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Faculty of Health and Life Sciences

Dr Ivy Dambuza

Dr Ivy Dambuza

Postdoctoral Research Fellow

 Geoffrey Pope 328


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



Ph.D Clinical Science and Immunology, University of Cape Town

MSc Immunology, University of Cape Town

BSc (Hons) in Biochemistry, University of Cape Town

BSc in Chemical, Molecular and Cellular Biology, University of Cape Town


2014-19                 Wellcome Trust Strategic Award Research Fellow, University of Aberdeen

2013-14                 Research Fellow (FTE), National Institutes of Health, USA

2011-13                 Visiting Postdoctoral Research Fellow, National Institutes of Health, USA

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Research interests

To recognise infection, the immune system utilizes sensors on immune cells called “pattern recognition receptors” which detect invading pathogens. These sensors then trigger a number of responses which are aimed at providing protection against the infection.

Our group is focussed on understanding a particular group of these pathogen sensors, called the C-type lectins (CLRs). One of the first receptors in this class known as Dectin-1, discovered by Prof. Gordon Brown, forms part of my main research focus. Dectin-1 plays a central role in activating innate protective immune responses during fungal infections and identified genetic variants of Dectin-1 in humans can confer susceptibility to disease.

How Dectin-1 and other CLRs shape long term adaptive immunity to fungi is less well understood.

My research is aimed at gaining a more detailed understanding the role of CLRs in adaptive immunity during fungal infection, and exploring the roles and functions of new CLRs that we have recently identified.

