Prof. Matthew Fisher

Professor of Fungal Epidemiology

Research Focus

Environmental change in driving fungal disease epidemiology across ecosystems.

Scientific Activities

Prof Matthew Fisher works on the evolutionary ecology of pathogenic fungi and heads a research group at the Department of Infectious Disease Epidemiology, St Mary's Hospital, Imperial College London. His group uses the analysis of genomic data to investigate the biological and environmental factors that are driving emerging fungal diseases across human, wildlife and plant species.

A recently focus has been to develop methods to analyse the structure of fungal populations in order to ascertain the rate of evolution and spread of clinically-important traits such as antifungal drug resistance or virulence. These methods are now being used to track the origin and spread of drug-resistance alleles that have evolved in the environment, but are now spilling-over to infect patient populations.

His group is also interested in determining the rate at which fungi are able to respond to selection by the environment (such as antimicrobials) as well as the host, and have demonstrated the occurrence of hypervariable mechanisms as well as the modes of inheritance of key traits that are involved in pathogenicity. The research group is also well known for it's groundbreaking work on understanding the role of chytrids in driving global declines in amphibian biodiversity.

Significant Publications

Fisher MC, Gow NA, Gurr SJ. Tackling emerging fungal threats to animal health, food security and ecosystem resilience (2016). Phil. Trans. R. Soc. B.

Fisher MC, Henk DA, Briggs C, Brownstein JS, Madoff L, McCraw SL, Gurr S. (2012) Emerging fungal threats to animal, plant and ecosystem health. Nature 484: 186-194

Farrer RA, Weinert LA, Bielby J, Garner TWJ, Balloux F, Clare F, Bosch J, Cunningham AA, Weldon C, du Preez LH, Anderson L, Kosakovsky Pond SL, Shahar-Golan R, Henk DA, Fisher MC. (2011) Multiple emergences of genetically diverse amphibian-infecting chytrids include a globalised hypervirulent recombinant lineage. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA 108(46) 18732-18736


Contact information

Imperial College School of Public Health
St Mary's Campus
W2 1PG