Infectious Disease

Generally a commensal of human mucosal tissue, Candida glabrata is a fungal pathogen that is the second most common cause of candidiasis. C. glabrata is an emerging threat, as it can cause fatal bloodstream infections in hospitalized patients and is becoming increasingly resistant to antibiotics.

My current research in the lab of Dr. Brendan Cormack centers on understanding how C. glabrata successfully colonizes the host and causes disease. Using molecular genetic approaches and mouse models of disseminated infection, I’ve identified a gene that may serve as an Achilles heel for the ability of C. glabrata to cause serious infection. Based on the implications of this genetic discovery, I am currently testing whether a highly conserved stress response pathway is important for C. glabrata to infect and persist in hosts. As microbes become more resistant to antibiotics with time, it is crucial that we deepen our understanding of how they cause infection, hopefully identifying novel therapeutic targets in the process.