I am interested in the process by which the fungus C. neoformans senses copper in its environment, and the corresponding events that occur to try and rectify any copper imbalance. The diagram above shows how a copper sensing transcription factor might turn on a gene (CTR4) in response to low levels of copper.
C. neoformans is of interest because it is an opportunistic fungal pathogen found commonly in the soil. “Opportunistic pathogen” means it only infects individuals with compromised immune systems. Examples of individuals with a compromised immune system would be HIV/AIDS patients.
Specifically, I would like to find potential genes regulated by the levels of copper in the soil using computer techniques, then test these hypothesis using the microarray technology.