How does a pathogen cause infection? That is the question that drives our research. Our studies focus on Candida albicans and Candida glabrata, two leading fungal pathogens that can cause both mucosal and invasive infections. Invasive Candida infections cause over 10,000 deaths per year in the USA, and over 400,000 deaths per year worldwide. Our overall objectives are to define the determinants of pathogenicity and drug responses in order to identify strategies to improve diagnosis and therapeutics.
We have used genetics and gene expression as entry points to dissect virulence traits that include biofilm production, formation of invasive hyphal cells, and antifungal drug resistance. We have also studied determinants of host interaction with cultured cells and animal infection models. Our most recent studies address the impact of natural genomic variation on pathogenicity and its regulation.
BS, Biological Sciences, Carnegie Mellon University, 1977; Elizabeth W. Jones, research advisor
PhD, Biology, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, 1984; Boris Magasanik, advisor
Postdoctoral training, Biochemistry and Biophysics, UCSF, 1987; Ira Herskowitz, sponsor