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Dena L. Toffaletti

Associate Professor in Medicine
Medicine, Infectious Diseases


As an investigator in John Perfect's laboratory, I have continued to study the molecular pathogenesis of Cryptococcus neoformans. We are interested in identifying virulence genes expressed by the fungus during infection using our rabbit model of cryptococcal meningitis and during in vitro exposure to the pathological temperature of 37 degrees C. By PCR differential display, we are identifying genes associated with pathogenesis of the organism and assessing their effects at the molecular level using a 2-hybrid system. In addition, we are disrupting targeted virulence genes using biolistic transformation and assessing their role in the virulence of C neoformans in rabbit and murine models of cryptococcal disease.

Key words: Cryptococcus neoformans
Molecular Pathogenesis

Current Appointments & Affiliations

Associate Professor in Medicine · 2021 - Present Medicine, Infectious Diseases, Medicine

Education, Training & Certifications

University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill · 1977 Ph.D.