Priya Uppuluri, PhD
Assistant Professor, David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA
Division of Infectious Diseases, Harbor-UCLA Medical Center
Candida albicans biofilms
Research DescriptionDr. Uppuluri’s lab focuses on the molecular basis underlying biofilm growth and dispersal in the human fungal pathogen Candida albicans. Biofilms are increasingly recognized as the predominant form of growth of microorganisms, including during infection. Candida is the third leading cause of intravascular catheter-related infections, with the second highest colonization to infection rate and the overall highest crude mortality. Cells in biofilms display high levels of resistance to most antifungal agents, and once established, biofilms have the potential to initiate or prolong infections by providing a safe sanctuary from which organisms can invade local tissue, seed new infection sites and resist eradication. Thus, dispersal of cells from biofilms becomes a significant phenomenon, predisposing susceptible patients to life-threatening disseminated candidiasis. Dr. Uppuluri’s lab has reported that biofilm dispersed cells have properties more invasive and virulent than any other growth phases of C. albicans, including biofilms. Understanding the molecular basis underlying biofilm dispersal, and identification of genetic targets on the fungus to abrogate the process of dispersion is the focus of the laboratory.
- BS, Mumbai University, Mumbai, India
- PhD, Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center, Lubbock, Texas