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TAN KAELING Senior Instructor
Title : Senior Instructor
Institute: Faculty of Health Sciences
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Research Contents

Many fungi are opportunistic pathogens that infect immune-compromised individuals like patients with immune diseases (e.g. HIV) and patients whose immune system is suppressed by drugs during bone marrow or organ transplant therapies and cancer treatments. As the number of these patients increases, fungal pathogens pose increasing threats to human health.Treatment of fungal diseases has always been a major clinical challenge. Fungi and humans are both eukaryotic organisms and share many conserved molecular mechanisms. As such, drugs that can kill fungi often inevitably also have adverse effect(s) on the human hosts. Furthermore, fungal pathogens may develop resistance to existing anti-fungal drugs. These factors lead to an unacceptably high mortality rate for fungal infections despite the advances of modern medicine. Therefore, there is an urgent need for development of new effective anti-fungal therapeutics.The ability of any pathogen to cause disease relies on its ability to adapt to and grow within the host environment. The proper and timely delivery of organelles and biological molecules to specific destinations within a cell is essential for cell growth and survival, and hence cellular transportation must play an important role during fungal pathogenesis. Cellular transportation has been a subject of intensive research, but many big questions still remain in the field. For example, how the transportation process is regulated and coordinated and how it contributes to fungal pathogenesis are not yet understood.My research uses a multi-disciplinary approach to study how molecules are transported within a cell and study the role of cellular transportation during fungal infection. This will provide important clues in identifying novel anti-fungal targets and development of effective therapies for fungal infections.

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