Using RNA Interference to Identify New Drug Targets in the Human Pathogenic Fungus, Cryptococcus neoformans
Cryptococcus neoformans, a fungus that infects immunocompromised patients, may cause fatal meningoencephalitis if left untreated. Current antifungals have little efficacy against this organism. The PIs will identify fungal genes involved in producing disease (virulence factors). Once these genes are identified, new therapeutics may be developed to target these factors. The PIs will construct and screen an RNA interference library to identify novel genes required for melanization (a virulence factor) that could serve as new drug targets.