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Research Abstracts Online
January 2010 - March 2011

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University of Minnesota Twin Cities
Medical School
Department of Microbiology

PI: Dana A. Davis

Development of Genetics Tools to Study the Opportunistic Pathogen Candida krusei

Candida krusei is an under-studied pathogenic yeast of humans. C. krusei is naturally resistant to fluconazole and often to amphoptericin B and infections have a mortality rate of 80%. C. krusei is evolutionarily distinct from the more well-studied yeasts, thus its unique biology cannot be inferred from these model yeasts. This researcher is obtaining the genomic sequence of C. krusei using an amphoptericin B resistant strain isolated at the University of Minnesota and to develop protocols to generate deletion mutants.

Previous work by this researcher that used MSI resources involved investigations into two important disease-causing fungi, Candida albicans and Cryptococcus neoformans. The goal of this project was to use an organ culture system to gain insights into human mucosal responses to these two medically relevant fungi and to develop tools to study these responses in detail, with the ultimate goal of developing treatment strategies to promote mucosal protection from pathogenic fungi.