2016 Projects

[1] Dr Donna MacCallum (University of Aberdeen) and Prof. Carol Munro (University of Aberdeen)

PhD Student: Dr Dora Corzo-Leon

Start date: 01 January 2016

Project Title: Investigating the influence of genotype and the cell surface on superficial mycoses and immunopathologies associated with fungal skin commensals.

 

Lay Summary:

Globally, fungal skin and nail infections affect around 1.7 million individuals at any one time. The economic burden of these infections is high; > $400 million per year in the US. Trichophyton rubrum is the major etiological agent of dermatophyte infections, causing ringworm, athletes’ foot and nail infections. These infections are becoming more common, linked to increased use of public sports facilities, occlusive footwear, increased incidence of diabetes mellitus and vascular disease and an increased ageing population. Malassezia species are responsible for a number of common skin diseases in humans (and animals), including dandruff and the rash tinea versicolor caused by M. globosa and atopiceczema caused by M. sympodialis. However, these superficial infections have been largely ignored by the mycology research community.

 

 

[2] Dr Rebecca Hall (University of Birmingham), Megan Lenardon (University of Aberdeen) and Dr Donna MacCallum (University of Aberdeen)

PhD Student: Dr Pizga Kumwenda

Start date: 01 January 2016

Project Title: Environmental regulation of host-pathogen interactions

 

Lay Summary:

Candida albicans is a major opportunistic fungal pathogen of humans causing 75 million cases of vaginal candidiasis in otherwise healthy individuals and more than 150,000 deaths due to systemic disease in immune compromised patients each year. During such infections, C. albicans is exposed to a plethora of environmental signals that are specific to the niche it is infecting (i.e. temperature, pH, oxygen and nutrient availability, carbon dioxide and quorum sensing molecules). These environments are known to regulate fungal morphogenesis, yet the direct impact these environmental parameters have on the structure and composition of the fungal cell wall is largely unknown.