Using fission yeast and the pathogenic fungus Cryptococcus neoformans, we study the mechanisms by which organisms detect changes in environmental oxygen and the adaptive transcriptional programs employed by cells to facilitate growth.
Funding: Burroughs Wellcome Fund - Investigators in Pathogenesis of Infectious Disease Program
Regulation of Sterol Homeostasis
Elevated serum cholesterol is a primary risk factor for heart disease. A negative feedback mechanism prevents cellular cholesterol overaccumulation by regulating SREBP, a membrane-bound transcription factor that activates genes required for cholesterol biosynthesis and uptake of cholesterol-rich lipoproteins. We use the genetics of fission yeast as a discovery tool to identify new components of this sterol-sensing pathway in mammalian cells.
Funding: NIH – National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, and the American Heart Association