Dr Charlie Cairns


In January 2012 I joined the Haynes laboratory to work on Mycosphaerella graminicola, a devastating pathogen of wheat. I am very interested in the molecular basis of fungal virulence. During my PhD, I focused on the human pathogen Aspergillus fumigatus, where I used transcriptomics to dissect early events during colonisation of immunocompromised mice. Fascinatingly, strategies for environmental adaptation and some of the molecular mechanisms employed by fungi to infect the host are common to both animal and plant pathogens. At present, I am working with the Exeter M. graminicola team to design and develop a set of tools which will enable functional genomic analyses of this important crop pathogen.

Broad research specialisms:

  • Molecular biology of Ascomycetes
  • Transcriptomic analyses
  • Murine and plant infection assays


2011: PhD, Imperial College London. Thesis entitled ““Early events in Aspergillus fumigatus infection: A chronicle of host-pathogen interactions.” Supervised by Dr. Elaine Bignell.
2006: BSc (Hons) in Biological Sciences, University of Exeter, UK.

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