Fungal infections, including invasive infections, chronic lung infections, allergic fungal diseases, mucosal, skin, hair and nail infections affect billion of people annually. Invasive fungal diseases alone kill at least as many people per year as tuberculosis and malaria, but they are neglected world-wide.
Our group aims to understand the phylogenetic relationships between human and animal pathogenic fungi, and to develop early and accurate diagnostic methods to enable a faster and more effective treatment of mycoses and to ultimately to save human life.
Our research group is one of the world's leading molecular epidemiology groups investigating fungal disease outbreaks (for example, the ongoing outbreak of cryptococcosis on Vancouver Island) and nosocomial case clusters (Pneumocystis infections in kidney transplants). In our research we develop and apply techniques including PCR-fingerprinting, Multilocus Microsatellite Typing (MLMT), Multilocus Sequence Typing (MLST) (see: mlst.mycologlab.org) and whole genome SNP analysis.
Based on our epidemiological findings, we are tracing the phylogenetic origin of human pathogenic, (eg C. gattii, for which we identified South America as the ancestral population), and identifing and characterising the genetic basis for fungal virulence, allowing us to contribute globally to a better understanding of fungal pathogenicity.