Biomolecular Chemistry Department
Human fungal pathogen development & pathogenesis
5204b Biochemistry Building
420 Henry Mall
Madison, WI 53706
Molecular & Genome Biology of Microbes; Developmental Biology & Regenerative Medicine
The incidence of disease caused by fungi has risen sharply over the last two decades, and severe fungal diseases are often life threatening and difficult to treat. As a group, the human pathogenic fungi have been difficult to study, but the fungus Cryptococcus neoformans has been useful in both molecular and genetic analyses, making it an excellent system for studying human fungal pathogens. Using biochemical, genetic, molecular, bioinformatic, and cell biological approaches we are elucidating the basic processes and molecular mechanisms important for C. neoformans to undergo sexual development (gene regulation, protein-DNA interactions, transcriptional networks), determining the resistance, growth, and surface properties of spores (cell differentiation, developmental biology), and investigating how spores interact with the host immune system in mice (immunology, virulence).