Fitz Gerald Silao
BSc, MSc, PhD, RCh, RM
Postdoctoral Researcher in Mitochondrial Disease
Mitochondria are organelles that are well-known for their energy-generating function in eukaryotic cells. However, it is now clear that their roles extend beyond the realm of ATP production as these organelles have been implicated in a plethora of processes that operate at the cellular and organismic level that include cell fate decision and immune response activation.
I am currently a postdoctoral researcher in the Mitochondria research group under Prof. Joanna Poulton. I have a keen interest in understanding how aberrant mitochondrial function is implicated in human diseases. My main project is focused on characterizing the mechanistic basis underpinning the therapeutic effect of photobiomodulation (PBM) or “Low level laser therapy" that uses red or near infrared light to stimulate healing and regeneration of the damaged tissues. This process is thought to occur by improving mitochondrial ATP production that is needed to support the bioenergetic demand of tissue repair. Our goal is to harness the knowledge gained in understanding this process to help improve mitochondrial function in patients with debilitating mitochondrial disease.
Prior to Oxford, I was a senior researcher in the lab of Prof. Per Ljungdahl at Stockholm University/Scilifelab in Sweden where I also earned my PhD degree in Molecular Bioscience supported by a Marie Sklodowska-Curie ESR fellowship. In the Ljungdahl lab, I studied the role of mitochondrial proline catabolism and amino acid-dependent alkalization in the virulence of human fungal pathogens under the Candida species complex. I earned my BSc Biochemistry and MSc Microbiology degrees from the Philippines where I am also a licensed chemist (RCh) and a registered microbiologist (RM).
Mitochondrial proline catabolism activates Ras1/cAMP/PKA-induced filamentation in Candida albicans
Silao F., (2023), PLoS Genetics
Amino Acid Sensing and Assimilation by the Fungal Pathogen Candida albicans in the Human Host.
Silao FGS. and Ljungdahl PO., (2021), Pathogens (Basel, Switzerland), 11
Glutamate dehydrogenase (Gdh2)-dependent alkalization is dispensable for escape from macrophages and virulence of Candida albicans.
Silao FGS. et al, (2020), PLoS pathogens, 16