ERC-FUNDED SYNERGY PROJECT
Unraveling the complexity of fungal drug tolerance at multiple scales of biology
The Berman Lab, Tel Aviv University, IL
The Ralser Lab, Charité University of Medicine, Berlin
ERC Synergy projects address some of the most challenging scientific problems of our time.
The ERC SYN "FungalTolerance" project addresses why fungal pathogens, which kill 1.6 million people annually, can escape anti-fungal substances by mounting a tolerance response that allows cells to grow slowly despite the presence of the drug.
The FungalTolerance award brings together the groups of Prof. Judith Berman, an expert in fungal pathogens and Candida albicans genetics and genomics, and Prof. Markus Ralser, an expert in large-scale proteomics projects and yeast systems biology. Together, we have assembled a collection of two thousand isolates of Candida albicans, the most prevalent human fungal pathogen. We are mapping the compendium of cellular stress response mechanisms to drugs and other stresses. To infer biological network organization, including how networks differ in different isolates are collecting comprehensive data for each strain, including complete genome sequences, proteomes in the absence and presence of drugs and metabolomic information both within and outside of the cells. We will use approaches from biochemistry, functional genetics and molecular biology and metabolomics to elaborate key mechanisms and pathways of cell survival in response to stress.
This project involves synergistic interactions between the two groups with additional contributions from the Arkowitz lab at CNRS University of Nice. Members of the highly interactive and multidisciplinary international team have expertise in one or more of the following disciplines:
- Molecular Biology
- Microbiology or Fungal Biology
- Computational Biology
Subgroups focused on different project aspects meet bi-weekly online as well as at in-person summits where we review data and discuss future plans. We also conduct a monthly Synergy Group Meeting via Zoom.
Our first Synergy Summit (delayed because of COVID) was held in June 2022 in Brixen, Italy.