Fungi are normal members of the human gut microbiome that are benign commensals in people. However, fungi can become pathogenic when the microbiome or immune system is perturbed. Candida species dominating the gut fungal community are notorious opportunistic pathogens capable of causing life-threatening disseminated infections. Candida species can also drive pathogenic inflammation in the gut and are associated with worsened inflammatory bowel disease in people. It is still largely a mystery as to how these fungi reside peacefully in the gut of most people. The goal of the Ost lab is to uncover the immune forces that constrain these fungi to a commensal state to prevent disease.
- Crohn’s and Colitis Foundation Career Development Award, 2022
- Helen Hay Whitney Foundation Fellowship, University of Utah, 2018
- Ost, K.S., O’ Meara, T.R., Stephens W. Z, Chiaro, T, Zhou, H., Penman, J., Bell, R., Catanzaro, J., Song, D., Singh, S., Daniel H. Call, D.H., Hwang-Wong, E., Hanson, K.E., Valentine, J.F., Christensen, K.A., O’ Connell, R.M, Cormack, B., Ibrahim, A.S., Palm, N.W., Noble, S., Round, J.L. Adaptive immunity induces mutualism between commensal eukaryotes (2021) Nature. doi:10.1038/s41586-021-03722-w
CIFAR is a registered charitable organization supported by the governments of Canada, Alberta and Quebec, as well as foundations, individuals, corporations and Canadian and international partner organizations.