Title of Research Project:
Candida albicans is a naturally occurring fungus in the gut microflora that can become deadly through the formation of biofilms on medical implants in immunosuppressed patients. Biofilms form in four steps, adherence, where yeast cells adhere to a medical implant or device, initiation, where the yeast cells begin to clump and create larger colonies as well as begin to filament, maturation, where filamentation continues and an extracellular matrix forms resulting in resistance to host defenses and antifungal treatment, and dispersal, where yeast cells break off from the hyphal cells and begin the cycle again. Our research is focused on finding specific cell wall mutations as possible targets for drugs, by assaying a library of insertion mutants of C. albicans for biofilm formation.
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