Rao, Reeta Prusty
Candida albicans is commonly found in humans as a commensal organism populating many areas of the body. In immunocompromised patients, C. albicans gives rise to mucosal and bloodstream infections. The pathogenesis of C. albicans has not been fully understood and treatments for Candida infections are still limited. Studies have shown that a subset of genes encoding putative Zn(II)2Cys6 transcription factors, called ZCF, is only expanded in pathogenic yeast and might be involved in C. albicans's virulence. This study utilizes ex vivo and in vitro approaches to characterize select ZCFs in macrophage cells and various stress environments. The findings suggest that these ZCFs may be key pathogenic determinants in C. albicans and may provide potential fungal-specific drug targets.
Worcester Polytechnic Institute
Major Qualifying Project
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Biology and Biotechnology