Candida auris, an emerging multidrug-resistant fungal pathogen that colonize the human skin causes fatal infections in humans. We study how skin microbiota and host defense regulate the colonization and pathogenesis of C. auris. Understanding the environmental signals controlling fungal colonization will provide strategies to modulate host and microbial signals to prevent and treat C. auris infections.
Candida albicans, an opportunistic fungal pathogen that resides in the intestine causes life-threatening infections in immunocompromised individuals. Using conventional and germ free mouse models, metabolomics and sequencing approaches, we aim to understand how gut commensal bacteria and metabolites interact with host to regulate the colonization, dissemination and pathogenesis of C. albicans. Guinan et al. Scientific Reports 2019, Gutierrez et al. FEMS Microbiology Ecology 2020, Thangamani et al. Journal of Fungi 2021, Datta et al, Journal of Fungi 2022 and Das et al. Frontiers in Immunology 2023.
Rising incidence of antimicrobial resistance to the FDA-approved antifungal drugs pose increasing threat to treat multi-drug resistant fungal infections. Our lab utilizes in vitro antifungal assays, molecular approaches and mouse models of fungal infection to identify and evaluate the efficacy of novel small molecule inhibitors, antifungal peptides, metabolites and probiotics. Villa et al. Bioorganic and Medicinal Chemistry Letters. 2018, Weinstock et al. RSC Advances. 2019Mina et al. Bioorganic and Medicinal Chemistry Letters. 2019, Lawson et al. Bioorganic Chemistry. 2020 and Dowdy et al. Pathogens and Disease 2022.