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Super-resolution Imaging of Organelle Dynamics in a Human Fungal Pathogen (Super-Dynamic-Fun)

Super-resolution Imaging of Organelle Dynamics in a Human Fungal Pathogen (Super-Dynamic-Fun)

By In Aiv Internship On July 22, 2019


Internship title: Super-resolution Imaging of Organelle Dynamics in a Human Fungal Pathogen (Super-Dynamic-Fun)

LABORATORY
Name: Institute of Biology Valrose; Polarized growth in yeast
Affiliation: CNRS / Inserm / Université Côte d’Azur
Address: Institute of Biology Valrose (iBV), UMR CNRS7277 – INSERM1091 – University of Nice-Sophia Antipolis, Centre de Biochimie Université Côte d’Azur – Faculté des Sciences-Parc Valrose, 06108 Nice Cedex 2, FRANCE
E-mail: Robert.ARKOWITZ@univ-cotedazur.fr

LAB Director
Name: Robert Arkowitz
Phone number: 0489150740
E-mail: Robert.ARKOWITZ@univ-cotedazur.fr

SUPERVISOR
Name: Robert Arkowitz
Phone number: 0489150740
E-mail: Robert.ARKOWITZ@univ-cotedazur.fr

Subject Keywords: Cell polarity, morphogenesis, organization, super-resolution, dynamics
Tools and methodologies: molecular genetics, live cell microscopy, super-resolution, image processing
Summary of lab’s interests: Our main interest is how cells spatially and temporally regulate growth. Polarized growth is essential for both internal organization and generation of complex multi-cellular structures. Asymmetric growth requires the specification of a polarity site, orientation of the cytoskeleton towards this site and subsequent directed membrane traffic. Our primary focus is on polarized growth, morphogenesis and development in response to external cues, predominantly in the human pathogenic yeast Candida albicans but also in the baker’s yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae. The human commensal C. albicans switches from an oval yeast form to a hyphal filamentous form that can invade tissue and evade host immune cells. This dimorphic switch is critical for pathogenicity of C. albicans, which is a major cause of life-threatening nosocomial infections as well as persistent mucosal infections. We are investigating the roles of polarity, membrane traffic and mechanical forces in this human fungal pathogen.
Project summary: Candida species are major etiological agents of such life-threatening infections. Candida albicans, a normally harmless commensal, is found on mucosal surfaces in most healthy individuals, yet it can cause superficial as well as life-threatening systemic infections. Its ability to switch from an ovoid to a filamentous form, in response to environmental cues, is critical for its pathogenicity. The apical zone of the filament is densely packed with multiple highly dynamic membrane compartments, including a cluster of secretory vesicles and Golgi cisternae. To understand the exquisite regulation of apical polarized growth, it will be critical to follow the movement of these compartments in 3D, with high spatial and temporal resolution. This Masters project will optimize and apply super-resolution imaging approaches, in particular those taking advantage of fluorescent molecule blinking and their independent fluctuations in time, to study the dynamics of membrane compartments during filamentous growth in this medically relevant human fungal pathogen.
Interdisciplinary aspect of the project: The Master student will work closely with the fungal cell biology team (R. Arkowitz; http://ibv.unice.fr/research-team/arkowitz/) and S. Schaub, who has developed a super-resolution microscope taking advantage of multiple-angle total internal reflection fluorescence (http://ibv.unice.fr/news/multi-angle-tirf-a-molecular-resolution-optical-microscope-developed-at-ibv/). In addition, there will be interactions with a second Masters student that will work on image processing and reconstruction together with L. Blanc-Féraud; https://www-sop.inria.fr/members/Laure.Blanc_Feraud/.