Prof. Simon Avery

Professor of Eukaryotic Microbiology

Research Focus

Effects of stress and drugs on yeasts and filamentous fungi, with emphasis on food security and pathogen control, phenotypic heterogeneity and mode of action.

Scientific Activities

Research in Simon Avery's laboratory centres on the effects of stress on fungi, with a focus on environmental toxicants and antimicrobials. We use the yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae as a eukaryotic model to enable characterization of stress-effects at the whole-cell and molecular level. To apply the findings, we extend studies to fungal pathogens of plants and humans, food spoilage fungi and mammalian cell systems. Simon is PI of several current research grants. He has industry partnerships and academic collaborators in the UK and overseas. Current research projects in the Avery lab are focused on:

Food security and pathogen control - development of novel antifungal combinations to inhibit undesirable fungi.

Phenotypic heterogeneity - population heterogeneity of phenotypes like stress resistance, between genetically-uniform cells or spores. Relevance to yeast/fungal populations in the natural environment, food spoilage and pathogenesis.

Mode of action - the mechanistic basis for the actions of drugs and environmental toxicants (like metals) on cells.

Simon is currently Publications Officer and President-Elect of the British Mycological Society. He is a Senior Editor of Fungal Biology (Elsevier) and Associate Editor of Fungal Biology Reviews (Elsevier),

Significant Publications

VALLIÈRES C, HOLLAND SL and AVERY SV, 2017. Mitochondrial ferredoxin determines vulnerability of cells to copper excess. Cell Chemical Biology. 24, 1228-1237

VAN VOORHIS WC et al, 2016. Open source drug discovery with the Malaria Box compound collection for neglected diseases and beyond. PLoS Pathogens. 12, e1005763

HOLLAND SL, READER T, DYER PS and AVERY SV, 2014. Phenotypic heterogeneity is a selected trait in natural yeast populations subject to environmental stress Environmental Microbiology. 16, 1729-1740


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