The lab that I work in (Perfect Lab) focuses in further understanding fungal Cryptococcus strains and how it utilizes its genes and proteins to function. My project specifically deals in further studying the fungal strain, Cryptococcus neoformans, that causes meningitis in immuno-compromised individuals. The ability to produce melanin in this fungus is an important factor in determining its extent of virulence. Further, I’m working with a transcription factor, BZP4, that was previously found to be associated with the expression of melanin production. The goal of my project is to demonstrate a relationship between the presence or functionality of this transcription in C. Neoformans and virulence within a host via genome deletions, additions and replacements of BZP4. I will speak more in depth during my chalk talk next week.