Making and breaking the cell walls of fungal pathogens


  • Prof Neil Gow

    University of Aberdeen

Project summary

The cell wall of fungal pathogens determines their pathobiology and immunological signatures. It is a target for chemotherapies and immunotherapies because the major cell wall components are essential and fungal-specific. Professor Gow wishes to understand how the cell wall is assembled and how it is recognised by the immune system. He will investigate key assembly processes and functions of the extended gene families that articulate the cell wall, and deploy novel screens, phenotyping methods and in vitro synthetic biology approaches to dissect the functions of important genes. The programme will also define the chemical structure of cell wall molecules that stimulate, attenuate and imprint the innate and adaptive immune responses. Host and pathogen functional analysis tools will be used to study the immunologically relevant cell wall glycoconjugates. These complementary approaches should advance our understanding of therapeutically tractable targets of the cell wall and will inform the design of new therapeutics and diagnostics.