Molecular characterisation of EPA genes in C. glabrata and its pathogenesis in antifungal resistance.

Applications are invited for the post of Graduate Research Student for Taylor’s Research Grant Scheme (TRGS) under Taylor’s University’s sponsored research projects.
 
Project Duration: 18 months
Project Code: TRGS/MFS/2/2016/SOM/013
Project Title: Molecular characterisation of EPA genes in C. glabrata and its pathogenesis in antifungal resistance.
 
Brief of Project:
Yeasts are considered as non-pathogenic and less virulent. However, the transition from Candida albicans to non-albicans Candida species have been noticed in the immune compromised patients in the last decades. Non-albicans Candida species also demonstrated the production of virulence factors which was once attributed to Candida albicans. Non-albicans Candida demonstrated high resistance to azole groups of antifungal agents. The organism's key virulence-associated factors include glycosyl phosphatidylinositol-anchored adhesions, encoded sub-telomerically by the EPA gene family. Sorted cells expressing high and low levels of Epa1 exhibited both high and low adherence to epithelial cells, indicating the link between gene expression noise and potential virulence. Hence, it is also known that drug penetration failed to produce complete killing of biofilm cells. These results indicate that poor antifungal penetration is not a major drug resistance mechanism for Candida biofilms. This study will be conducted to identify if the EPA genes are expressed during adherences, the effect of antifungal agents on their biofilms and how effective the penetration of antifungal agents are into their biofilms. The matrix is able to make a flow condition which contributes to the resistance of the antifungal agents as the composition of biofilms material, which is the determinant of resistance. Lastly, the effectiveness of the penetration of antifungal agents through the biofilms can be observed with the confocal laser and scanning electron microscopy images.
 
Designation:
Master’s by research student – 1
 
Specific Qualifications/ Requirements:
Master’s student is responsible for working towards completion of his/her master degree programs in a
timely manner (full time in 18 – 24 months).
Stipend and Benefits: Students are encouraged to apply for Research scholarship (with 75% tuition fee waiver and stipend). Refer to ‘Postgraduate Funding’ for eligibility, application and selection details for the scholarship.
Successful candidates who do not qualify for the above-mentioned scholarships will be funded through a Graduate Student Assistant scheme with monthly stipend of up to RM1300. Students will be enrolled in MPhil (Pharmaceutical Sciences) under the School of Pharmacy.
 
 
Job Description for Master’s by Research Candidate:
Experience in Molecular Biology and Cell cultures is a must.
 
 
Interested candidates can directly contact Dr. Priya Madhavan with their CV and research proposal via e-mail (Priya.Madhavan@taylors.edu.my).
School of Medicine,
Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences,
Taylor’s University Lakeside Campus