Inhibition of the fungal-specific histone deacetylase Hst3: a novel broad spectrum strategy to fight fungal pathogens

A number of fungal pathogens cause life-threatening infections in patients whose immune system is crippled. Among others, these include patients treated with cancer chemotherapy and patients who receive organ or blood cell transportation. Pre-term infants, elderly patients and patients in intensive care units are also at risk of developing life-threatening infections. Moreover, fungi cause very painful medical conditions such as vaginal infections. We discovered a fungal-specific enzyme that is essential for viability of the most common fungal pathogen, known as Candida albicans. Our project consists in determining whether the same enzyme is also essential for viability of many other fungal pathogens. Most importantly, we hope to discover small molecules that, by inhibiting this enzyme, will kill fungal pathogens and cure a broad range of infections.

Faculty Supervisor:

Alain Verreault


Sarah Tsao


Merck Canada Inc.




Medical devices




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