ORONO - A UMaine assistant professor has been awarded a hefty grant to study how common pathogens can cause infections.
Robert Wheeler and several of his students will study Candida albicans, the most common human fungal germ.
The testing is done with zebra-fish to study how this germ can in some cases penetrate through a human barrier and causes deadly affects.
"One of the issues with Candida infection is people with dentures or a prosthesis, can get Candida in those areas of attachment that then interact with the skin and can pass through the skin in ways that doesn't in healthy people," Robert Wheeler,Ph.D., Assistant Professor of Microbiology at the University, says.
The goal is to better understand how those barriers are formed and ways to prevent the germ from penetrating vital organs.
The study will be conducted at the University of Maine over the next five years.