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Full NameProfessor Geraldine Butler
Department:School of Biomolecular and Biomedical Science
Organisation:University College Dublin
- genetics, genomics and molecular biology
- infectious disease and the immune system
- bioengineering/medical devices
- Infectious diseases
The lab is interested in studying Candida species, pathogenic yeasts that cause infection, particularly in the very young and the very old. We use a number of genomics and comparative genomics approaches to study species in the Candida clade, including genomic sequencing and RNA-seq. We developed a genome browser (the Candida Gene Order Browser) to enable analysis of Candida genomes. We are currently collaborating with Memorial Sloan Kettering, New York to follow changes in Candida isolates during infection. We have also collected Candida isolates from hospitals across Europe, including Ireland. We routinely use Illumine-Based genome sequencing, but we are transitioning to using minION, and we hope to implement single cell genomics. We are interested in identifying factors controlling virulence in pathogenic fungi. We have developed methods for gene editing in Candida parapsilosis and Candida tropicalis, including the first application of CRISPR-Cas9, and we are currently constructing a set of individual mutations. We also collaborate with Prof Gil Lee at UCD with the goal of developing novel diagnostics and treatment based on nanomaterials.
Several projects are available, including (1) using large-scale genome sequencing of clinical samples of Candida species, to determine what changes occur during infection and treatment, and during the acquisition of drug resistance (2) applying CRISPR-Cas9 to edit virulence-associated genes in Candida species (3) developing single cell genomic approaches for diagnosis of candidiasis.