Fungal pathogenesis, protein transport, & secretion mechanisms. The focus of my laboratory is to understand fungal pathogenesis with special emphasis on Cryptococcus species (Cs). Cs, encapsulated yeast, causes infections in both healthy and immunocompromised individuals. Central to this investigation is an understanding of what gene products are required and expressed during infection and how this expression changes over time (from initial colonization to causation of disease) and space (in different cells or tissues within the host). We thus endeavor to understand, what selective pressures are acting on the pathogen in each microenvironment, what fungal factors are responsible for the host damage, and how the immune system is evaded.
Another focus of my laboratory is to understand the molecular mechanisms underlying the non-classical release of oxidative proteins. Major aim of this investigation is to define how non-classically exported proteins pass through the cell membrane and cell wall, and which membrane and cell wall proteins facilitate these processes.