Title of Research Project:
Biofilm formation and virulence in the pathogenic fungi Candida albicans
Currently, there are ~1 billion fungal infections per year, with Candida albicans as the primary fungal infection isolated. Most concerning is the lack of antifungals available to combat these infections. C. albicans resides on mucosal surfaces where it is usually benign. Infection occurs when immune function is impaired or if an environmental niche becomes available. Many C. albicans infections arise because of its ability to grow as a biofilm. Biofilms are clinically significant, because of their association with infection due to the presence of an implanted medical device. My work aims to identify genes essential for biofilm formation and genes essential for virulence in the model host Galleria mellonella.