Department of Microbiology and Immunology
University of British Columbia
B.Sc. (Co-op) University of Lethbridge (2005)
M.Sc. University of Lethbridge (2007)
Cryptococcus neoformans is an opportunistic, yeast-like fungus that is a significant human pathogen with worldwide distribution. Globally, C. neoformans causes approximately one million cases of life-threatening cryptococcal meningitis and meningoencephalitis per year in AIDS patients, resulting in an estimated 650,000 deaths. The ability of C. neoformans to cause disease depends on the production of three virulence factors that include the polysaccharide capsule, the ability to grow at 37C, and the production of melanin in the cell wall. In C. neoformans, capsule production and virulence are regulated by the cAMP/Protein Kinase A (PKA) signaling pathway, and part of this regulation occurs via control of expression of secretory pathway components.
Originally, I am from Lethbridge, Alberta, the windy city of the prairies. I moved to Vancouver in September 2009 to join the Kronstad lab at UBC and begin my doctoral studies. I enjoy running with my partner, Jason, and our dog, Axl, and Crossfitting throughout the week.