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Faculty of Health and Life Sciences

Dr Elizabeth Ballou

Dr Elizabeth Ballou

 Geoffrey Pope 


Geoffrey Pope Building, University of Exeter , Stocker Road, Exeter, EX4 4QD, UK


Dr Elizabeth Ballou has recently pioneered in-vitro and single-cell approaches to study key fungal morphogenic transitions underpinning pathogenesis. She brings her expertise to Exeter to study structural changes in human fungal pathogens, particularly how fungi integrate environmental signals to undergo morphological changes underpinning pathogenesis.

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Journal articles

Potrykus J, Ballou ER, Childers DS, Brown AJP (In Press). Conflicting interests in the pathogen-host tug of war: fungal micronutrient scavenging versus mammalian nutritional immunity. PLoS Pathogens, 10 Abstract.
MacKie J, Szabo EK, Urgast DS, Ballou ER, Childers DS, MacCallum DM, Feldmann J, Brown AJP (In Press). Host-Imposed Copper Poisoning Impacts Fungal Micronutrient Acquisition during Systemic Candida albicans Infections. PloS ONE, 11 Abstract.
Dambuza IM, Drake T, Chapuis A, Zhou X, Correia J, Taylor-Smith L, Legrave N, Rasmussen T, Fisher MC, Bicanic T, et al (In Press). The Cryptococcus neoformans Titan cell is an inducible and regulated morphotype underlying pathogenesis. PLoS Pathogens, 14, 1-28. Abstract.
Francis VI, Liddle C, Camacho E, Kulkarni M, Junior SRS, Harvey JA, Ballou ER, Thomson DD, Brown GD, Hardwick JM, et al (2024). Cryptococcus neoformans rapidly invades the murine brain by sequential breaching of airway and endothelial tissues barriers, followed by engulfment by microglia. mBio, 15(4). Abstract.  Author URL.
Leon DEC, Harrison J, Uehling J, López-Jácome LE, Borman A, Ballou E (2023). 812. Bacterial endosymbionts are frequently found among Mucorales clinical isolates. Should we screen for their presence in patients with Mucormycosis?. Open Forum Infectious Diseases, 10(Supplement_2).
Amses K, Desiró A, Bryson A, Grigoriev I, Mondo S, Lipzen A, LaButti K, Riley R, Singan V, Salazar-Hamm P, et al (2023). Convergent reductive evolution and host adaptation in Mycoavidus bacterial endosymbionts of Mortierellaceae fungi. Fungal Genet Biol, 169 Abstract.  Author URL.
Mohamed SH, Fu MS, Hain S, Alselami A, Vanhoffelen E, Li Y, Bojang E, Lukande R, Ballou ER, May RC, et al (2023). Microglia are not protective against cryptococcal meningitis. Nat Commun, 14(1). Abstract.  Author URL.
Corzo-León DE, Uehling JK, Ballou ER (2023). Rhizopus arrhizus. Trends Microbiol, 31(9), 985-987.  Author URL.
Itabangi H, Sephton-Clark PCS, Tamayo DP, Zhou X, Starling GP, Mahamoud Z, Insua I, Probert M, Correia J, Moynihan PJ, et al (2022). A bacterial endosymbiont of the fungus Rhizopus microsporus drives phagocyte evasion and opportunistic virulence. Curr Biol, 32(5), 1115-1130.e6. Abstract.  Author URL.
Saidykhan L, Correia J, Romanyuk A, Peacock AFA, Desanti GE, Taylor-Smith L, Makarova M, Ballou ER, May RC (2022). An in vitro method for inducing titan cells reveals novel features of yeast-to-titan switching in the human fungal pathogen Cryptococcus gattii. PLOS Pathogens, 18(8).
Saidykhan L, Correia J, Romanyuk A, Peacock AFA, Desanti GE, Taylor-Smith L, Makarova M, Ballou ER, May RC (2022). Correction: an in vitro method for inducing titan cells reveals novel features of yeast-to-titan switching in the human fungal pathogen Cryptococcus gattii. PLOS Pathogens, 18(11).
Ballou ER, Drummond RA (2022). Sowing the seeds of infection. Cell Host and Microbe, 30(10), 1341-1342. Abstract.
Ballou ER, Cook AG, Wallace EWJ (2021). Repeated Evolution of Inactive Pseudonucleases in a Fungal Branch of the Dis3/RNase II Family of Nucleases. MOLECULAR BIOLOGY AND EVOLUTION, 38(5), 1837-1846.  Author URL.
Ballou ER (2020). mSphere of Influence: Positive Research Culture Enables Excellence and Innovation. mSphere, 5(1). Abstract.  Author URL.
Chapuis AF, Ballou ER, MacCallum DM (2019). A Bright Future for Fluorescence Imaging of Fungi in Living Hosts. J Fungi (Basel), 5(2). Abstract.  Author URL.
Probert M, Zhou X, Goodall M, Johnston SA, Bielska E, Ballou ER, May RC (2019). A Glucuronoxylomannan Epitope Exhibits Serotype-Specific Accessibility and Redistributes towards the Capsule Surface during Titanization of the Fungal Pathogen <i>Cryptococcus neoformans</i>. INFECTION AND IMMUNITY, 87(4).  Author URL.
Zafar H, Altamirano S, Ballou ER, Nielsen K (2019). A titanic drug resistance threat in Cryptococcus neoformans. Current Opinion in Microbiology, 52, 158-164. Abstract.
