Research Fellow


Contact Details

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The University of Aberdeen Institute of Medical Sciences, 4.15
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Sir Henry Dale fellow. University of Aberdeen (2014-present)

Postdoctoral researcher. Hans Knoell Institute, Jena, Germany (2007-2014).

Doctor of Philosophy. University of Manchester (2003-2006). The role of phosphodiesterases in Candida albicans physiology

Bachelor of Science with Honours in Microbiology. University of Glasgow (1999-2003).


Research Interests

I am interested in how pathogenic fungi compete with their hosts for essential micronutrients. Certain trace minerals, such as iron and zinc, are actively withheld from pathogens in a process called nutritional immunity. Therefore, pathogenic microbes must have evolved specialised uptake systems in order to proliferate in their hosts and cause disease. I am using a combination of molecular and cellular biology, together with models of host-pathogen interactions, to dissect the mechanisms of micronutrient assimilation by the major human fungal pathogen, Candida albicans. I am particularly interested in the molecular mechanisms of zinc scavenging by this fungus during interactions with host cells.

 Candida albicans scavenging host zinc

Research Grants

Sir Henry Dale Fellowship jointly funded by the Wellcome Trust and the Royal Society. 

Overcoming nutritional immunity: micronutrient acquisition mechanisms of pathogenic fungi.

May 2014 - April 2019.

Further Info


Dhara Malavia, Aaron Crawford, Duncan Wilson, Omran Alamir & Laura Lehtovirta.





PhD projects

Aaron Crawford, PhD student. Project: The role of endosomal zinc trafficking in fungal adaptation to nutritional immunity.

Aaron Crawford



Dhara Malavia, PhD student. Project: A giant impact: the role of Candida albicans Goliath cells on host-pathogen interactions. 



Omran Alamir, PhD student. Project: Candida albicans vacuolar zinc flux.



Bader Alawfi, MSc student. Project: Environmental regulation of zinc transporters in Candida albicans.

Herbert Itabngi, MRes student. Project: Zinc uptake and homeostasis in Candida albicans.

Anna da Cost, Visiting scientist. Project: Candida albicans unique genes in biofilm formation and antifungal drug resistance.   




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Contributions to Journals


  • Kjellerup, L., Winther, A-ML, Wilson, D. & Fuglsang, AT. (2018). 'Cyclic AMP pathway activation and extracellular zinc induce rapid intracellular zinc mobilization in Candida albicans'. Frontiers in Microbiology, vol 9, 502.
    [Online] DOI: 10.3389/fmicb.2018.00502
    [Online] AURA: Cyclic_AMP_Pathway_Activation_and_Extracellular_Zinc_Induce_...
  • Richardson, JP., Mogavero, S., Moyes, DL., Blagojevic, M., Kruger, T., Verma, AH., Coleman, BM., Diaz, JDLC., Schulz, D., Ponde, NO., Carrano, G., Kniemeyer, O., Wilson, DJ., Bader, O., Enoui, SI., Ho, JYM., Kichik, N., Gaffen, SL., Hube, B. & Naglik, JR. (2018). 'Processing of Candida albicans Ece1p is critical for Candidalysin maturation and fungal virulence'. mBio, vol 9, no. 1, e02178-17.
    [Online] DOI: 10.1128/mBio.02178-17
    [Online] AURA: Processing_of_Candida_albicans_Ece1p_Is_Critical_for_Candida...
  • Lehtovirta-Morley, LE., Alsarraf, M. & Wilson, D. (2017). 'Pan-Domain Analysis of ZIP Zinc Transporters'. International Journal of Molecular Sciences, vol 18, no. 12, 2631.
    [Online] DOI: 10.3390/ijms18122631
    [Online] AURA: Pan_Domain_Analysis_of_ZIP_Zinc_Transporters.pdf
  • Malavia, D., Lehtovirta-Morley, LE., Alamir, O., Weiß, E., Gow, NAR., Hube, B. & Wilson, D. (2017). 'Zinc Limitation Induces a Hyper-Adherent Goliath Phenotype in Candida albicans'. Frontiers in Microbiology, vol 8, 2238.
    [Online] DOI: 10.3389/fmicb.2017.02238
    [Online] AURA: fmicb_08_02238.pdf
  • Malavia, D., Crawford, A. & Wilson, D. (2017). 'Nutritional Immunity and Fungal Pathogenesis: The Struggle for Micronutrients at the Host-Pathogen Interface'. Advances in Microbial Physiology, vol 70, pp. 85–103.
    [Online] DOI: 10.1016/bs.ampbs.2017.01.006
  • Wilson, D., Naglik, JR. & Hube, B. (2016). 'The Missing Link between Candida albicans Hyphal Morphogenesis and Host Cell Damage'. PLoS Pathogens, vol 12, no. 10, e1005867, pp. 1-5.
    [Online] DOI: 10.1371/journal.ppat.1005867
    [Online] AURA: journal.ppat.1005867.PDF
  • Ballou, ER. & Wilson, D. (2016). 'The roles of zinc and copper sensing in fungal pathogenesis'. Current Opinion in Microbiology, vol 32, pp. 128-134.
    [Online] DOI: 10.1016/j.mib.2016.05.013
    [Online] AURA: 1_s2.0_S1369527416300686_main.pdf
  • Moyes, DL., Wilson, D., Richardson, JP., Mogavero, S., Tang, SX., Wernecke, J., Hofs, S., Gratacap, RL., Robbins, J., Runglall, M., Murciano, C., Blagojevic, M., Thavaraj, S., Forster, TM., Hebecker, B., Kasper, L., Vizcay, G., Iancu, SI., Kichik, N., Hader, A., Kurzai, O., Luo, T., Kruger, T., Kniemeyer, O., Cota, E., Bader, O., Wheeler, RT., Gutsmann, T., Hube, B. & Naglik, JR. (2016). 'Candidalysin is a fungal peptide toxin critical for mucosal infection'. Nature, vol 532, no. 7597, pp. 64-68.
    [Online] DOI: 10.1038/nature17625
  • Kasper, L., Miramon, P., Jablonowski, N., Wisgott, S., Wilson, D., Brunke, S. & Hube, B. (2015). 'Antifungal activity of clotrimazole against Candida albicans depends on carbon sources, growth phase and morphology'. Journal of Medical Microbiology, vol 64, no. 7, pp. 714-723.
    [Online] DOI: 10.1099/jmm.0.000082
  • Wilson, D. (2015). 'An evolutionary perspective on zinc uptake by human fungal pathogens'. Metallomics, vol 7, no. 6, pp. 979-985.
    [Online] DOI: 10.1039/C4MT00331D
    [Online] AURA: c4mt00331d.pdf
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