Faculty Advisor or Committee Member

Reeta Rao, Advisor

Faculty Advisor or Committee Member

Robert J. Gegear, Committee Member

Faculty Advisor or Committee Member

Jagan Srinivasan, Committee Member




Candida albicans is an opportunistic fungal pathogen. It is the fourth leading cause of nosocomial infections and can endanger immunocompromised patients. Candida has the ability to form biofilms on plastic medical devices, such as catheters and central nervous system shunts. Two clinical isolate series were profiled using a number of phenotyping assays comprising in vivo, ex vivo, and in vitro tests. These tests shed light on host-pathogen relations as well as offer potential information useful in the treatment of these infections. Fluconazole, an antifungal, is the first line of treatment for fungal infections. The incidence of fluconazole-resistant infections is increasing annually, and there are not many other drugs available to treat infections. In 2013, Fazly et al. discovered the drug Filastatin, which prevents adhesion and filamentation of Candida albicans. In our study, two screens were performed to identify the target of Filastatin. Because there is no complete knockout library for Candida, an available, partial knockout library was screened. This library is enriched for transcription factors. We screened for regulators of biological pathways that may be important for adhesion and filamentation in Candida albicans, to identify potential Filastatin targets. The iron-uptake pathway was chosen as the focus for the remainder of this study.


Worcester Polytechnic Institute

Degree Name



Biology & Biotechnology

Project Type


Date Accepted





filastatin, animal models, iron uptake, candida albicans