Ballou ER, Gaffen SL, Gow NAR, Hise AG (2019). Empowering Women: Moving from Awareness to Action at the Immunology of Fungal Infections Gordon Research Conference. Pathogens, 8(3). Abstract.  Author URL.
Warris A, Ballou ER (2019). Oxidative responses and fungal infection biology. Seminars in Cell and Developmental Biology, 89, 34-46. Abstract.
Crawford AC, Lehtovirta-Morley LE, Alamir O, Niemiec MJ, Alawfi B, Alsarraf M, Skrahina V, Costa ACBP, Anderson A, Yellagunda S, et al (2018). Biphasic zinc compartmentalisation in a human fungal pathogen. PLOS Pathogens, 14(5), e1007013-e1007013.
Zhou X, May RC, Ballou ER (2018). Cryptococcus: Remains a deadly threat for those with HIV/AIDS. Microbiology Today, 45(3), 172-175.
Sephton-Clark PCS, Munoz JF, Ballou ER, Cuomo CA, Voelz K (2018). Pathways of Pathogenicity: Transcriptional Stages of Germination in the Fatal Fungal Pathogen <i>Rhizopus</i> <i>delemar</i>. MSPHERE, 3(5).  Author URL.
Zhou X, Ballou ER (2018). The Cryptococcus neoformans Titan Cell: from in Vivo Phenomenon to in Vitro Model. Current Clinical Microbiology Reports, 5(4), 252-260. Abstract.
Sherrington SL, Sorsby E, Mahtey N, Kumwenda P, Lenardon MD, Brown I, Ballou ER, MacCallum DM, Hall RA (2017). Adaptation of Candida albicans to environmental pH induces cell wall remodelling and enhances innate immune recognition. PLoS Pathog, 13(5). Abstract.  Author URL.
Ballou ER, Johnston SA (2017). The cause and effect of Cryptococcus interactions with the host. Current Opinion in Microbiology, 40, 88-94. Abstract.
Ballou ER, Avelar GM, Childers DS, Mackie J, Bain JM, Wagener J, Kastora SL, Panea MD, Hardison SE, Walker LA, et al (2016). Lactate signalling regulates fungal β-glucan masking and immune evasion. Nature Microbiology, 2 Abstract.
Childers DS, Raziunaite I, Mol Avelar G, Mackie J, Budge S, Stead D, Gow NAR, Lenardon MD, Ballou ER, MacCallum DM, et al (2016). The Rewiring of Ubiquitination Targets in a Pathogenic Yeast Promotes Metabolic Flexibility, Host Colonization and Virulence. PLoS Pathogens, 12(4). Abstract.
Ballou ER, Wilson D (2016). The roles of zinc and copper sensing in fungal pathogenesis. Curr Opin Microbiol, 32, 128-134. Abstract.  Author URL.
Ballou ER, Brown AJ (2015). FACS for Fungi: revealing population heterogeneity among fungal pathogens via flow cytometry. Journal of Inflammation, 12(Suppl 1).
Bain JM, Louw J, Lewis LE, Okai B, Walls CA, Ballou ER, Walker LA, Reid D, Munro CA, Brown AJP, et al (2014). Candida albicans hypha formation and mannan masking of β-Glucan inhibit macrophage phagosome maturation. mBio, 5(6). Abstract.
Shahana S, Childers DS, Ballou ER, Bohovych I, Odds FC, Gow NAR, Brown AJP (2014). New Clox systems for rapid and efficient gene disruption in Candida albicans. PLoS ONE, 9(6). Abstract.
Brown AJP, Budge S, Kaloriti D, Tillmann A, Jacobsen MD, Yin Z, Ene IV, Bohovych I, Sandai D, Kastora S, et al (2014). Stress adaptation in a pathogenic fungus. J Exp Biol, 217(Pt 1), 144-155. Abstract.  Author URL.
Ballou ER, Kozubowski L, Nichols CB, Alspaugh JA (2013). Ras1 Acts through Duplicated Cdc42 and Rac Proteins to Regulate Morphogenesis and Pathogenesis in the Human Fungal Pathogen <i>Cryptococcus neoformans</i>. PLOS GENETICS, 9(8).  Author URL.
Selvig K, Ballou ER, Nichols CB, Alspaugh JA (2013). Restricted Substrate Specificity for the Geranylgeranyltransferase-I Enzyme in <i>Cryptococcus neoformans</i>: Implications for Virulence. EUKARYOTIC CELL, 12(11), 1462-1471.  Author URL.
Ballou ER, Selvig K, Narloch JL, Nichols CB, Alspaugh JA (2013). Two Rac paralogs regulate polarized growth in the human fungal pathogen <i>Cryptococcus neoformans</i>. FUNGAL GENETICS AND BIOLOGY, 57, 58-75.  Author URL.
Ballou ER, Alspaugh JA, Nichols CB (2012). Morphogenesis of Cryptococcus neoformans. Topics in Current Genetics, 22, 197-223. Abstract.
Okagaki LH, Wang Y, Ballou ER, O'Meara TR, Bahn Y-S, Alspaugh JA, Xue C, Nielsen K (2011). Cryptococcal Titan Cell Formation is Regulated by G-Protein Signaling in Response to Multiple Stimuli. EUKARYOTIC CELL, 10(10), 1306-1316.  Author URL.
Ballou ER, Nichols CB, Miglia KJ, Kozubowski L, Alspaugh JA (2010). Two <i>CDC42</i> paralogues modulate <i>Cryptococcus neoformans</i> thermotolerance and morphogenesis under host physiological conditions. MOLECULAR MICROBIOLOGY, 75(3), 763-780.  Author URL.
Nichols CB, Ferreyra J, Ballou ER, Alspaugh JA (2009). Subcellular Localization Directs Signaling Specificity of the <i>Cryptococcus neoformans</i> Ras1 Protein. EUKARYOTIC CELL, 8(2), 181-189.  Author URL.

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