CIFAR Azrieli Global Scholar 2023-2025
Fungal Kingdom: Threats & Opportunities
Life-threatening fungal infections are on the rise as populations with weakened or suppressed immune systems increase. At the same time, climate change is predicted to increase the dispersal of fungal spores in the environment and to select for fungi adapted to growth at high temperatures, thus increasing the likelihood of human infection. Asiya Gusa and her research group recently discovered that heat stress increases drug resistance and the overall mutation rate in a major disease-causing fungus. The goal of their research is to understand how pathogenic fungi adapt in response to stress to survive the environment-to-host transition, develop drug resistance and cause persistent human disease.
- Whitehead Scholar, Duke University, 2023-28
- NIH MOSAIC Scholar, American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, 2022-26
- mBio Junior Editorial Board Member, American Society for Microbiology, 2022-24
- Gusa, A., Yadav, V., Roth, C., Williams, J.D., Shouse, E., Magwene, P., Heitman, J., Jinks-Robertson, S. (2023). Genome-wide analysis of heat stress-stimulated transposon mobility in the human fungal pathogen Cryptococcus deneoformans. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. U.S.A.,120(4):e2209831120. DOI: 10.1073/pnas.2209831120
- Gusa, A. Williams, J., Cho, J., Averette, A.F., Sun, S., Shouse, E., Heitman, J., Alspaugh, J.A. & Jinks-Robertson, S. (2020). Transposon mobilization in the human fungal pathogen Cryptococcus is mutagenic during infection and promotes drug resistance in vitro. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. U.S.A., 117(18):9973-9980. DOI: 10.1073/pnas.2001451117
- Gusa, A. & Jinks-Robertson, S. (2019). Mitotic recombination and adaptive genomic changes in human pathogenic fungi. Genes, 10(11), 901. DOI: 10.3390/genes10110901
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