Research projects

Role of CLRs in adaptivity immunity to fungi

GI tract Candida colonization and impact on systemic immunity

Role of CLRs in CD4 T cell memory

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Journal articles

Drummond RA, Swamydas M, Oikonomou V, Zhai B, Dambuza I, Schaefer BC, Bohrer AC, Mayer-Barber KD, Lira SA, Iwakura Y, et al (In Press). CARD9+ microglia promote antifungal immunity via IL-1β- and CXCL1-mediated neutrophil recruitment. Nature Immunology, 20, 559-570. Abstract.
Drummond RA, Dambuza IM, Vautier S, Taylor JA, Reid DM, Bain CC, Underhill DM, Masopust D, Kaplan DH, Brown GD, et al (In Press). CD4+ T-cell survival in the GI tract requires dectin-1 during fungal infection. Mucosal Immunology, 9, 492-502. Abstract.
Dambuza IM, Levitz SM, Netea MG, Brown GD (In Press). Fungal Recognition and Host Defense Mechanisms. Microbiology spectrum, 5, 1-16. Abstract.
Dambuza IM, Brown GD (In Press). Sensing fungi at the oral epithelium. Nature Microbiology, 3, 4-5. 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.
King J, Dambuza IM, Reid DM, Yuecel R, Brown GD, Warris A (2023). Detailed characterisation of invasive aspergillosis in a murine model of X-linked chronic granulomatous disease shows new insights in infections caused by Aspergillus fumigatus versus Aspergillus nidulans. Frontiers in Cellular and Infection Microbiology, 13
Arita GS, Ma Q, Leaves I, Pradhan A, Hickey E, Dambuza I, Bebes A, Vincenzi Conrado PC, Barros Galinari C, Vicente Seixas FA, et al (2023). The impact of ORF19.36.1 in the pathobiology of Candida albicans. Microbial Pathogenesis, 185 Abstract.
Dambuza IM, Warris A, Salazar F (2023). Unmasking a fungal fire. PLOS Pathogens, 19(5), e1011355-e1011355. Abstract.
Nicola AM, Desai JV, Swidergall M, Shey M, Dambuza IM (2022). Editorial: Immunological Memory to Fungal Infections and Vaccine Development. FRONTIERS IN IMMUNOLOGY, 13  Author URL.
Avelar GM, Dambuza IM, Ricci L, Yuecel R, Mackenzie K, Childers DS, Bain JM, Pradhan A, Larcombe DE, Netea MG, et al (2022). Impact of changes at the Candida albicans cell surface upon immunogenicity and colonisation in the gastrointestinal tract. Cell Surf, 8 Abstract.  Author URL.
Pradhan A, Ma Q, Hickey E, Avelar G, Larcombe D, Bain J, Childers D, Dambuza I, Leaves I, de Assis LJ, et al (2022). S9.4c Diverse environmental inputs mediate changes in β-glucan exposure at the Candida albicans cell surface thereby influencing tissue colonisation during systemic infection. Medical Mycology, 60(Supplement_1).
Dambuza IM, Brown GD (2021). Managing the mycobiota with IgA. Nat Microbiol, 6(12), 1471-1472.  Author URL.
Tone K, Stappers MHT, Hatinguais R, Dambuza IM, Salazar F, Wallace C, Yuecel R, Morvay PL, Kuwano K, Willment JA, et al (2021). MelLec Exacerbates the Pathogenesis of Aspergillus fumigatus-Induced Allergic Inflammation in Mice. Frontiers in Immunology, 12 Abstract.
Baldassarre M, Solano-Collado V, Balci A, Colamarino RA, Dambuza IM, Reid DM, Wilson HM, Brown GD, Mukhopadhyay S, Dougan G, et al (2021). The Rab32/BLOC-3-dependent pathway mediates host defense against different pathogens in human macrophages. Science Advances, 7(3). Abstract.
Schaefer K, Dambuza IM, Dall’Angelo S, Yuecel R, Jaspars M, Trembleau L, Zanda M, Brown GD, Netea MG, Gow NAR, et al (2020). A Weakened Immune Response to Synthetic Exo-Peptides Predicts a Potential Biosecurity Risk in the Retrieval of Exo-Microorganisms. Microorganisms, 8(7), 1066-1066. Abstract.
Speakman EA, Dambuza IM, Salazar F, Brown GD (2020). T Cell Antifungal Immunity and the Role of C-Type Lectin Receptors. Trends Immunol, 41(1), 61-76. Abstract.  Author URL.
Dambuza IM, Brown GD (2019). Fungi accelerate pancreatic cancer. Nature, 574(7777), 184-185.  Author URL.
Marrero B, He C, Oh H-M, Ukwu UT, Yu C-R, Dambuza IM, Sun L, Egwuagu CE (2019). Persistent Activation of STAT3 Pathway in the Retina Induced Vision Impairment and Retinal Degenerative Changes in Ageing Mice. Adv Exp Med Biol, 1185, 353-358. Abstract.  Author URL.
Haider M, Dambuza IM, Asamaphan P, Stappers M, Reid D, Yamasaki S, Brown GD, Gow NAR, Erwig LP (2019). The pattern recognition receptors dectin-2, mincle, and FcRγ impact the dynamics of phagocytosis of Candida, Saccharomyces, Malassezia, and Mucor species. PLoS One, 14(8). Abstract.  Author URL.
Stappers MHT, Clark AE, Aimanianda V, Bidula S, Reid DM, Asamaphan P, Hardison SE, Dambuza IM, Valsecchi I, Kerscher B, et al (2018). Recognition of DHN-melanin by a C-type lectin receptor is required for immunity to Aspergillus. Nature, 555(7696), 382-386. Abstract.
Choi JK, Dambuza IM, He C, Yu C-R, Uche AN, Mattapallil MJ, Caspi RR, Egwuagu CE (2017). IL-12p35 Inhibits Neuroinflammation and Ameliorates Autoimmune Encephalomyelitis. The Journal of Immunology, 198(1_Supplement), 72.1-72.1.
Choi JK, Dambuza IM, He C, Yu C-R, Uche AN, Mattapallil MJ, Caspi RR, Egwuagu CE (2017). IL-12p35 Inhibits Neuroinflammation and Ameliorates Autoimmune Encephalomyelitis. FRONTIERS IN IMMUNOLOGY, 8  Author URL.
Dambuza IM, He C, Choi JK, Yu C-R, Wang R, Mattapallil MJ, Wingfield PT, Caspi RR, Egwuagu CE (2017). IL-12p35 induces expansion of IL-10 and IL-35-expressing regulatory B cells and ameliorates autoimmune disease. NATURE COMMUNICATIONS, 8  Author URL.
Dambuza IM, Keeton R, Hsu N-J, Allie N, Quesniaux VFJ, Ryffel B, Jacobs M (2016). Persistent p55TNFR expression impairs T cell responses during chronic tuberculosis and promotes reactivation. SCIENTIFIC REPORTS, 6  Author URL.
Kerscher B, Dambuza IM, Christofi M, Reid DM, Yamasaki S, Willment JA, Brown GD (2016). Signalling through MyD88 drives surface expression of the mycobacterial receptors MCL (Clecsf8, Clec4d) and Mincle (Clec4e) following microbial stimulation. Microbes and Infection, 18(7-8), 505-509. Abstract.
Dambuza IM, Brown GD (2015). C-type lectins in immunity: recent developments. CURRENT OPINION IN IMMUNOLOGY, 32, 21-27.  Author URL.
Wang X, Wei Y, Liu X, Xing C, Han G, Chen G, Hou C, Dambuza IM, Shen B, Li Y, et al (2015). IL-15-secreting γδT cells induce memory T cells in experimental allergic encephalomyelitis (EAE) mice. MOLECULAR IMMUNOLOGY, 66(2), 402-408.  Author URL.
Egwuagu CE, Sun L, Kim S-H, Dambuza IM (2015). Ocular Inflammatory Diseases: Molecular Pathogenesis and Immunotherapy. CURRENT MOLECULAR MEDICINE, 15(6), 517-528.  Author URL.
Dambuza I, Yu C-R, Wang R-X, Kim S-Y, Mahdi R, Dolinska M, Sergeev Y, Wingfield P, Egwuagu C (2014). IL-12p35 single chain subunit antagonizes IL-6 mediated STAT1 and STAT3 activation and prevents expansion of Th17 cells in experimental autoimmune uveitis (CCR1P.246). The Journal of Immunology, 192(1_Supplement), 48.6-48.6.
Wang R-X, Yu C-R, Dambuza IM, Mahdi RM, Dolinska MB, Sergeev YV, Wingfield PT, Kim S-H, Egwuagu CE (2014). Interleukin-35 induces regulatory B cells that suppress autoimmune disease. NATURE MEDICINE, 20(6), 633-641.  Author URL.
Keeton R, Allie N, Dambuza I, Abel B, Hsu N-J, Sebesho B, Randall P, Burger P, Fick E, Quesniaux VFJ, et al (2014). Soluble TNFRp75 regulates host protective immunity against Mycobacterium tuberculosis. Journal of Clinical Investigation, 124(4), 1537-1551.
Yu C-R, Dambuza IM, Lee Y-J, Frank GM, Egwuagu CE (2013). STAT3 Regulates Proliferation and Survival of CD8<SUP>+</SUP> T Cells: Enhances Effector Responses to HSV-1 Infection, and Inhibits IL-10<SUP>+</SUP> Regulatory CD8<SUP>+</SUP> T Cells in Autoimmune Uveitis. MEDIATORS OF INFLAMMATION, 2013  Author URL.
Amadi-Obi A, Yu C-R, Dambuza I, Kim S-H, Marrero B, Egwuagu CE (2012). Interleukin 27 Induces the Expression of Complement Factor H (CFH) in the Retina. PLoS ONE, 7(9), e45801-e45801.
Oh H-M, Yu C-R, Dambuza I, Marrero B, Egwuagu CE (2012). STAT3 Protein Interacts with Class O Forkhead Transcription Factors in the Cytoplasm and Regulates Nuclear/Cytoplasmic Localization of FoxO1 and FoxO3a Proteins in CD4+ T Cells. Journal of Biological Chemistry, 287(36), 30436-30443.
Dambuza I, Keeton R, Allie N, Hsu N-J, Randall P, Sebesho B, Fick L, Quesniaux VJF, Jacobs M (2011). Reactivation of M. tuberculosis Infection in Trans-Membrane Tumour Necrosis Factor Mice. PLoS ONE, 6(11), e25121-e25121.
Dambuza I, Allie N, Fick L, Johnston N, Fremond C, Mitchell J, Quesniaux VFJ, Ryffel B, Jacobs M (2008). Efficacy of membrane TNF mediated host resistance is dependent on mycobacterial virulence. Tuberculosis, 88(3), 221-234.
Fremond C, Allie N, Dambuza I, Grivennikov SI, Yeremeev V, Quesniaux VFJ, Jacobs M, Ryffel B (2005). Membrane TNF confers protection to acute mycobacterial infection. Respiratory Research, 6(1). Abstract.


