. We will keep these confidential until after the games.

  • We will send a dozen devices to your lab in November, such that you have some time to practice loading the fungus on the devices and run some "training" runs. We will post the protocols for how to load the devices online. We plan on having some instructional videos as well.

  • We will contact you again by email to schedule a time for when you will receive the Cytosamrt microscope to your lab. You will have the microscope in your lab for five days, after which you will have to return the microscope. Plan ahead, these five days go by very quickly !

  • While you have the Cytosmart microscope and devices in your lab, you will have to load the fungus in the devices and start the time-lapse microscope. Once you start the microscope, images will be uploaded automatically through the internet, into a cloud database.

  • The Cytosmart microscope is built such that you could place it in any incubator, keep it on the bench, or put it in a refrigerator... any place that you think is better for your fungi. While the experiment runs, you will be able to watch on your smartphone the images being acquired (through the cloud database). Yes, you could be at the pub after you loaded the fungi, and still know what happens in the lab. Drink responsibly.

  • The images in the cloud will be analyzed and you will receive an early feedback of how well you did, compared to other teams. You will receive a more thorough analysis a few weeks later. Our first goal is to decide on the winner quickly after the end of the race. Our second goal is to gather all the results and quantify the details of growing fungi.

  • Once all the data is quantified, we will share it with all participants. We will discuss this and work together to improve the Olympics for the following year.

  • Follow us on twitter: @FungusOlympics or visit our website twitter-feed page for updates.

Eligibility, Authorships, and Prizes

Teams can come from academic institutions, industry, government labs, school groups—anyone with a fungus to enter in the games and a place to conduct the experiments. All teams must submit full strain information on the fungus they enter, agree with uploading their images to the cloud, and agree to the publication of the data generated. We plan to prepare a manuscript describing the results of the Fungus Olympic competition. All teams will be contacted to see if they wish to participate in the analysis of Fungus Olympic data and writing process. Those who make a substantial contribution will be included as authors, others will be acknowledged.

We hope to award prizes in for the winners in various categories. We are still seeking sponsorship, so don’t yet have details on what the prizes will be, in addition to awesome bragging rights, of course.


Sponsors and supporters of the 2020 Fungus Olympics