Dr Alessandra Da Silva Dantas

My lab is interested in determining how ageing heighten stress tolerance in pathogenic yeasts. We know that in most organisms, failure to respond to stress is linked to aging and age-related diseases. I have discovered the existence of a paradoxical phenomenon in the pathogenic yeast C. albicans, whereby replicative ageing results in cells that are more resistant to several environmental stress. For example, ageing of individual C. albicans cells enables them (and their offspring) to avoid immune surveillance and survive phagocytic killing. We are now trying to determine the mechanistic basis on how C. albicans exploits the ageing process to overcome extreme stresses posed in the mammalian niche.