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Dr. Balajee is a graduate of the University of Madras (India) and completed her post doctoral training in Dr. Kieren Marr’s laboratory at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, Seattle, US. Currently she leads the Molecular Epidemiology Unit within the Mycotic Diseases Branch at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Dr. Balajee’s dynamic research program is focused on public health mycology that includes studies on the molecular epidemiology of medically important fungi, specifically the genus Aspergillus. Another area of interest is understanding the role of mycotoxins, specifically aflatoxin elaborated by Aspergillus in mediating adverse health effects in humans. Dr. Balajee has published over 25 peer-reviewed articles and several book chapters and is committed to creating a learning environment for budding public health mycologists in her laboratory. Dr. Balajee is the convenor for an international working group on A. terreus to gather and disseminate scientific knowledge in this field and is a member of the working group on species concepts inAspergillus.
Key Contributions to recent literature:
Arun Balajee Ph.D.
Email [email protected]
Phone - 404 639 3337
My research focus lies in genetically dissecting those aspects of Aspergillus spp. that render them potent pathogens and superb natural product machines. My laboratory’s research includes elucidation of fungal sporulation and host/pathogen interactions; processes intimately linked to secondary metabolite (e.g. mycotoxin) production. My tactic has been to use the genetic model Aspergillus nidulans to elucidate important biological processes in this genus and then carry this information to the plant pathogens A. flavus and A. parasiticus and the human pathogen A. fumigatus. The former two pathogens contaminate seed crops worldwide with aflatoxin, the most potent naturally occurring carcinogen known. The latter pathogen is now tied with Candida as the most serious human mycopathogen in developed countries where it can cause invasive aspergillosis, a disease with a mortality rate ranging from 50 to 90%.
Areas of fungal biology that my lab has been central in developing include:
I. Genetic Regulation of Secondary Metabolism and the Role of Toxic Metabolites in Fungal Virulence.
II. Gene silencing processes.
III. Host/fungal signaling.
Professor of Genetics
I have carried out research on filamentous fungi such asAspergillus nidulans andPenicillium
Current research interests include the molecular genetics and genomics of secondary metabolism, and polar growth of filamentous fungi, especially Aspergillus nidulans and the opportunistic human and animal pathogen Aspergillus fumigatus.
Secondary metabolism studies have been focussed on the structure and function of non ribosomal peptide synthetases (NRPS), exemplified by ACV synthetase, which assembles the
Recent genome sequencing projects on A. nidulans and A. fumigatushave revealed an abundance of novel secondary metabolic gene clusters, and we are applying a combination of genetic and chemical approaches to determine their products, some of which have activity against mammalian cells.
Selected earlier publications
Selected recent publications
|William J. Steinbach||
William J. Steinbach
Assistant Professor , Division of Pediatric Infectious Diseases, Duke University,USA
Dr. Steinbach is a graduate of University of North Carolina School of Medicine and trained in Pediatrics at Stanford University. He later completed a pediatric infectious diseases fellowship at Duke University. He is an associate researcher at the Duke Clinical Research Institute.
Dr. Steinbach has published over 30 peer-reviewed articles and several book chapters, generally concerning fungal disease and antifungal agents. He is involved in several clinical trials of newer antifungal agents, including involvement with the NIAID Bacteriology and Mycoses Study Group. To focus on the issues of fungal disease and treatment in pediatrics, he is also the co-director of the Pediatric Fungal Network.
His basic science interests include in vitro, in vivo, and molecular exploration of A. fumigatus, focusing on mechanisms of pathogenesis as well as optimizing antifungal therapies. Dr. Steinbach’s clinical interest focuses on invasive aspergillosis diagnosis and management, as well as pediatric fungal infections and the unique characteristics they reveal. In an effort to unite his basic science and clinical interests, Dr. Steinbach is a co-chairman of the Advances Against Aspergillosis international conference (www.advancesagainstaspergillosis.org).
Recent key contributions to the literature:
Division of Pediatric Infectious Diseases
Tel +1 (919) 684-6335