Dr Rebecca Hall
Rebecca joined the University of Kent in April 2020 as a lecturer in Microbial Adaptation. Rebecca is an alumnus of the University of Kent having completed her PhD under the supervision of Dr Peter Klappa and Prof Fritz Muhlschlegel in 2007, which investigated how the nematode C. elegans adapts to environmental pH. Rebecca then remained at the University for a postdoctoral position, focusing on how the fungal pathogen Candida albicans adapts to carbon dioxide, a key environmental signal that triggers fungal pathogenesis. Rebecca then moved the University of Aberdeen, to work with Prof Neil Gow on fungal cell wall biosynthesis and innate immunity to fungal infections, before joining the University of Birmingham in 2014 as an independent research fellow funded by a Medical Research Council Career Development Award. Rebecca’s team now forms part of the Kent Fungal Group (KFG) and is focused on understanding how pathogenic fungi (Candida, Cryptococcus and Rhizopus) adapt to life within the human host and how, in turn, this adaptation affects the host-pathogen interaction.
The Hall lab is interested in understanding the biology and pathogenicity of fungi. Our research largely focuses on the opportunistic fungal pathogen Candida albicans, which causes a range of infections from superficial mucosal infections (i.e. thrush) to life-threatening systemic disease (i.e. candidiasis). We also work on with Mucoromycetes that are filamentous fungi responsible for food spoilage and the life-threatening infection mucormycosis.
The group is interested in understanding the following:
- How fungi adapt to the host environment and how this adaptation promotes virulence of fungi
- How fungi interact with the microbiome and how these interactions affect disease progression
- Identification of novel antifungal treatments
- How polymicrobial interacts affect antimicrobial resistance
- How microbial signalling molecules affect human health
- Characterising the fungal cell wall
Previous work from the group include:
Alam F. et al. 2019 Candida albicans enhances meropenem tolerance of Pseudomonas aeruginosa in a dual-species biofilm. J. Antimicrob Chemother. dkz514
Cottier F. et al. 2019 Remasking of Candida albicans β-Glucan in Response to Environmental pH Is Regulated by Quorum Sensing. mBio 10 e02347-19
Kousser C. et al. 2019 Pseudomonas aeruginosa inhibits Rhizopus microsporus germination through sequestration of free environmental iron. Sci. Rep. 9 5714
Sherrington S. et al. 2017 Adaptation of Candida albicans to environmental pH induces cell wall remodelling and enhances innate immune recognition. Plos Path. 13 e1006403.
If you are interested in doing a PhD in fungal biology please contact Rebecca (firstname.lastname@example.org) to discuss projects and opportunities.