Mr Norman Van Rhijn

Research Associate

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I am a PhD student of the Manchester Fungal Infection Group (MFIG, Currently I am working on a BBSRC-funded project: "A genome wide census of transcription factors in A. fumigatus".


My PhD project is focused on transcriptional regulation during Aspergillus fumigatus infection of the mammalian lung. Transcriptional regulation during infection is tightly regulated by transcription factors. It has been estimated that the A. fumigatus genome contains about 500 transcription factors. To identify key regulators of infections a library of 484 transcription factor null mutants is utilised.

As an example, we screened the library for azole sensitivity and resistance. This resulted in identification of two previously uncharacterised transcription factors. ChIP-seq and RNA-seq analysis revealed that these transcription factors are global regulators, including regulatory roles in ergosterol biosynthesis and drug efflux.

In order to characterise the A. fumigatus transcription factor library under infection related stresses, a high throughput phenotyping pipeline was designed and optimised. This resulted in identification of several previously identified transcription factors involved in pathogenicity of the mammalian lung.

Furthermore, during my PhD project we have developed CRISPR methodologies for genome editing of A. fumigatus. The focus was on CRISPR-mediated protein tagging and point mutations to avoid using dominant selection markers during transformation.


2010-2014: BSc (Hons) Biology, Leiden University, the Netherlands

2014-2015: MSc (Dis) Medical Mycology, University of Manchester, United Kingdom

Memberships of committees and professional bodies

Biochemical Society (Early career, member since 2016)

BSMM, British Society for Medical Mycology (member since 2017)


External positions

Student committee member, British Mycological Society

1 Oct 20161 Jan 2020

Biology, Medicine and Health (BMH) Domains


  • Mycology, Microbiology, Aspergillus

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