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Biological and Biophysical Characterisation of Peptide Toxins in Pathogenic Fungi

Candida Julian Naglik

Pathogenic fungi are a relentless threat to human health and the global impact of invasive fungal infections on healthcare regimens is of major concern. Understanding how fungal pathogens cause disease is of paramount importance. We have identified a novel panel of peptide toxins in several medically relevant fungal pathogens. A cross-disciplinary approach will be used to characterise the role of selected peptide toxins in fungal pathogenicity using a combination of biological, cellular and biophysical techniques. This PhD project will significantly advance our understanding of fungal infections and create future avenues of therapeutic intervention.

Disciplines and Techniques
Project supervisor/s
Professor Julian Naglik
Julian's research projects relate to the molecular analysis of host/pathogen interactions at mucosal surfaces, with specific focus on epithelial mechanisms activated by the human fungal pathogen C. albicans.
King's College London
Professor Stefan Howorka
Stefan's research focuses on developing chemical tools and approaches to facilitate single-molecule research.
University College London
Processing of Candida albicans Ece1p is critical for Candidalysin maturation and fungal virulence
Richardson JP et al.
MBio. 9 (1), e02178-17
Candidalysin is a fungal peptide toxin critical for mucosal infection
Moyes DL et al.
Nature 532, 64-68
Candidalysin activates epithelial innate immune responses via epidermal growth factor receptor
Ho J et al.
Nature Communications. 10 (1), 2297
Multi-functional DNA nanostructures that puncture and remodel lipid membranes into hybrid material
Birkholz O et al.
Nature Communications 9: 1521
Building membrane nanopores
Howorka S
Nature Nanotechnology 12: 619-630