Dr Norman Van Rhijn

Research Associate

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I am a Research Associate in the Manchester Fungal Infection Group (MFIG, http://www.inflammation-repair.manchester.ac.uk/mfig). Currently, I am working on a Wellcome Trust funded project: "Linking azole resistance to environmental fitness in Aspergillus fumigatus".


My PhD project was focused on transcriptional regulation during Aspergillus fumigatus infection of the mammalian lung. To identify key regulators of infections a genome-wide 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

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.

I am currently working on a project defining the fitness profile of environmental and clinical isolates of A. fumigatus through CRISPR-Cas9 mediated barcoding, linking antifungal resistance to an increase in fitness under environmental stressed conditions.


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

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

2015-2019: PhD in Molecular Biology, University of Manchester, United Kingdom

Memberships of committees and professional bodies

Microbiology Society (Member and Local Champion, member since 2019)

Biochemical Society (Early career, member since 2016)

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

ISHAM (member since 2019) 

External positions

Student committee member, British Mycological Society

1 Oct 20161 Jan 2020


  • Mycology, Microbiology, Aspergillus

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