Caroline Westwater, Ph.D.


Department: Oral Health Sciences
Department: Microbiology & Immunology
Program: Inflammation 


Research Interests:

The polymorphic fungus Candida is a member of the normal human microbiome and is commonly found in the gastrointestinal tract of the majority of the human population. This opportunistic pathogen can cause two major types  of  infections  in  humans:  superficial  infections,  such  as  oral  candidiasis,  and  life-­threatening  systemic  infections.  Candida  infections  of  mucosal  surfaces  are  extremely  common  and  occur  in  otherwise  healthy individuals. Despite their frequency and associated morbidity, superficial Candida infections are non-­lethal. In stark contrast, systemic Candida infections are associated with crude mortality rates that range from 46 to 75%. Thus, there is an urgent need to understand the factors that contribute to the pathogenic potential of this fungus, and the protective factors that control colonization and prevent infection.


PubMed Collection