MSIG is the Mycology / Surface Interfaces group and was founded in 2014.
Relatively little is know about how fungi interact with surfaces – yet understanding this process is vitally important because fungi touch human lives in innumerable ways. The importance of fungi to human health, agriculture, food and drink, and bioprocessing (to name a few) represent a staggering influence to human culture and economy.
Surfaces provide a vital link in all of these processes and researchers in this group are starting to unravel the surprising ways in which fungi explore, colonise, infect, and interact with chemical and physical surface cues (i.e. their physicochemical properties).
Our core research is in understanding fungal diseases related to surfaces. For example, in medicine, Candida species are the 3rd leading cause of catheter related infections and represent enormous health-care associated costs and contribute significantly to human suffering and mortality. In agriculture, fungal diseases are the biggest cause of all plant diseases and contribute to hundreds of millions of dollars in lost profits and countless tonnes of food that does not reach the consumer.
We aim to deliver new understanding and new products for understanding fungal virulence and tissue invasion, which broadly encompasses human and agricultural fungal pathogens. New products could combat fungal diseases ranging from permanently implanted devices, to dentures, to solutions for cosmetic fungal discomfort (infections of the nail bed). They could also provide better research and diagnostic tools for understanding how to stop crop diseases and improve plant protection.
We collaborate widely and are looking to form new alliances in plant-pathogen research, biomedical research, and partner with leaders in food and agriculture, and bioprocessing.