Dr. Michael C. Lorenz
The University of Texas Health Science Center Houston
Department of Microbiology and Molecular Genetics
- Host-pathogen interactions
- Medical mycology
- Fungal genetics and biology
- Infectious diseases
The research in my laboratory is focused on understanding the interaction between the mammalian immune system and Candida albicans, which is simultaneously a ubiquitous and generally benign commensal of the mammalian gut and the most important fungal pathogen of humans. There are many manifestations of candidiasis, including oral, vaginal and skin infections, but we are mostly concerned with bloodstream infections, a very serious and frequently fatal infection that affects mostly immunocompromised people. The central theme of our research is to understand the very complex interactions between mammalian immune cells and C. albicans and we do this by a variety of in vitro and in vivo approaches.
Research in the lab spans microbiology, genetics, genomics, and immunology, giving students exposure to a wide variety of concepts and techniques, including basic cloning and molecular biology, genetic screens, gene knockouts, animal virulence models, tissue culture, transfection and transformation, and microarray analysis. Though they may focus on only a few of these areas, through a broad exposure they will learn to integrate these different ideas into a single research program.
Ramirez MA, Lorenz MC (2007) Mutations in alternative carbon utilization pathways in Candida albicans attenuate virulence and confer pleiotropic phenotypes. Eukaryot Cell, 6:280-290.
Ramirez MA, Lorenz MC (2009) The transcription factor homolog CTF1 regulates beta-oxidation in Candida albicans. Eucaryot Cell, 8:1604-1614.
Vylkova S, Carman AJ, Danhof HA, Collegge JR, Zhou H, Lorenz MC (2011) The fungal pathogen Candida albicans autoinduces hyphal morphogenesis by raising extracellular pH. mBio doi10.1128/mBio00055-11.
Program in Microbiology and Molecular Genetics
Office: MSB 1.209
Title: Associate Professor
Ph.D. - Duke University - 1997