Dr Kerstin Voelz
12:05 – Update on Genomic Epidemiology and Biology of Fungal Pathogens in Trauma Patients at QEHB
Dr Voelz did her undergraduate studies in biology at Friedrich Schiller University in Jena, Germany. While working on her undergraduate thesis on the transcription of genes involved in carotene metabolism in the zygomycete Rhizopus oryzae, she developed an interest in fungal biology.
After finishing her first degree, she entered the University of Birmingham on a Darwin Fellowship to combine her passion for fungal research with her interest in the continuous struggle between pathogens and their hosts.
Her Ph.D. research, conducted with Dr Robin May, focused on the interaction between the facultative pathogenic yeast Cryptococcus and macrophages. In particular, she was interested in the influence of immune signalling on this interaction and how Cryptococcus evades the human immune system to cause disease.
She is now a postdoctoral research fellow at the University of Birmingham studying the underlying mechanisms of primary cryptococcosis outbreaks, the epidemiology of Candida albicans infections in hospitals by whole genome sequencing and the host-pathogen interaction of zygomycetes, a group of fungi causing detrimental infections in patients, with innate immune cells.