Gregory May, Ph.D.
Present Title & Affiliation
Professor, Laboratory Medicine, Research, The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, TX
- Fungal genetics
- Microbial pathogenesis
- Gene expression
Two species of closely related filamentous fungi, Aspergillus nidulans and Aspergillus fumigatus, provide an excellent model for the study of multicellular development, cell cycles, cytoskeletal function and infectious growth.
A. nidulans is a classical genetic organism that has been widely used to study basic cellular processes including multicellular development, cell cycle and cytoskeletal functions. The lifecycle of this fungus is more complex than those of the simple budding or fission yeasts and thus more readily reveals gene functions. The molecular genetic tools to manipulate the genome of this model organism are very robust, making this an excellent system to explore fundamental cellular functions.
A. fumigatus is a human pathogen that has only recently been demonstrated to be a sexual species. I am interested in defining the genetic program used by this fungus during infectious growth as a means to identify fungal-specific pathways that can be used to develop novel therapies for infections.
The genomes of both species have been sequenced and comparative genomics has been used to define species specific processes. Our laboratory, in collaboration with J. Craig Venter Institute, developed whole genome microarrays for A. fumigatus, and used these to determine specific gene expression responses to host cells. We also observed in vitro conditions that would simulate host defensive responses to define genes in the fungus that contribute to pathogenesis.
Our laboratory has extensive capabilities in both classical and molecular genetic approaches to these fungi and collaborates with others in the center to use these systems to advance additional research programs.
View a complete list of publications.