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Personal profile

Research interests

Academic Biography

2009 – 2013 Postdoctoral Fellow, University of Toronto, Ontario, Canada

2002 – 2009 Ph.D., Duke University, Durham, North Carolina, USA

1997 – 2002 Biology Diploma, Humboldt University, Berlin, Germany 


How do predominantly clonal fungi achieve phenotypic variation necessary for virulence?

Every year 700 people die in the UK of a disease called candidemia caused by the predominantly clonal yeast Candida albicans.  Candidemia affects the weakest of the weak, such as low-birth weight infants and cancer chemotherapy patients.  Unlike other pathogens, C. albicans can live asymptomatically in healthy people's mouths and GI tracts.  Upon changes in the immune status, however, C. albicans turns pathogenic with mortality rates approaching 50%.

This transition from commensal to pathogen makes C. albicans highly unpredictable.  Candidemia is difficult to treat due to the yeast's close assocation with humans and the lack of appropriate drug targets.  The heat shock protein Hsp90 is instrumental in Candida virulence.  We showed that Hsp90 regulates ~4% of the C. albicans genome by governing a genetic network that is environmentally contingent and has been largely rewired over the past 300-400 million years of evolution.

We employ gemomic and proteomic tools as well as standard yeast molecular biological techniques to understand how Hsp90 regulates fungal virulence through its interaction network and through specific kinase interactors.  Specifically, we are interested in understanding:

How does the Hsp90 chaperone network change over evolutionary time and what are the consequences for environmental adaptation?

How does kinase-mediated regulation of the Hsp90 complex affect fungal stress response pathways and virulence?

How does Hsp90 regulate genome integrity in C. albicans?

Blog: fungalresearch.blogspot.de/


Education/Academic qualification

Doctor of Philosophy, Duke University

Master of Biology, Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin

Fingerprint Fingerprint is based on mining the text of the person's scientific documents to create an index of weighted terms, which defines the key subjects of each individual researcher.

Candida albicans Medicine & Life Sciences
Yeasts Medicine & Life Sciences
Cryptococcus gattii Medicine & Life Sciences
Saccharomyces cerevisiae Medicine & Life Sciences
Virulence Medicine & Life Sciences
Candida glabrata Medicine & Life Sciences
Oxidative Stress Medicine & Life Sciences
Islands Medicine & Life Sciences

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Projects 2013 2018

HSP90 Heat-Shock Proteins
Candida albicans
Drug Resistance

Deciphering the Dandida Albicans Hsp90 Kinase Interactome

Diezmann, S.


Project: Research council

HSP90 Heat-Shock Proteins
Protein Kinases
Pharmaceutical Preparations

Hsp90 Genetic Interaction Network Landscape

Diezmann, S.


Project: Research council


Research Output 2004 2018

The Candida albicans Hsp90 co-chaperone complex regulates aspects of virulence

Lyons, N., 18 Jun 2018, 194 p.

Research output: ThesisDoctoral Thesis

Candida albicans
Pharmaceutical Preparations
12 Citations

Mapping the Hsp90 Genetic Network Reveals Ergosterol Biosynthesis and Phosphatidylinositol-4-Kinase Signaling as Core Circuitry Governing Cellular Stress

O'Meara, T., Veri, A., Polvi, E., Li, X., Valaei, S., Diezmann, S. & Cowen, L. E., 24 Jun 2016, In : Plos Genetics. 12, 6, p. e1006142

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Open Access
1-phosphatidylinositol 4-kinase
1-Phosphatidylinositol 4-Kinase
5 Citations

Functional divergence of Hsp90 genetic interactions in biofilm and planktonic cellular states

Diezmann, S., Leach, M. D. & Cowen, L. E., 14 Sep 2015, In : PLoS ONE. 10, 9, e0137947.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

genetic variation
transcription factors
Candida albicans

The Enemy within: the fungus that lives in your mouth and kills as many as MRSA

Diezmann, S., 21 Aug 2015, The Conversation.

Research output: Contribution to specialist publicationArticle

Open Access
Candida glabrata
Candida albicans
Saccharomyces cerevisiae
Oxidative Stress