Elucidating the role of Endocytosis in Candida survival and proliferation in host cells

Fungi such as Candida species are a major cause of hospital-acquired infections especially in elderly and immuno-compromised patients, and invasive candidiasis is associated with a high mortality rate. Central to Candida albicans virulence is the ability of cells to switch shape between round yeast and filamentous hyphal forms. This capacity is thought to allow the organism to disseminate effectively in blood (as yeast) and through tissues (with hyphae). There is increasing evidence implicating the endocytic pathway in the mechanism for bud to hyphal transition, and in the maintenance of polarised growth in hyphae. This project will allow unprecedented insight into machinery underlying C.albicans environmental fitness and interaction with host cells.