My primary research interests lie in understanding how yeast adapt to environmental changes. My laboratory has focused on interrogating how the opportunistic pathogen Candida albicans senses and responds to changes to extracellular pH and how these changes affect virulence. We are currently focused on two distinct questions: 1, how is phenotypic diversity acquired in C. albicans in the absence of a sexual cycle and how does this relate to environmental adaptation; 2, what yeast colonize non-human animals, primarily mammals, and what roles are the playing in these hosts/environments.
To answer these questions, we have developed both forward and reverse genetic techniques to study C. albicans. We use an ex vivo models to study virulence, including mouse models, human cell culture models, ex vivo human mucosal tissue, and Galleria melonella to study virulence. We are also doing a variety of basic microbiology coupled with genomic and bioinformatic approaches to study phenotypic diversity and the novel yeast identified in non-human animals.
Candida albicans environmental sensing and adaptation; yeast evolution and ecology
689 23rd Ave SE
Minneapolis, MN 55455