Fungal infection models play a vital role in understanding how pathogenic fungi are able to cause disease, how the host responds to fungal cells and for evaluation of antifungal drugs.
Fungi can cause infections of the skin, nails, mouth, genital tract, lungs, brain and even life-threatening systemic infections. My research develops and characterises models which mimic these different infections, using animal models, insect models or cells in the laboratory.
My research is particularly directed at reducing, replacing and refining the use of animals in medical mycology research (3Rs). I have previously developed a shorter term fungal infection model, which significantly reduces the length of time required to determine whether a fungus is able to cause an infection or not.
Current work has focussed on developing a laboratory assay which mimics interactions of fungal cells with kidney cells at the beginning of an infection to replace the use of animals, and we are developing fungal cells which can be imaged in living animals to reduce the numbers of animals required to evaluate new antifungal drugs.
What lives within? The fungi in our gut
- Donna MacCallum - Principal Investigator
- Ambre Chapuis - Research Postgraduate
- Hazel Bell - Technician