Emily Priest

Pathway 0+4

Cohort 2022

Pathway Journey

My PhD focusses on characterising the genome-wide transcriptional response of oral epithelial cells to infection with Candida albicans and candidalysin. During mucosal infection, the fungal pathogen Candida albicans secretes candidalysin, a cytolytic toxin that damages tissue and activates the epidermal growth factor receptor together with p38 and EGFR/ERK signalling pathways. Signal transduction drives the activation of downstream transcriptional networks which are an essential component of host immune responses to fungal infection. My project is focused on analysing these host transcriptional responses and identifying new factors involved in host immunity to Candida albicans infection.


I obtained my BSc in Molecular Cell Biology from the University of York and a two-year long MSc by Research in Biochemistry from the University of Oxford. Prior to starting the DTP, I worked in the Naglik laboratory as a laboratory technician, where I worked on research projects focusing on assessing the immune responses to several candida species using various molecular biological techniques.

I chose the MRC DTP due to the support that they provide you throughout your PhD, which strengthen you as a PhD student and ease your transition into academia post PhD. The MRC offer a huge variety of courses that support your studies for a wide variety of techniques, along with funds for additional training opportunities.


Richardson, JP., Brown, R., Kichik, N., Lee, S., Priest, E., Mogavero, S., Wickramasinghe, D., Tsavou, A.,
Kotowicz, NK., Cortés, A., Hepworth, OW., Ho, J., Ponde, NO., Moyes, DL., Wilson, D., Hube, B., and
Naglik, JR. Candidalysins are a new family of cytolytic fungal peptide toxins. MBio

Brown, R., Priest, E., Naglik, J. and Richardson, J., 2021. Fungal Toxins and Host Immune
Responses. Frontiers in Microbiology, 12. https://doi.org/10.3389/fmicb.2021.643639

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