wang_ping

Ping Wang, PhD

Associate Professor of Pediatrics and Microbiology
Division of Research

1901 Perdido St.
Box P6-1
Microbiology, Immunology & Parasitology
New Orleans, LA 70112
Phone: (504) 568-2446   
Fax: (504) 568-2918

pwang@lsuhsc.edu

Degrees

BS - 1982
Nanjing Agricultural University, PRC

MS - 1985
Nanjing Agricultural University, PRC

PhD - 1991
Cornell Univervsity, Ithaca, NY

Bio

Recent progresses in genetic manipulation and sequencing projects have made the human fungal pathogen Cryptococcus neoformans an ideal model for studying mechanisms of fungal pathogenesis. Our research efforts are to explore the roles of G-protein mediated signal transduction in fungal pathogenesis utilizing both genetic and biochemical approaches.

Research Interests

Fungi are lower eukaryotic microorganisms sharing certain cellular characteristics with mammals and some can cause serious infections to humans.  Research in our laboratory is focused on how the pathogenic fungus Cryptococcus neoformans senses the environment and relays signals allowing for coordinated cellular growth, differentiation, and pathogenicity. Our long-term research goal is to advance basic knowledge of fungal biology and to identify novel targets for effective antifungal drugs. We are particularly interested in deciphering the genetic makeup and virulence roles of heterotrimeric G-protein mediated signaling by employing genetics, molecular biology, and in vitro models.  Our favorite research subjects are cryptococcal G protein subunits, regulators of G protein signaling, and the signal transducing adaptor protein.

The second research interest of the lab is to explore mechanisms by which C. neoformans exhibits neurotropism, as this fungus has a predilection for the central nervous system and can cause meningoencephalitis.  We found that the novel intersectin homolog Cin1 exhibits two isoforms, similar to human and mouse intersectin ITSN1, whose long isoform is expressed only in the brain.  We are actively following a research lead that suggests a link between Cin1 isoform differentiation and fungal neurotropism.

Selected Publications

For a list of publications, click here.