Fungal structural genomics
The goal of this project will not only be to develop novel inhibitors of the fungus pathogen, but also to aid in gaining a better understanding of the organism’s fundamental structure-function relationships.
One area of my research is dedicated to a significant but under studied pathogen: fungus.
Many fungi are airborne and generate mycotoxins. Several fungal genomes have been fully sequenced with many essential genes identified.
Three targets will be chosen for study: an essential protein in the mycotoxin biosynthesis pathway, a target involved in multi-drug resistance (MDR) and a recently discovered essential protein as a target for novel anti-fungals.
Honours projects in this area will be devoted to one fungal protein target (per student). The goal of the projects will be to probe essential protein mechanisms by biophysical methods including x-ray crystallography with structure guided drug design in mind.
Techniques involved will include cloning as well as protein expression and purification. Additional techniques may include crystallisation, structure determination, bioinformatics, enzymatic assays, and various forms of compound screening.