Title:  Using drug synergy to combat fungal infections

Speaker:  Prof Dee Carter, the University of Sydney

Research Synopsis. The Carter lab aims to take a holistic view of eukaryotic microorganisms, in particular disease-causing pathogens, with the aim of finding new ways to inhibit them and treat infections. These organisms are much more closely related to humans than bacteria or viruses, making it difficult to devise treatments that don't also damage the host. Our work centres on understanding pathogen diversity using population and evolutionary genetic analysis, and on understanding cellular responses to toxins and stresses using transcriptomic and proteomic approaches. The organisms of choice are the yeast pathogens Cryptococcus neoformans, Cryptococcus gattii, Candida albicans and Candida glabrata. These organisms are commonly encountered in the environment or living on our bodies, but cause devastating illnesses, particularly in immunocompromised hosts, that are notoriously difficult to treat.

Biography:  Dee Carter is Professor of Microbiology at the University of Sydney. She has a degree in microbiology and biochemistry from Otago University, New Zealand, and a PhD from Imperial College, London, UK. She undertook postdoctoral fellowships in Montpellier, France, and UC Berkeley, California, USA. In 1995 she joined the faculty of the University of Sydney. Her research has encompassed 1) the population genetics and ecology of medically important fungi, including yeast and mould pathogens; 2) responses of fungi to host and antifungal stress, including the production of variant morphological forms; and 3) the transcriptome and proteome response to antifungal therapy, particularly during synergistic interactions between antifungals and natural products, and the use of these to develop novel antifungal therapies. Her group works on a wide range of pathogenic fungi, including Cryptococcus, Candida, Aspergillus and dermatophytes. In addition to research, Dee teaches microbiology including mycology, epidemiology and molecular biology at Sydney University. She has a particular interest in postgraduate education and has to date mentored 25 PhD students to completion.  She became a Fellow of the American Academy of Microbiology in 2016 and received the Distinguished Service Award from the Australian Society for Microbiology in 2020.


About School research seminars

Seminars cover all aspects of chemistry and molecular biosciences and are delivered by visiting national and international academics. PhD completion seminars are also incorporated into the program.

Seminars are usually held in person and via zoom. All are welcome to attend.  



AIBN Seminar Room