'Manipulation of the life cycle of Aspergillus fumigatus: a novel therapeutic strategy' - MIMM 396 Undergraduate Research Project Application Form

Supervisor's Name: Donald Sheppard

Supervisor's Email: donald.sheppard [at] mcgill.ca

Supervisor's Phone: 1759

Supervisor's Website:

Supervisor's department: Microbiology and Immunology

Course number: MIMM 396 (Microbiology)

Term: Fall 2013-2014

Project start date: Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Project end date: Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Project title: Manipulation of the life cycle of Aspergillus fumigatus: a novel therapeutic strategy

Project description (50-100 words suggested): Aspergillus fumigatus is an ubiquitous fungus that causes an often fatal invasive pneumonia in immunocompromised patients. The success of the fungus is linked to its ability to limit vegetative growth and efficiently sporulate to disperse high numbers of asexual spores in the environment, while switching to vegetative growth in the host. We hypothesize that forcing sporulation during infection will suppress vegetative growth and impair virulence.  In this project, the student will focus on studying the link between sporulation and virulence in A. fumigatus through the construction of a mutant strain in which the master regulator of sporulation will be placed under the control of an inducible promotor to force sporulation during infection. The in vitro and in vivo phenotypes of these mutants will be studied for growth defects and morphological changes.

Prerequisite: 1 term completed at McGill + CGPA of 3.0 or higher; or permission of instructor.

Grading scheme (The final report must be worth at least 50% of final grade): The final grade will be based on an evaluation by the supervisor of laboratory performance (50%) and a final written report (50%).

Project status: This project is taken; however students may contact the professor to discuss other possible '396' projects this term.

How students can apply: N/A; this project is filled.

Ethics, safety, and training: Supervisors are responsible for the ethics and safety compliance of undergraduate students. This project involves: Animal subjects; Biohazardous substances.