Carlos Perez Arques
Postdoctoral Associate

I am a postdoctoral associate working in the Heitman lab as part of the Department of Molecular Genetics and Microbiology of the School of Medicine. I graduated as a Ph. D. in Molecular Biology and Biotechnology from the University of Murcia in Spain, my home country and a wonderful place to visit. I am fascinated by fungal biology and especially, in molecular mechanisms exploited by opportunistic pathogens to cause disease.

In my spare time, I love building themed LEGO sets, the bigger the better, from my favorite movie sagas. I am a big science fiction and fantasy fan, but I also like classic films -particularly film noir and western- and old jidaigeki and chanbara movies. Also, I like to play games, either video or board games, and going out once in a while. Especially, if there is food involved.

Current Research Interests

I graduated from the University of Murcia in Spain, embarked on a project that combined informatics -my favorite hobby since I was a child- and my research experience in genetics and microbiology acquired as an undergraduate. My work involved analyzing new generation sequencing data to explain RNAi-based gene regulation of essential biological processes in ancient fungi; especially, how the RNAi machinery of the early-diverging fungus Mucor circinelloides contributes to promoting virulence and host invasion. I discovered that the different RNAi components in this fungus work in distinct RNAi pathways, achieving a fine-tuned silencing balance to regulate fungal pathogenesis and genome integrity. During these studies, I was introduced to centromere biology and was fascinated by it. I took part in revealing the first early-diverging fungal centromeres and was amazed by their unusual mosaic architecture that resembles point and regional centromeres.

Recent reports tell us that fungal pathogens can exploit their RNAi machinery to gain transient antifungal drug resistance. These resistances are unstable and sustained by RNAi as long as the antifungal stress is present, which makes them extremely difficult to detect. As a postdoctoral associate, I plan to put all my experience in RNAi, genome biology, and virulence to focus on RNAi-based antifungal drug resistance. I aim to understand how these RNAi-based resistances arise, which are the major RNAi components involved in generating them, and if there are other epigenetic marks associated with them.

Office Hours

9:00 AM - 6:00 PM

Current Appointments & Affiliations

Some information on this profile has been compiled automatically from Duke databases and external sources. (Our About page explains how this works.) If you see a problem with the information, please write to Scholars@Duke and let us know. We will reply promptly.