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ESR 12 - Marisa Valentine

Principal investigator: Bernhard Hube

Host institution: HKI

ESR project

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The role of antagonistic bacteria during host-Candida interplay in commensalism and pathogenicity

I am from South Africa, where I studied at the University of Stellenbosch (2013 – 2019). After having completed my BSc degree in Molecular Biology and Biotechnology in 2015, I enrolled for my Honours degree at the Department of Microbiology. As part of my Honours, I worked in a laboratory that focused on yeast research and realized the importance of fungal interactions in our everyday life. This drove me to continue studying interactions between the medically relevant yeast Candida albicans and other microorganisms associated with the human body during my MSc.
Since July 2019, I have been working as an early stage researcher (ESR) as part of the FunHoMic Marie Skłodowska–Curie Innovative Training Network at the Department of Microbial Pathogenicity Mechanisms at the Hans Knöll Institute in Jena, Germany under the supervision of Prof. Bernhard Hube. During the course of this project, we aim to establish an in vitro model using vaginal epithelial cells in order to study the molecular mechanisms by which live biotherapeutic microorganisms antagonize pathogenicity of C. albicans.