Department of Molecular and Cellular Biology, University of Guelph
Genetic and functional genomic analysis of antifungal drug resistance in Candida auris
Combating infectious disease pathogens is a pressing global health challenge. Due to limited treatment options, fungal pathogens pose a unique challenge, and are emerging as a leading cause of human mortality. The proposed research program will develop and use cutting-edge CRISPR-based technologies to study fungal disease. Candida auris is an emerging fungal pathogen that is highly resistant to antifungal drugs, and a critical threat to public health. Dr Shapiro’s group will quantify drug resistance in clinical isolates of C. auris and use whole-genome sequencing to identify genetic mutations associated with resistance. They will then develop CRISPR systems to create genetic mutants on a large scale, and use these to explore genetic mechanisms by which C. auris can tolerate antifungal drugs and cause life-threatening disease.