Current Researchers in the FungiBrain Network

Pavlos Geranios

Pavlos joined FungiBrain from Greece in April 2014 as an Early Stage Researcher, and is currently working towards obtaining a PhD at the University of Manchester (UK) on Project 1 : Calcium signalling during polarized cell growth and tropisms in the human pathogen Aspergillus fumigatus, his work has foucused on understanding the mechanistic basis of negative cell tropism (selfavoidance) during spore germination and hyphal growth in the human pathogen Aspergillus fumigatus. Pavlos will submit his thesis later this year (2018).

Pavlos Geranios - Selected Oral Presentation : Understanding Cell Tropisms, in Aspergillus fumigatus Hyphae, 14th International meeting on Aspergilus fumigatus, March 2017, Asilomar, Pacific Grove, California, USA.


Supervisor: Nick Read - Project Co-ordinator, University of Manchester, UK

Tania Fernandes

Tania FernandesTânia joined FungiBrain from Portugal in April 2014 following her Master in Molecular Genetics in December 2013.  Tânia was appointed as an Early Stage Researcher working on Project 2 : Role of calcium, redox and MAPK signalling in chemotropism of the fungal pathogen Fusarium oxysporum.  Her work focused on Intracellular pH as a new mechanism for MAPK signaling in fungal pathogenicity.  Tânia recieved her PhD. in 2017 and continues to work with Professor Di Pietro in Cordoba in a post-doctoral position. 

  Fernandes T. R., Segorbe D., Prusky D., and Di Pietro A. (2017). How alkalinization drives fungal pathogenicity, PLoS Pathog. 2017 Nov 9; 13(11): e1006621. DOI: 10.1371/journal.ppat.1006621.

Supervisor: Antonio Di Pietro - Training Co-ordinator, University of Cordoba, Spain

Mariana Almeida

Marianna joined FungiBrain from Portugal in April 2014 as an Early Stage Reseacher working on Project 3 : Decision-making and hyphal guidance of Candida albicans in human pathogenesis.  Mariaian recieved her PhD from the University of Aberdeen in 2017, and is now a Postdoctoral Research Fellow at University of Coimbra & ASM Young Ambassador to Portugal.  Mariana's work has focused on the regulation of hyphal guidance by Pxl1 and Cst20 in Candida albicans.

Almeida M & Brand AC (2017) ‘Tropic responses: The fungal sense of touch’ The Fungal Kingdom, ASM Press. vol. 5 no. 2 doi:10.1128/microbiolspec.FUNK-0040-2016.

Supervisors: Neil Gow and Alex Brand - University of Aberdeen, UK

Patricia Silva

Patricia SilvaPatricia joined FungiBrain from Portugal in April 2014 following her MSc. degree at the Instituto de Medicina Molecular of the Faculty of Medicine, University of Lisbon.  Patricia was appointed as an Early Stage Researcher working on Project 4 : Lipid and G-protein interactions in C. albicans and S. cerevisiae responding to chemical and physical inducers of filamentous growth.  Patricia received a prestigious ‘Elsevier award’ for her elevator talk awarded at the Human Fungal Pathogens (HFP) meeting in May 2017. Patricia will remain with Rob and Martine at the iBV for 2018 before submitting ofr PhD. later in the year.

Patricia Silva-Selected Oral Presentation and Poster : Temporal and spatial control of fungal filamentous growth, FEBS Human Fungal Pathogens:, Molecular Mechanisms of Host−Pathogen Interactions and Virulence, La Colle sur Loup. May 13-19, 2017.

Supervisors: Rob Arkowitz and Martine Bassilana - University of Nice-Sophia Antopolis, Nice-CNRS, France

Valeria Davi

Valeria DaviValeria joined FungiBrain from Italy in September 2014 following a period of research at a pharmaceutical company in Florence. Valeria studied Industrial and Molecular Biotechnology at Bologna University in Italy graduating in 2012.  Valria was appointed as an Early Stage Researcher working on Project 5 : Integration of mechanics and polarity in the determination of fungal cell shapes.

