The HKI focusses on natural products from micro-organisms and the infection biology of pathogenic fungi. My department Microbial Pathogenicity Mechanisms (MPM) investigates infections caused by human pathogenic yeasts, in particular Candida albicans and C. glabrata. C. albicans is regarded as the most important of all medically relevant yeasts and is an extremely successful pathogen in humans. C. glabrata is closely related to the non-pathogenic baker’s yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae. However, in many cases C. glabrata is the second most prevalent yeast pathogen in humans after C. albicans.
Using cellular, microbial, molecular and biochemical methods and C. albicans or C. glabrata as model organisms, the goal of our research is to identify factors which fungal pathogens need to cause diseases. In addition to these efforts to increase our understanding of the basics of pathogenesis of fungal infections, we also seek to identify new biomarkers for diagnostic approaches and potential targets for antimycotic drug development.