Prof. Carol Munro
Fungal cell wall, Candida albicans functional genomics, antifungal drug tolerance and antifungal drug discovery
Munro her research is centred upon fungal cell wall biosynthesis and its regulation and role in pathogenesis. Many of the enzymes and proteins that contribute to the fungal cell wall structure are unique to fungi and are potential targets for novel therapeutics and diagnostics. In pathogenic fungi, the cell wall is in intimate contact with host cells and adhesion of the fungus to the host is mediated via the mannoprotein-rich outer layer. The major polysaccharides of the cell wall glucan and chitin are essential for viability and cell shape. We have shown that alterations in cell wall composition impact on susceptibility to the echinocandin antifungal drugs and host interactions.
Her key goals therefore are to determine the components of the cell wall that are important for viability and pathogenesis and to understand cell wall dynamics and how cell wall biosynthesis is regulated. The Munro research team are investigating the function and regulation of specific cell surface proteins and applying LC-MS/MS proteomics to study the cell wall proteome.
Her research also spans antifungal drug development and in partnership with NovaBiotics Ltd we are developing antimicrobial peptides as therapies for systemic fungal and polymicrobial infections. A further area of research is functional genomics and in collaboration with Christophe D’Enfert, Institut Pasteur her group are constructing C. albicans ORFeome and over-expression libraries that will be distributed to the community. These libraries can be used for genome-wide high throughput analyses to gain a better understanding of fungal virulence and to improve the existing C. albicans genome annotation by elucidating the roles of uncharacterised genes.
Carol Munro is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Biology, deputy Editor in Chief of the journal FEMS Yeast Research and will Chair the 2017 Advanced Lecture Course on Human Fungal pathogens. She has published over 80 scientific publications and obtained funding from the European Union, University of Aberdeen, Medical Research Councils, Scottish Universities Life Sciences Alliance and the Wellcome Trust to fund her research. These funds have helped her mentor over 25 students to complete their PhD and Masters research degrees.
Walker, L.A., Munro, C.A., de Bruijn, I., Lenardon, M.D., McKinnon, A. and Gow, N.A.R. (2008) Stimulation of chitin synthesis rescues Candida albicans from echinocandins. PloS Pathogens 4(4):e1000040.
Cabral, V., Znaidi, S., Walker, L.A., Martin-Yken, H., Dague, E., Legrand, M., Lee, K., Chauvel, M., Firon, A., Rossignol, T., Richard, M.L., Munro, C.A., Bachellier-Bassi, S. and d'Enfert, C. (2014). Targeted changes of the cell wall proteome influence Candida albicans ability to form single- and multi-strain biofilms. PLoS Pathogens 10(12):e1004542.
Ene I.V., Walker L.A., Schiavone, M., Lee K.K., Martin-Yken, H., Dague, E., Gow, N.A., Munro, C.A., and Brown, A.J. (2015) Cell wall remodeling enzymes modulate fungal cell wall elasticity and osmotic stress resistance. MBio. 6(4) pii: e00986-15
MRC Centre for Medical Mycology
Institute of Medical Sciences