Yeast Molecular Biology
Our team is interested in the yeast Candida albicans, an important human pathogen, both in terms of its clinical significance as well as its use as an experimental model for fungal pathogenesis investigation. C. albicans causes severe mucosal and systemic infections in immunocompromised individuals such as AIDS patients and patients undergoing cancer chemotherapy or organ transplantation, and often becomes resistant to antifungal treatments. We use genetics, genomics as well as molecular and chemical biology to elucidate the mechanisms responsible for multidrug resistance and to develop new antifungal therapies. We are particularly interested in the function of transporters of the ABC (ATP-binding cassette) family that expel drugs outside of the cell, thereby causing multidrug resistance. Using DNA microarrays, we study the transcriptional networks controlling key cellular processes in this yeast such as metabolism, hypoxic growth and virulence. Finally, we seek to identify C. albicans essential proteins that are fungal-specific and may be targeted to develop new antifungal therapies.