Ph.D., Iowa State University
Postdoctorate, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
My primary area of
research deals with the biosystematics and morphogenesis of pleomorphic dematiaceous fungi
that cause opportunistic mycotic infections. In addition, the effect of microgravity
upon fundamental processes of yeasts is of special interest.
Research activities are orientated towards the integration of anamorphic, teleomorphic,
and holomorphic species concepts into a dynamic classification system for the pleomorphic
dematiaceous yeasts and moulds. This will be built upon gene sequence data and
derived phylogenic relationships. Morphogenesis, conidiogenesis, and molecular tools
will provide a clearer understanding of the basic biology of this group of variable
microorganisms. Such an understanding will be useful for investigating virulence
factors involved when these fungi serve as opportunistic pathogens.
Microgravity research will be conducted
using the bioreactor device and on a space shuttle flight. The effect of
microgravity upon intracellular evolution, sensitivity of fungi to antifungal drugs, and
basic cellular developmental processes will be characterized.