Dr. Govindsamy Vediyappan
Division of Biology
We are interested in understanding the pathogenic mechanisms of Candida albicans, the major fungal pathogen of humans, and in developing novel antifungal agents for therapeutic use. C. albicans and other Candida species cause mucosal, disseminated and invasive infections, especially among patients who are immune suppressed or hospitalized with diseases such as cancer or HIV. Every cancer patient is vulnerable to Candida infection. Infection in the oropharynx is a major cause of morbidity in patients with malignancies, and chemotherapy and radiation therapy predispose cancer patients for Candida infections. Better understanding of C. albicans virulence will allow us to design intervention strategies.
We are also interested in deciphering the molecular mechanisms of antimicrobial resistance in bacterial pathogens, particularly contribution of multiple drug resistance (MDR) by efflux pumps which eliminate drugs from the bacteria.Opportunistic bacterial pathogens in cancer patients impede treatment. Active drug efflux is one of the major intrinsic mechanisms ofMDR in bacteria. A single MDR efflux pump system can effectively remove hundreds of structurally diverse antimicrobial drugs from bacterial cells. Understanding MDR efflux pumps in bacteria will allow us to develop effective therapeutics.