About the Project
The human fungal pathogen Cryptococcus neoformans undergoes an unusual morphological transition from haploid yeast to highly polyploid Titan cells during infection of the human host. Unusually, Titan cells produce aneuploid, diploid, or haploid daughters, a mechanism for generating genetic diversity in an otherwise clonal population. This has major implications for drug resistance, host range, and environmental distribution. This self-funded post-graduate research project would investigate the molecular mechanisms underlying this process, as well as the long-term impacts of aneuploidy and genome plasticity on the evolution of this major human fungal pathogen. An interest in bioinformatic approaches, molecular biology, and genetics is strongly recommended.