Fuelling pathogenicity: nutrient adaptation of human fungal pathogens

Year of award: 2018


  • Dr Duncan Wilson

    University of Aberdeen

Project summary

The human body holds on tightly to essential micronutrients such as iron and zinc, restricting their access to invading microorganisms. This process is known as ‘nutritional immunity’. Microorganisms that cause disease must have developed specialised ways to deal with this micronutrient restriction. 

I will show how the fungal pathogen Candida albicans overcomes nutritional immunity during infection. I will use a combination of genetic approaches and imaging techniques  to discover the mechanisms that C. albicans uses to adapt to the nutritional status of its host. I will then employ specialised models of infection to uncover exactly how nutritional immunity affects the growth of C. albicans and how this pathogen is able to circumvent this restriction. 

Elucidating this essential element of infectious disease will help pave the way for the development of future therapeutic strategies to treat or prevent fungal infections.