Vivek Kumar Srivastava

Postdoctoral Researcher (2021.04 - 2022.05)
Currently postdoctoral researcher in the Nizar lab at the University of Iowa

I have joined as a postdoctoral scholar in GRE laboratory in April 2021. My graduate studies focused on the identification of iron acquisition and homeostatic machinery employed by the pathogenic yeast Candida glabrata, to proliferate under iron-limiting and iron-rich environmental conditions. Our findings established high-affinity iron uptake mechanisms as critical virulence determinants and yielded novel insights into iron abundance-based transcriptional changes in C. glabrata. Additionally, our results also highlighted the essentiality for two mitogen-activated protein kinases (MAPKs) viz., CgHog1 and CgSlt2, for the survival of high iron-associated toxicity.

Prior to joining the laboratory, I have also been associated with the design and development of Mastitis vaccine in an industrial set-up. I was involved in the characterization of Mastitis pathogens and successfully established an alternative challenge model system to study the potency of the vaccine.

A prerequisite for being a successful pathogen is the ability to adapt to varying nutritional and chemical environment of the host. Adaptation to a changing environment is an outcome of the combination of differential gene expression and intracellular signaling networks. Thus, stress response becomes critical to understand the pathophysiology of a pathogen and to uncover novel drug targets. In the present laboratory, I will be investigating how stress response pathways have evolved between pathogenic vs non-pathogenic species, wherein, particular focus will be on oxidative and phosphate stress response.

When I am away from work, I enjoy going out with family and friends, and spending some quality time with them.