Dr. David Fitzpatrick
The research of this laboratory focuses on the evolution of unicellular microorganisms paying special attention to fungal species. We use comparative genomics, phylogenomics, phylogenetics and synteny based tools to elucidate fungal gene and genome evolution. We are currently using comparative genomics to perform an analysis of 8 Candida and related species, both pathogenic and non-pathogenic, to identify species-specific metabolic pathways and lineage-specific loss or gain of metabolic genes.
The presence or absence of particular pathways or pathway components can be correlated with pathogenesis and species-specific virulence characteristics, which can lead to the development of novel therapeutic strategies. We are also investigating the frequency of horizontal gene transfer within the Candida genus. Acquired genetic material from an external source can lead to increased virulence and can provide novel antifungal drug targets. We are also interested in sequencing and annotating medically / biotechnological important fungal strains.
Some recent publications:
- Ding C., Yin J., Tovar E.M., Fitzpatrick D.A., Higgins D.G., and Thiele D.J. (2011) The copper regulon of the human fungal pathogen Cryptococcus neoformans H99. Mol Microbiol. 2011 Aug 8. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2958.2011.07794.x. [link]
- Universally distributed single-copy genes indicate a constant rate of horizontal transfer. Creevey CJ, Doerks T, Fitzpatrick DA, Raes J, Bork P. (2011) PLoS One. 6 (8):e22099. [link]
- Fitzpatrick, D.A. and Butler, G (2010) Comparative Genomic Analysis of Pathogenic Yeasts and the Evolution of Virulence. InThe Yeast Handbook, 2010:Pathogenic Yeasts 1-18. [link]
- Fitzpatrick, D.A., O’Gaora, P., Byrne, K.P., Butler, G. (2010) Analysis of gene evolution and metabolic pathways using the Candida Gene Order Browser. BMC Genomics 11:290. pdf.
- Butler G, Rasmussen MD, Lin MF, Santos MA, Sakthikumar S, Munro CA, Rheinbay E, Grabherr M, Forche A, Reedy JL, Agrafioti I, Arnaud MB, Bates S, Brown AJ, Brunke S, Costanzo MC, Fitzpatrick DA, de Groot PW, Harris D, Hoyer LL, Hube B, Klis FM, Kodira C, Lennard N, Logue ME, Martin R, Neiman AM, Nikolaou E, Quail MA, Quinn J, Santos MC, Schmitzberger FF, Sherlock G, Shah P, Silverstein KA, Skrzypek MS, Soll D, Staggs R, Stansfield I, Stumpf MP, Sudbery PE, Srikantha T, Zeng Q, Berman J, Berriman M, Heitman J, Gow NA, Lorenz MC, Birren BW, Kellis M, Cuomo CA. (2009) Evolution of pathogenicity and sexual reproduction in eight Candida genomes. Nature. 459(7247):657-662. [Link]
- Reardon, W., Fitzpatrick, D.A., Fares, M.A., and Nugent, J.M. (2009) Evolution of flower shape in Plantago lanceolata. Plant Molecular Biology71(3): 241-250.