| Faculty and Research
Valdivia Lab Members
272 Jones Building
Box 3580 DUMC
Durham, N.C. 27710
I received my PhD at Duke University, and I am currently a post-doctoral fellow in the laboratory of Raphael Valdivia in the Department of Molecular Genetics and Microbiology. My research has focused on characterizing the contributions of the TOR signal transduction cascade on fungal metabolism and virulence. Results from these studies uncovered a novel role for the TOR molecular cascade in governing the expression of fungal adhesins and cellular adhesion/aggregation in the human fungal pathogen Candida albicans. Fungal adhesins are surface expressed GPI anchored proteins that mediate cellular aggregation as well as colonization and invasion of C. albicans to mammalian host epithelial/endothelial cells. Currently, I am interested in characterizing the phenotypic plasticity inherent to the rapamycin and FK506 receptor FKBP12 in the zygomycete fungal pathogen Mucor circinelloides. My work has uncovered a novel RNA mediated mechanism involved in regulating FKBP12 protein expression. These ongoing studies provide novel insights on mechanisms of drug resistance employed by human fungal pathogens.
Bastidas RJ, Heitman J, Cardenas ME. The Protein Kinase Tor1 Regulates Adhesin Gene Expression in Candida albicans. PLoS Pathogens 5(2). 2009 e1000294.
Bastidas RJ, Heitman J. Trimorphic stepping stones pave the way to fungal virulence. PNAS. 2009 Jan 13; 106:351-352.
Bastidas RJ, Reedy JL, Morales-Johansson H, Heitman J, Cardenas ME. Signaling cascades as drug targets in model and pathogenic fungi. Curr Opin Investg Drugs. 2008 Aug; 9:856-864.
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