Scholars

Christina Homer, Term: 2024 - 2029

Clinical Fellow, Medicine

 

Christina Homer, MD, PhD is a physician scientist in the Division of Infectious Diseases of the Department of Medicine. She is passionate about understanding fungal pathogens and enabling better diagnoses and treatments. She completed the UCSF Medical Scientist Training Program, where she discovered quorum sensing in the fungal pathogen Cryptococcus neoformans under the mentorship of Dr. Hiten Madhani.  This work was the first characterization of a quorum sensing system required for fungal virulence and revealed the system’s structure as an example of convergent evolution when compared to gram positive bacterial quorum sensing systems. Christina completed Internal Medicine Residency at UCSF and then continued in the Infectious Diseases Fellowship. She completed additional training in Immunocompromised and Transplant Infectious Diseases, a subspecialty which includes a number of patients with fungal infections. As a postdoctoral fellow with Dr. Anita Sil, she studied the important human fungal pathogen Coccidioides. She discovered a family of Coccidioides proteases that are required for it to develop into its unique parasitic structure, known as the spherule. As a UCSF Physician Scientist Scholar, she aims to unlock the role of these proteases during infection, characterize novel secreted virulence factors, and use knowledge of the mysterious spherule to ultimately develop better treatments for coccidioidomycosis.

 

Josiah Gerdts, Term: 2023 – 2028
Assistant Professor, Neurology