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One Planet | One Health
Our node promotes collaborative and innovative cross-disciplinary research on pathogentic fungi.

Our core group includes researchers from medical microbiology, clinical research, veterinary agricultural science, environment and life sciences, epidemiology and pharmacy and lead FungiSphere research themes in fungal biology, ecology and epidemiology, food security, pathogenesis and antimicrobial resistance.

Our current projects include:

  • A One Health investigation of agricultural azole fungicides as drivers of antifungal resistance in pathogens of humans, animals and plants, funded by Sydney Institute of Agriculture and led by Fungisphere researchers
  • Antifungal drug discovery research leading to the identification of a new drug target and several potential inhibitors, led by Julie Djordjevic 
  • Research into the effect of antimicrobial treatment on human gut mycobiomes, led by early-career researcher Vanessa Marcelino
  • Development of hydrophobic antifungal compounds that can be aerosolised for use in treatment of pulmonary fungal infections, such as Aspergillosis, led by Philip Kwok (Pharmacy)
  • Investigation of environmental Aspergillus fumigatus in Vietnam to understand azole resistance and cryptic species in the Mekong Delta, led by Justin Beardsley
  • Functional genomic analysis and DNA barcoding of pathogenic fungi for understanding fungal virulence and development of diagnostics, led by Wieland Meyer


Fungisphere presentations

Dr Tien Huynh: Fungi-Tastic Research at RMIT

Dr Tien Huynh from RMIT gives an overview of some of her research interests, ranging from upcycling of industrial waster, through bioremediation, and production of medicinal products using fungal processes

Dr Antonio Lauto: The potential role of photodynamic therapy in managing onychomycosis (fungal nail infections)

Dr Antonio Lauto talks about the role of photodynamic therapy in managing onychomycosis - a potentially efficacious therapy that would reduce consumption of antifungal agents, and help tackle AMR emergence

Dr Caitlin Keighly: Fungal genomics: decoding the secrets of Candida tropicalis

Fungal genomics: decoding the secrets of Candida tropicalis  - in which Dr Caitlin Keighley describes the application of genomics to unravelling the reasons for the emergence of fluconazole resistance in C. tropicalis in Australia and in many regions globally.

Dr Johanna Rhodes: acquired antifungal resistance

Dr Johanna Rhodes from Imperial presents some of her work on antifungal resistance. What's driving antifungal resistance in the environment, and can we prove that this is leading to drug resistant infections in people?

A/Professor David Phalen: Investigations into Macrorhabdus ornithogaster (formerly megabacteria), an important fungal pathogen of birds

David has a Bachelors of Arts from the University of Chicago, Doctor of Veterinary Medicine from Cornell University, and a Doctor of Philosophy (Pathobiology) from Texas A&M University. He became a member of the American Board of Veterinary Practitioners, Avian Specialty in 1997. He taught zoo, exotic pet, and wildlife medicine to surgery in the classroom and in the clinic to veterinary students from 1993 to 2006 when he joined the faculty of the University of Sydney as the Director of the Wildlife Health and Conservation Centre and the Avian Reptile and Exotic Pet Hospital. David teaches, exotic pet husbandry and wildlife and exotic pet medicine to 3rd and 4th year DVM students. He is the unit of study coordinator for Small Animal Practice A. He supervises the research projects of PhD, honours and Research and Enquire students. His research interests are varied and include infectious, toxicological and nutritional diseases of wildlife and exotic animals and wildlife ecology and conservation.