Associate Professor Julianne (Julie) Djordjevic is head of the Fungal Pathogenesis Group at the Centre for Infectious Diseases and Microbiology (CIDM).
Having completed her PhD at the University of Queensland investigating the molecular basis of atherosclerosis (1995), she has a background in molecular biology and biochemistry. She also has experience in immunology and HIV pathogenesis. In 2005, she was appointed to a tenured position as head of the Fungal Pathogenesis Group where she has established her professional career, obtaining 3 NHMRC project grants as CIA, 4 NHMRC grants as CIB/C, 10 seed/bridging grants as CIA and a NSW Health PhD Partnership Program grant with Industry (2020) to carry out antifungal drug discovery.
Her group’s major research discoveries include characterization of the fungal phosphate acquisition (PHO) pathway and determination of its critical role in promoting fungal pathogenesis and fatal fungal meningitis.
Other findings include elucidation of how the pan-fungal virulence factor, phospholipase B, is released from fungal cells and how fungal cells adapt to host temperature via the calcineurin-responsive transcription factor, Crz1, and one of its targets, the neuronal calcium sensor protein, Nsc1 (collaboration with the Universidade Federal do Rio Grande do Sul Brazil).
In recent collaborations with University College London and the Leibniz Institute, her group characterised the phospholipase C-dependent inositol polyphosphate biosynthesis pathway and the role of one of its metabolic products in “switching-on” phosphate acquisition in pathogenic fungi. This received media coverage and led to 2 ABC interviews concerning the rise of certain fungal infections in Covid-19 patients.
Host-fungus interaction, molecular pathogenesis, phosphate homeostasis, signal transduction, molecular interactions, transcriptional and cell cycle regulation, drug discovery.
Infection and Immunological Conditions
Infection and Immunity