Combating infectious disease pathogens is a pressing global health challenge. Due to limited treatment options, fungal pathogens pose a unique challenge, and are emerging as a leading cause of human mortality. Rebecca Shapiro’s research program develops and applies cutting-edge CRISPR-based technologies to study fungal disease. Focusing on Candida albicans, the most common cause of fungal infections, and Candida auris, an emerging fungal pathogen and critical public health threat, her lab is developing, optimizing, and applying CRISPR systems to create fungal genetic mutants on a large scale, and study these mutants to explore the genetic mechanisms by which Candida species tolerate antifungal drugs and cause life-threatening disease.
- Ontario Early Research Award, Ontario Ministry of Economic Development, Job Creation and Trade
- Bhagirath Singh Early Career Award in Infection and Immunity, Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR), 2019
- Banting Postdoctoral Fellowship, Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR), 2013 - 2015
- Rosiana, S., Zhang, L., Kim, G. H., Revtovich, A. V., Uthayakumar, D., Sukumaran, A., ... & Shapiro, R. S. (2021). Comprehensive genetic analysis of adhesin proteins and their role in virulence of Candida albicans. Genetics.
- Wensing, L., Sharma, J., Uthayakumar, D., Proteau, Y., Chavez, A., & Shapiro, R. S. (2019). A CRISPR interference platform for efficient genetic repression in Candida albicans. Msphere, 4(1).
- Halder, V., Porter, C. B., Chavez, A., & Shapiro, R. S. (2019). Design, execution, and analysis of CRISPR–Cas9-based deletions and genetic interaction networks in the fungal pathogen Candida albicans. Nature protocols, 14(3), 955-975.
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.