Dambuza IM, Wagener J, Brown GD, Gow NAR (In Press). Immunology of fungal disease. In Kibbler CC, Barton R, Gow NAR, Howell S, MacCallum DM, Manuel RJ (Eds.) Oxford Textbook of Medical Mycology, Oxford University Press. Abstract.
Dambuza IM, Levitz SM, Netea MG, Brown GD (2017). Fungal recognition and host defense mechanisms. In  (Ed) The Fungal Kingdom, 887-902. Abstract.


Stappers MHT, Clark AE, Aimanianda V, Bidula S, Reid DM, Asamaphan P, Hardison SE, Dambuza IM, Valsecchi I, Kerscher B, et al (2018). Recognition of DHN-melanin by the C-type lectin, MelLec, is required for protective immunity to Aspergillus fumigatus.  Author URL.
Choi IK, Dambuza IM, He C, Yu C-R, Uche AN, Mattapallil MJ, Caspi RR, Egwuagu CE (2017). IL-12p35 Inhibits Neiiroinflarnmation and Ameliorates Autoimmune Encephalomyelitis.  Author URL.
Yu C, Dambuza IM, Kim S-H, Mahdi RM, Egwuagu C (2014). Suppression of experimental autoimmune uveitis (EAU) and recovery from uveitis correlate with expansion of regulatory B cells (Breg).  Author URL.

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