Maribel Navarro

Heitman Lab Members

Postdoctoral Associate
312 CARL Building
Box 3546 DUMC
Durham, N.C. 27710
Phone: 919.684.3036
Fax: 919.684.2790

Research Interest
My research interest is to understand how pathogenic fungi sense the environment and the host, focusing on which genetic regulation mechanisms are responsible for virulent processes and antifungal drug resistance. I started working with the early-diverging fungus Mucor circinelloides as a Biology undergraduate student, and I specialized in Molecular Biology and Biotechnology. During my Ph.D. at the University of Murcia, I focused on the identification of new virulence factors in Mucorales and the characterization of the centromeric chromatin regulated by RNAi in these fungi. At the Heitman lab, I will be studying antifungal drug resistances controlled by epigenetic mechanisms, including, epimutation via RNAi, transposable elements, and chromatin remodeling in human fungal pathogens. Our goal is to analyze the impact of epimutation on antimicrobial drug resistance and pathogenicity, focusing on the host-pathogen interaction.

Personal Interest
Outside the lab, I enjoy watching lots of movies and series and cooking. I like spending time with my family and friends on nice dishes and board games. When possible, I love traveling and trying new food.

Publication List

Pérez-Arques C. #, Navarro-Mendoza M.I. #, Murcia L., Navarro E., Garre V., and Nicolás F.E. (2020). A non-canonical RNAi pathway controls virulence and genome stability in Mucorales. PLOS Genetics. 16, e1008611. 10.1371/journal.pgen.1008611. #Equally contributing authors

Nicolás F.E., Murcia L., Navarro E., Navarro-Mendoza M.I., Pérez-Arques C., and Garre V. (2020). Mucorales species and macrophages. Journal of Fungi 6, 94. 10.3390/jof6020094

Lax, C., Pérez-Arques, C., Navarro-Mendoza, M.I., Cánovas-Márquez, J.T., Tahiri, G., Pérez-Ruiz, J.A., Osorio-Concepción, M., Murcia-Flores, L., Navarro, E., Garre, V., and Nicolás, F.E. (2020). Genes, pathways, and mechanisms involved in the virulence of Mucorales. Genes, 11, 317. doi: 10.3390/genes11030317

Navarro-Mendoza, M.I.#, Pérez-Arques, C.#, Panchal, S., Nicolás, F.E., Mondo, S.J., Ganguly, P., Pangilinan, J., Grigoriev, I. V., Heitman, J., Sanyal, K., and Garre, V. (2019). Early diverging fungus Mucor circinelloides lacks centromeric histone CENP-A and displays a mosaic of point and regional centromeres. Current Biology. 29, 1–12. doi:10.1016/j.cub.2019.09.024. #Equally contributing authors

Pérez-Arques, C.#, Navarro-Mendoza, M.I.#, Murcia, L., Lax, C., Martínez-García, P., Heitman, J., Nicolás, F.E., and Garre, V. (2019). Mucor circinelloides thrives inside the phagosome through an Atf-mediated germination pathway. mBio. 10, 1–15. doi:10.1128/mBio.02765-18. #Equally contributing authors

Binder, U., Navarro-Mendoza, M.I., Naschberger, V., Bauer, I., Nicolás, F.E., Pallua, J.D., Lass-Flörl, C., and Garre, V. (2018). Generation of a Mucor circinelloides reporter strain—A promising new tool to study antifungal drug efficacy and mucormycosis. Genes. 9, 613. doi:10.3390/genes9120613

Nicolás, F.E., Navarro-Mendoza, M.I., Pérez-Arques, C., López-García, S., Navarro, E., Torres-Martínez, S., and Garre, V. (2018). Molecular tools for carotenogenesis analysis in the mucoral Mucor circinelloides. In Microbial Carotenoids. Methods in Molecular Biology. Humana Press. 13, 221 – 237. doi:10.1007/978-1-4939-8742-9_13

López-Muñoz, A., Nicolás, F.E., García-Moreno, D., Pérez-Oliva, A.B., Navarro-Mendoza, M.I., Hernández-Oñate, M.A., Herrera-Estrella, A., Torres-Martínez, S., Ruiz-Vázquez, R.M., Garre, V., and Mulero, V. (2018). An adult zebrafish model reveals that mucormycosis induces apoptosis of infected macrophages. Scientific Reports. 8, 12802 doi:10.1038/s41598-018-30754-6

Navarro-Mendoza, M.I., Pérez-Arques, C., Murcia, L., Martínez-García, P., Lax, C., Sanchis, M., Capilla, J., Nicolás, F.E., and Garre, V. (2018). Components of a new gene family of ferroxidases involved in virulence are functionally specialized in fungal dimorphism. Scientific Reports. 8, 7660. doi:10.1038/s41598-018-26051-x

Vellanki, S., Navarro-Mendoza, M.I., García, A., Murcia, L., Pérez-Arques, C., Garre, V., Nicolás, F.E., and Lee, S.C. (2018). Mucor circinelloides: Growth, maintenance, and genetic manipulation. Current Protocols in Microbiology. 49, e53. doi:10.1002/cpmc.53

López-Fernández, L., Sanchis, M., Navarro-Rodríguez, P., Nicolás, F.E., Silva-Franco, F., Guarro, J., Garre, V., Navarro-Mendoza, M.I., Pérez-Arques, C., and Capilla, J. (2018). Understanding Mucor circinelloides pathogenesis by comparative genomics and phenotypical studies. Virulence. 9, 707-720. doi:10.1080/21505594.2018.1435249

Trieu, T.A., Navarro-Mendoza, M.I., Pérez-Arques, C., Sanchis, M., Capilla, J., Navarro Rodriguez, P., Lopez-Fernandez, L., Torres-Martínez, S., Garre, V., Ruiz-Vázquez, R.M., and Nicolás, F.E. (2017). RNAi-based functional genomics identifies new virulence determinants in mucormycosis. PLOS Pathogens. 13, e1006150. doi:10.1371/journal.ppat.1006150