Soo Chan Lee
Mucormycosis is an emerging opportunistic fungal infection whose pathogens are found within the Mucorales family. An increase in immunocompromised patients with solid organ transplants, diabetes mellitus, and other medical conditions have resulted in increased fungal infections including mucormycosis. There is a lack of genetic information about mucormycosis-causing pathogens, and drug resistance contributes to the struggle of understanding the pathogenicity of the organisms. In Dr. Soo Chan Lee’s lab (here at UTSA), there have been advances in genetic tools to study Mucor circinelloides, one of the causative agents of mucormycosis. Using gene knockout and recyclable markers, genetic manipulation (change of phenotype expressed) of M. circinelloides was performed successfully. This proof of genetic manipulation increases understanding of Mucor and opens the doorway for more research regarding potential antifungal treatments for mucormycosis.