Immunology and pathogenesis of diseases due to fungi
4303 Microbial Sciences Building
1550 Linden Dr
Madison, WI 53706
Immunology; Molecular & Genome Biology of Microbes
We investigate the pathogenesis and immunology of infectious diseases due to pathogenic fungi: dimorphic fungi such as Blastomyces dermatitidis and Histoplasma capsulatum and filamentous fungi such as Aspergillus. Phase transition from nonpathogenic mold to invasive yeast form is crucial in acquisition of pathogenicity in the systemic dimorphic fungi. To identify the mechanisms by which pathogenic fungi regulate the phase transition and express their virulence factors in the yeast form, we employ molecular genetic and functional genomic approaches and test the role of genes in vivo in animal models of disease. Host cellular immunity controls these infections and contains them in a latent form. Thus, we also study the cellular and molecular mechanisms behind innate and adaptive host defenses.