Dr. Lopez-Ribot’s lab studies fungal infections, with an emphasis on the opportunistic pathogenic fungus Candida albicans. The pathogen is capable of causing overt disease (candidiasis), but usually only in hosts with defective immunity. Candidiasis is now the third to fourth most common nosocomial, hospital-acquired, infection. Studies in the lab work to integrate "microorganism-centered" and "host-centered" facets to better understand C. albicans pathogenesis. Some of the highlights of this research program include: a) development of novel immune-based therapies to combat candidiasis, b) the role of morphogenetic conversions in the pathogenesis of candidiasis, and c) the study of C. albicans biofilms.
Other areas of interest in Dr. Lopez-Ribot’s lab include genomics and proteomics, cell wall and adhesion, antifungal drug resistance, development of diagnostic techniques for candidiasis, and high throughput screening for antifungal drug discovery. Main projects in the lab deal with targeting virulence factors, more specifically filamentation and biofilm formation, for the development of novel antifungal agents, and with developing microbial chips as a new universal technology platform for microbial culture at the nanoscale level.