My research is focused on studies of virulence factors of Coccidioides spp. which are causative agents of coccidioidomycosis. Coccidioides can cause a respiratory disease in healthy individuals as well as immunocompromised patients. In the United States there is an estimated 150,000 yearly cases of coccidioidal infection and it is considered to be a reemerging infectious disease. My research interest is in the identification and characterization of dominant antigens of Coccidioides spp. which elicit innate inflammatory response or stimulate acquired immunity to infection with the fungal pathogen. Studies of the interaction between the host and these antigens may lead to a better understanding of the course of disease, and to the identification of vaccine candidates or novel therapeutic drug targets. I am also interested in the application of biochemical, molecular, genetic, and bioinformatic techniques to the characterization of proteins involved in cell wall synthesis and degradation. Coccidioides spp. is a diphasic fungus characterized by a parasitic cycle (Fig.1) which is unique amongst medically important fungal pathogens. Cell wall synthases, hydrolases and their regulatory proteins have been proposed to play key roles in morphogenesis and, therefore, represent potential molecular targets for novel antifungal drugs.