Host-fungus interaction and disease pathogenesis

The reprogramming of cellular metabolism is a fundamental mechanism whereby immune cells respond to infection. The sensing of microbial ligands by myeloid cells promotes dynamic changes in host cell metabolism to deliver a rapid source of energy to support antimicrobial functions. Although the fine-tuned regulation of cellular metabolism is required for the functional activity of myeloid cells, how these processes are coordinated and crosstalk during fungal infection remains unknown. We aim to elucidate the mechanisms whereby host cell metabolism regulates antifungal immunity during the host-fungus interaction, by resorting to cutting-edge research tools in advanced preclinical models and human patients. In particular, we propose to resolve the molecular and cellular mechanisms whereby immunometabolic alterations regulate antifungal immunity, characterize the fungal strategies to counter it, and identify and decode metabolism-related candidate genes of genetic susceptibility to fungal disease. We expect to provide the ultimate proof-of-principle for a pathogenetic model implicating immunometabolic alterations in susceptibility to fungal infection and provide new insights with profound implications for the clinical management of fungal diseases and, more broadly, infectious diseases.

Funding Agency

Fundação para a Ciência e a Tecnologia; European Commission (H2020)

Project Reference

2022.06674.PTDC and H2020-SC1-2019-847507

Project Members

Main Project Outcomes

S. Queirós, “Right ventricular segmentation in multi-view cardiac MRI using a unified U-net model”, in E. Puyol Antón et al. (eds) Statistical Atlases and Computational Models of the Heart. Multi-Disease, Multi-View, and Multi-Center Right Ventricular Segmentation in Cardiac MRI Challenge. STACOM 2021. Lecture Notes in Computer Science, vol 13131, pp. 287-295, Springer, Cham, 2022.

“Best Paper Award in the M&Ms-2 Challenge”, by M&Ms2 Challenge organizers and the Medical Image Computing and Computer Assisted Intervention (MICCAI) Society.