Bridging Science and Innovation with Nature's Wisdom

Who We Are

Host Defense is built on Paul Stamets' visionary research into the power and potential of mushrooms, especially mushroom mycelium, the root-like structures found growing below ground. The power of Host Defense comes from the discovery that the 
mycelium is the immune system of the mushroom.

Just as mycelium helps to support the immune system of humans, it also supports the health and immunity of the natural habitats where it grows. Mushroom mycelium is a cellular bridge connecting bees, trees, bears, plants and humans to the ecosystems in which they live. 
Our work is to build a healthier world with the power of mushrooms.


Our Global Vision


with doctors to help support immunity and health.


communities about growing mushrooms for food.


in integrated mushroom technologies to break down or neutralize toxic wastes.


the natural environment and all its inhabitants.


filtration methods to clean water using mushroom mycelium.


toxic pesticides with natural, non-toxic, non-invasive mushroom-based solutions.


strategies to save the honey bee using mushrooms and fungi.


agriculture and forest health by building soil with beneficial fungi.


research to develop new biofuels using fungi.

About The Founders

Host Defense emerged from the fusion of skill sets from two experts: Paul Stamets and C. Dusty Yao.

Paul Stamets

Paul has received numerous awards and honors for his contributions to the science of health-promoting mushrooms and ecology, including:the highly acclaimed National Award from the North American Mycological Association ( award for expanding the field of mycology for both amateurs and professionals. (Jan 2014)recognition as an “Invention Ambassador” by the American Academy for the Advancement of Science, the largest and most prestigious scientific organization in the world. This honor was in recognition of bridging scientific discovery, education and applications for societal benefit. (June 2014)the Gordon & Tina Wasson Award from the Mycological Society of America, for expanding the field of mycology more so than any mycologist in history (July 2015)

Paul’s influence has now flowed into popular sci-fi culture with his appointment as a Starfleet Science Officer, Astromycologist Lt. Stamets (played by actor Anthony Rapp), in the new Star Trek: Discovery series.

Stamets occupies his days writing, teaching and researching. He is engaged in diverse projects with universities and non-profit groups centered on finding fungal solutions to global problems.

As Paul states, "the path to the future is the path of the mycelium.”

C. Dusty Yao