Faculty: Richard Calderone

Richard Calderone, PhD, is Chair of the Department of Microbiology and Immunology and Director of an MS Degree Program in Biomedical Science Policy & Advocacy at The Georgetown University Medical Center. He is an internationally recognized leader in research on the human pathogen Candida albicans, the pathogenesis of global candidiasis, and the identification of antifungal drug targets. 

  • Ph.D., West Virginia University, 1970
  • At Georgetown Since: 1974
  • Current lab has capacity for both new Ph.D. students and Post Doctoral Fellows
  • Contact: (202) 687-1513; calderor@georgetown.edu

The research of Dr. Richard Calderone's lab team is focused primarily on understanding gene functions related to pathogenesis, including signal transduction, cell wall synthesis, and mitochondrial energetics. For each of these three areas of study, bioinformatics is initially used to select fungal-specific, candidate genes, then mutants in these genes are constructed using reverse genetics to identify gene function. The genes of mutants whose absence causes loss of critical cell processes including infectivity in model systems are selected for further study. We then integrate candidate genes into cell circuitry by identifying signal transduction and transcriptional events associated with their regulation. As an example of this approach, the lab group has chosen fungal-specific, mitochondrial electron transport complex I proteins that fulfill the functional criteria mentioned above of contributing to important cell processes including pathogenesis. Lab data have demonstrated that complex I subunit proteins are critical to growth, immune recognition, chronological aging, and infectivity. Their integration into cell circuits is underway. Dr. Calderone has over 130 publications in peer reviewed journals, has been an editor of 7 textbooks, and written numerous reviews on the subject of fungal diseases of humans. Of his textbooks, there are two editions of “Candida and Candidiasis” (ASM Press) as well as two editions of “Methods in Candida Molecular Biology” (Taylor & Francis). He has served on numerous journal editorial boards, including, Infection and Immunity, FEMS Yeast Research, Future Microbiology, and Microbiology and an 8-year term on the NIH-NIAID Bacteriology and Mycology Scientific Panel. He has served as the Division F Chair (Medical Mycology) in the American Society for Microbiology and President of The Medical Mycology Society of the Americas. He is also a member of the Advisory Committee at The University of the District of Columbia for both the MARC U* STAR Honors Program (NIH/NIGMS) and the STEM Center for Research and Development Program (NSF/HBCU-UP). 

  • Li D, Chen H, Florentino A, Alex D, Sikorski P, Fonzi WA, Calderone R. Eukaryot Cell. 2011 May;10(5):672-82. Enzymatic Dysfunction of Mitochondrial Complex I of the Candida albicans goa1 Mutant Is Associated with Increased Reactive Oxidants and Cell Death.
  • Andaluz E, Bellido A, Gómez-Raja J, Selmecki A, Bouchonville K, Calderone R, Berman J, Larriba G. Mol Microbiol. 2011 Mar;79(6):1462-82. Rad52 function prevents chromosome loss and truncation in Candida albicans.
  • García-Prieto F, Gómez-Raja J, Andaluz E, Calderone R, Larriba G. Fungal Genet Biol. 2010 May;47(5):433-45. Role of the homologous recombination genes RAD51 and RAD59 in the resistance of Candida albicans to UV light, radiomimetic and anti-tumor compounds and oxidizing agents.
  • Li, D, Agrellos, O., and R. Calderone. 2010. Current Opinion in Microbiology. Histidine kinases keep fungal pathogens free of stress.
  • Bambach A, Fernandes MP, Ghosh A, Kruppa M, Alex D, Li D, Fonzi WA, Chauhan N, Sun N, Agrellos OA, Vercesi AE, Rolfes RJ, Calderone R. Eukaryot Cell. 2009 Nov;8(11):1706-20. Goa1p of Candida albicans localizes to the mitochondria during stress and is required for mitochondrial function and virulence.
  • Li D, Williams D, Lowman D, Monteiro MA, Tan X, Kruppa M, Fonzi W, Roman E, Pla J, Calderone R. Fungal Genet Biol. 2009 Oct;46(10):731-41. The Candida albicans histidine kinase Chk1p: signaling and cell wall mannan.
  • Menon V, De Bernardis F, Calderone R, Chauhan N. Transcriptional profiling of the Candida albicans Ssk1p receiver domain point mutants and their virulence. FEMS Yeast Res. 2008 Aug;8(5):756-63. Epub 2008 Jul 8.
  • Walia A, Calderone R. The SSK2 MAPKKK of Candida albicans is required for oxidant adaptation in vitro. FEMS Yeast Res. 2008 Mar;8(2):287-99. Epub 2007 Dec 17.
  • Gómez-Raja J, Andaluz E, Magee B, Calderone R, Larriba G. A single SNP, G929T (Gly310Val), determines the presence of a functional and a non-functional allele of HIS4 in Candida albicans SC5314: detection of the non-functional allele in laboratory strains.  Fungal Genet Biol. 2008 Apr;45(4):527-41. Epub 2007 Sep 21.

Medline publications list