Microbiology & Immunology | Faculty of Science
Director | Michael Smith Laboratories
Research Interests:

The impact of Cryptococcal fungal pathogens in the HIV/AIDS population now rivals tuberculosis in sub-Saharan Africa. Specifically, there are an estimated one million cases of cryptococcal meningitis globally per year in AIDS patients, leading to approximately 625,000 deaths (Park et al., 2009. AIDS. 23: 525-530). In addition, Cryptococcus gattii has emerged as a pathogen of immunocompetent people. Our research focuses on the identification and characterization of candidate drug targets through the molecular genetic and genomic dissection of virulence mechanisms. One area of current emphasis involves the evaluation of key functions for iron and carbon source utilization during infection.

Relevant NGDI Articles


Altered immune response differentially enhances susceptibility to Cryptococcus neoformans and Cryptococcus gattii infection in mice expressing the HIV-1 transgene. Leongson K, Cousineau-Côté V, Goupil M, Aumont F, Sénéchal S, Gaboury L, Jolicoeur P, Kronstad JW, de   Repentigny L. Infect Immun. 2013 Apr;81(4):1100-13.

An encapsulation of iron homeostasis and virulence in Cryptococcus neoformans. Kronstad JW, Hu G, Jung WH. Trends Microbiol. 2013 Sep;21(9):457-65.

Cryptococcus neoformans requires the ESCRT protein Vps23 for iron acquisition from heme, for capsule formation, and for virulence. Hu G, Caza M, Cadieux B, Chan V, Liu V, Kronstad J. Infect Immun. 2013 Jan;81(1):292-302.

Iron in eukaryotic microbes: regulation, trafficking and theft. Kronstad JW. Curr Opin Microbiol. 2013 Dec;16(6):659-61.

Pathogenic yeasts deploy cell surface receptors to acquire iron in vertebrate hosts. Kronstad JW, Cadieux B, Jung WH. PLoS Pathog. 2013;9(8):e1003498.

Role of ferric reductases in iron acquisition and virulence in the fungal pathogen Cryptococcus neoformans. Saikia S, Oliveira D, Hu G, Kronstad J. Infect Immun. 2013 Dec 9.

Role of the Apt1 protein in polysaccharide secretion by Cryptococcus neoformans. Rizzo J, Oliveira DL, Joffe LS, Hu G, Gazos-Lopes F, Fonseca FL, Almeida IC, Frases S, Kronstad JW, Rodrigues ML. Eukaryot Cell. 2013 Dec 13.

Shared and distinct mechanisms of iron acquisition by bacterial and fungal pathogens of humans. Caza M, Kronstad JW. Front Cell Infect Microbiol. 2013 Nov 19;3:80. Review.

The Mannoprotein Cig1 supports iron acquisition from heme and virulence in the pathogenic fungus Cryptococcus neoformans. Cadieux B, Lian T, Hu G, Wang J, Biondo C, Teti G, Liu V, Murphy ME, Creagh AL, Kronstad JW. J Infect Dis. 2013 Apr 15;207(8):1339-47.


Cryptococcus neoformans requires a functional glycolytic pathway for disease but not persistence in the host. Price MS, Betancourt-Quiroz M, Price JL, Toffaletti DL, Vora H, Hu G, Kronstad JW, and Perfect JR. mBio 2011, Vol2:3:11 e00103-11.

Variation in chromosome copy number influences the virulence of Cryptococcus neoformans and occurs in isolates from AIDS patients. Hu G, Wang J, Choi J, Jung WH, Liu I, Litvintseva AP, Bicanic T, Aurora R, Mitchell TG, Perfect JR, and Kronstad JW. BMC Genomics 2011, Vol12:1:526.