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Mitochondria as regulators of fungal virulence

Objective

Fungal diseases represent a significant and growing threat to human health, particularly since the AIDS pandemic and increasing use of immunosuppressive drugs has produced a massive population of people with impaired immunity who are vulnerable to fungal infections. A great challenge in medical mycology is to understand how fungal virulence evolves. The vast majority of fungal species are not human pathogens and, for those that are, virulence appears to have evolved independently on many different occasions. Identifying the step(s) that convert an environmental fungus into a human pathogen, as well as subsequent changes in virulence within a pathogenic lineage, is therefore of fundamental importance. Based on a number of lines of evidence, I hypothesise that a critical regulator of fungal virulence in animal hosts is the activity of the fungal mitochondrion, an energy-generating organelle present in almost all eukaryotes. I propose to test this hypothesis comprehensively by combining genetic and cell biological approaches with high-resolution imaging methods.

Field of science

  • /natural sciences/biological sciences/microbiology/mycology

Call for proposal

ERC-2013-CoG
See other projects for this call

Funding Scheme

ERC-CG - ERC Consolidator Grants

Host institution

THE UNIVERSITY OF BIRMINGHAM
Address
Edgbaston
B15 2TT Birmingham
United Kingdom
Activity type
Higher or Secondary Education Establishments
EU contribution
€ 1 991 629
Principal investigator
Robin Charles May (Dr.)
Administrative Contact
Xavier Rodde (Mr.)

Beneficiaries (1)

THE UNIVERSITY OF BIRMINGHAM
United Kingdom
EU contribution
€ 1 991 629
Address
Edgbaston
B15 2TT Birmingham
Activity type
Higher or Secondary Education Establishments
Principal investigator
Robin Charles May (Dr.)
Administrative Contact
Xavier Rodde (Mr.)