Davì V and Minc N (2015). Mechanics and morphogenesis of fission yeast cells  Curr Opinion Microbiology  28:36-45

Supervisor: Nicolas Minc - Institut Jacques Monod, Paris-CNRS, France

Cassandre Kinnaer

Cassandre KinnearCassndre joined FungiBrain in Feburary 2014. She earned her Master in Structural and Functional Biology from the Paul Sabatier University of Toulouse in 2013.  Cassandre is an Early Stage Researcher currently working towards obtaining a PhD at The University of Lausanne (Switzerland) on Project 6 : Comparative analysis of polarized growth mechanisms in fission yeasts.  Her work has focused on Establishing Schizosaccharomyces japonicus as a new model to study polarized growth.  Cassandre will remain at Lausanne and will submit for her PhD later in 2018.

Cassandre Kinnaer Selected poster presentation: ‘Filamentation in Schizosaccharomyces japonicus in response to natural stimuli’, American Society for Cell Biology Meeting, December 3rd 2017, Philadelphia, USA.

Supervisor: Sophie Martin - University of Lausanne, Switzerland

Hugo Amodeo Machi

Hugo Amodeo MachiHugo joined FungiBrain in April 2014 from Tenerife after working at the Research Unit of the Hospital Universitario de Canarias, researching transcriptional regulation of apoptotic pathways via the protein 53BP1.  Hugo was appointed as an Early Stage Researcher to work on Project 7 : Transduction and integration of environmental signals during directed growth and development of aspergilli.  His work has focused on  characterising the role of the epigenetic Vap-Vip methyltransferase pathway within different Aspergillus fumigatus strains.  He plans to submit and defend his thesis by the end of this year (2018)


Supervisor: Gerhard Braus - University of Goettingen, Germany

Antonio Serrano Salces

Antonio joinied the network in September 2014 as an Early Stage Researcher at the University of Braunschweig, Germany, working on Project 8 :  Subcellular dynamics of MAPKs mediating tropism and cell fusion in Neurospora Crassa.  During his PhD he has investigated the relationship between the subcellular dynamics and the activity of these proteins, by combining live-cell imaging, protein mislocalization and chemical genetics approaches.  Antonio remains in Braunschweig before he defends his thesis early in 2018.

Serrano A, Hammadeh HH, Herzog S, Illgen J, Schumann MR, Weichert M, Fleiβner A. (2017), The dynamics of signal complex formation mediating germling fusion in Neurospora crassa., Fungal Genet Biol. 2017 Apr;101:31-33. doi: 10.1016/j.fgb.2017.02.003. Epub 2017 Feb 16.

Supervisor : Andre Fleissner - University of Braunschweig, Germany.

Klara Junker

Klara JunkerKlara received her Masters in Medical Biology from Linkoping University, Sweden in 2009. Klara’s research background is in the Malaria field where she has worked on projects in Brisbane (QIMR) for her master thesis, London (LSHTM) on an Erasmus grant. In 2010 was funded on a year-long project at the Harvard School of Public Health where she continued to work as research assistant for a further 2 years.  Klara was appointed as an Early Stage Researcher wproking on a project based at Carlsberg Laborartory in Copenhagen, and obtaining her PhD from the The University of Copenhagen (Denmark).  Project 9 : Conserved mechanisms in fungi that transduce environmental/nutritional signals into morphogenetic changes.  Her work changed focus and her project finally focused on the molecular and pathological characterization of predacious Saccharomycopsis species.  Klara has submitted her thesis and will defend later in the 2018. 

Junker K, Hesselbart A, Wendland J. 2017. Draft genome sequence of Saccharomycopsis fodiens CBS 8332, a necrotrophic mycoparasite with biocontrol potential. Genome Announc 5:e01278-17.

