Lab Information

Donald Sheppard (MD)

Senior Scientist
Centre for Translational Biology
Department of Microbiology & Immunology (McGill)

Research Profile

 Fundamental: 100%
 Clinical: 0%
 Epidemiology: 0%
 Evaluation: 0%
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Medical mycology • aspergillus • biofilms • host-pathogen interactions

Research Interests

My research focuses on understanding how molds and other fungi cause human disease. Recently, our laboratory discovered that fungi secrete sugars that can act as a glue in order to help fungi attach to human lung cells and hide from the immune system during lung infections. My research focuses on fungi that infect humans. In particular, we focus on the common mold Aspergillus fumigatus, which causes pneumonia in patients who have received chemotherapy, organ transplantation, bone marrow transplantation or high dose cortisone therapy. Despite the use of current antifungal drugs, this pneumonia is fatal for more than half the affected patients. Our group is working to identify how this fungus invades human tissues in order to develop new, more effective antifungal therapies to prevent and cure this aggressive and common condition.

Team Members

Name Position

Latest Publications

  1. Le Mauff, F., Razvi, E., Reichhardt, C., Sivarajah, P., Parsek, M. R., Howell, P. L. & Sheppard, D. C. (2022). The Pel polysaccharide is predominantly composed of a dimeric repeat of α-1,4 linked galactosamine and N-acetylgalactosamine. Communications biology, vol. 5, p. 502.
  2. Ostapska, H., Le Mauff, F., Gravelat, F. N., Snarr, B. D., Bamford, N. C., Van Loon, J. C., McKay, G., Nguyen, D., Howell, P. L. & Sheppard, D. C. (2022). Co-Operative Biofilm Interactions between Aspergillus fumigatus and Pseudomonas aeruginosa through Secreted Galactosaminogalactan Exopolysaccharide. Journal of fungi (Basel, Switzerland), vol. 8.
  3. Sykes, D. B., Martinelli, M. M., Negoro, P., Xu, S., Maxcy, K., Timmer, K., Viens, A. L., Alexander, N. J., Atallah, J., Snarr, B. D., Baistrocchi, S. R., Atallah, N. J., Hopke, A., Scherer, A., Rosales, I., Irimia, D., Sheppard, D. C. & Mansour, M. K. (2022). Transfusable neutrophil progenitors as cellular therapy for the prevention of invasive fungal infections. Journal of leukocyte biology, vol. 111, p. 1133-1145.
  4. Fisher, M. C., Alastruey-Izquierdo, A., Berman, J., Bicanic, T., Bignell, E. M., Bowyer, P., Bromley, M., Brüggemann, R., Garber, G., Cornely, O. A., Gurr, S. J., Harrison, T. S., Kuijper, E., Rhodes, J., Sheppard, D. C., Warris, A., White, P. L., Xu, J., Zwaan, B. & Verweij, P. E. (2022). Tackling the emerging threat of antifungal resistance to human health. Nature reviews. Microbiology.
  5. Kerkaert, J. D., Le Mauff, F., Wucher, B. R., Beattie, S. R., Vesely, E. M., Sheppard, D. C., Nadell, C. D. & Cramer, R. A. (2022). An Alanine Aminotransferase Is Required for Biofilm-Specific Resistance of Aspergillus fumigatus to Echinocandin Treatment. mBio, p. e0293321.
  6. Asker, D., Awad, T. S., Raju, D., Sanchez, H., Lacdao, I., Gilbert, S., Sivarajah, P., Andes, D. R., Sheppard, D. C., Howell, P. L. & Hatton, B. D. (2021). Preventing Pseudomonas aeruginosa Biofilms on Indwelling Catheters by Surface-Bound Enzymes. ACS applied bio materials, vol. 4, p. 8248-8258.
  7. Chen, Y., Stewart, J. I. P., Liu, S., Sheppard, D. C., Lu, L. & Zhang, S. (2021). Spt20, a structural subunit of the SAGA complex, regulates biofilm formation, asexual development, and virulence of Aspergillus fumigatus. Applied and environmental microbiology, p. AEM0153521.
  8. Ostapska, H., Raju, D., Lehoux, M., Lacdao, I., Gilbert, S., Sivarajah, P., Bamford, N. C., Baker, P., Nguyen, T. T. M., Zacharias, C. A., Gravelat, F. N., Howell, P. L. & Sheppard, D. C. (2021). Preclinical Evaluation of Recombinant Microbial Glycoside Hydrolases in the Prevention of Experimental Invasive Aspergillosis. mBio, vol. 12, p. e0244621.
  9. O'Toole, G. A., Crabbé, A., Kümmerli, R., LiPuma, J. J., Bomberger, J. M., Davies, J. C., Limoli, D., Phelan, V. V., Bliska, J. B., DePas, W. H., Dietrich, L. E., Hampton, T. H., Hunter, R., Khursigara, C. M., Price-Whelan, A., Ashare, A., Cramer, R. A., Goldberg, J. B., Harrison, F., Hogan, D. A., Henson, M. A., Madden, D. R., Mayers, J. R., Nadell, C., Newman, D., Prince, A., Rivett, D. W., Schwartzman, J. D., Schultz, D., Sheppard, D. C., Smyth, A. R., Spero, M. A., Stanton, B. A., Turner, P. E., van der Gast, C., Whelan, F. J., Whitaker, R. & Whiteson, K. (2021). Model Systems to Study the Chronic, Polymicrobial Infections in Cystic Fibrosis: Current Approaches and Exploring Future Directions. mBio, vol. 12, p. e0176321.
  10. Ralph, B. A., Lehoux, M., Ostapska, H., Snarr, B. D., Caffrey-Carr, A. K., Fraser, R., Saleh, M., Obar, J. J., Qureshi, S. T. & Sheppard, D. C. (2021). The IL-1 Receptor Is Required to Maintain Neutrophil Viability and Function During Aspergillus fumigatus Airway Infection. Frontiers in immunology, vol. 12, p. 675294.
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