Supervisor: Juergen Wendland - Carlsberg Laboratory, Denmark

Saskia Du Pre

Saskia Du PreSaskia studied molecular and cellular biology at Leiden University in the Netherlands and graduated in 2012, before being appointed as an Early Stage Researcher at F2G in Manchester while obtaining her PhD from the University of Manchester (UK).   Project 10 : Targeting the ‘fungal brain’ – a novel antifungal screen. Saskia's work has focused on targeting the human pathogen Aspergillus fumigatus with the novel antifungal drug F901318.  Saskia has returned to The Netherlands to persue an academic career, and she will defend her thesis in March 2018.

Oliver JD, Sibley GE, Beckmann N, Dobb KS, Slater MJ, McEntee L, du Pré S, Livermore J, Bromley MJ, Wiederhold NP, Hope WW, Kennedy AJ, Law D, Birch M. (2016), F901318 represents a novel class of antifungal drug that inhibits dihydroorotate dehydrogenase., Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2016 Oct 25. pii: 201608304.

Supervisor:Jason Oliver - F2G, Manchester, UK (SME)

Paola Bardetti

Paola is an Early Stage Researcher currently working at the CSIC in Salamanca, Spain, working on Project 11 : Cdk dependant mechanism involved in the regulation of the induction of hyperpolarized growth in fungi.

Supervisor : Jose Perez-Martin - CSIC, Salamanca, Spain.

Paola recieved her MSc Degree in Molecular Biology at the University of Milan, Italy. Her master thesis focused on the genetic and molecular mechanisms that control the floral organs development in Arabidopsis thaliana. In particular, she investigated the role and relationship of transcription factors CESTA, SEEDSTICK and ALCATRAZ during ovule and fruit development. Paola is excited to start this new experience and enthusiastic to work with Prof. Jose Perez-Martin on polarized growth in fungi.

Patricia Hernandez Ortiz

Patricia worked as an Experienced Researcher from April 2014 to April 2016 on Project 12 : Chemoattractant and receptor involved in chemotropisms leading to cell fusion in Neurospora crassa.  While Although Patricia no longer works within the FUNGIBRAIN network, she has now taken up a position still working within the field at one of our Partners - BAYER SAS, Lyon, France.

Supervisor: Nick Read - Project Co-ordinator, University of Manchester, UK

Stefania Vitale

Stefanie VitaleStefania joined FungiBrain from Italy in March 2014 as an Experienced Researcher working on project 13 : Host signals and cognate cell receptors activating chemotropic growth in Fusarium.

Stefanie studied Plant Biotechnology at Naples University in Italy where she obtained her MSc.  Her research contributed to the sequencing of the tomato chromosome 12 through the use of molecular and bioinformatics-based approaches (SOL research project).  Stefania received her PhD in Plant Pathology also at the University of Naples. Her PhD project focused on the identification of potato genes involved in Ralstonia solanacearum resistance through the use of a transcriptomic approaches. She also collaborated in a molecular breeding project with the aim to identify legume genes involved in disease resistance towards fungal pathogens.  During this time Stefania received a prestigious Genopom Fellowship as expert in genomics.

Supervisor: Antonio Di Pietro - Training Co-ordinator, University of Cordoba, Spain

Luigi Di Vietro

Luigi received his master degree in Biomolecular Sciences at the University of Turin in Italy and his PhD in Biology and Applied Biotechnologies on March 2014 at the same institution. Luigi intially joined the network back in May 2014 as an Experienced Researcher working with Francois Villalba unit at Bayer S.A.S. in Lyon working on Project 14: Antifungals that target tropic growth in Phytophthora.  After a successful 18 months at BAYER SAS Luigi moved to continue his project for a further 6 months in the labs of Martine Bassilana and Robert Arkowitz at the CNRS Institut Valrose Biologie in Nice, France.  Luigi has returned to BAYER S.A.S to take up a permenant role as a Lab leader.

Supervisors : Francois Villalba, Martibe Bassilana and Robert Arkowitz