Maurizio Del Poeta Distinguished Professor

Department of Microbiology and Immunology
M.D., School of Medicine, University of Ancona, Italy, 1992

(631) 632-4024
(631) 632-9797


With the increasing number of immunodeficient subjects and the increase of the lifespan of these subjects due to the advance in medicine there has been a concomitant rise in the number of cases of life-threatening fungal infections. Current antifungal treatments are often inadequate due a tardy diagnosis, collateral effects, and drug resistance. Dr. Del Poeta’s research team studies sphingolipid metabolism and signaling in fungal and mammalian cells to identify new markers for early diagnosis and specific microbial enzymes/molecules essential to cause infection in the attempt to develop new antifungal targets.


Selected Publications:

  1. Normile TG, Bryan AM, Del Poeta M. Animal models of Cryptococcus neoformans in identifying immune parameters associated with primary infections and reactivation of latent infection. Front Immunol. 2020 Sep 15;11:581750. doi: 10.3389/fimmu.2020.581750. eCollection 2020. PMID: 33042164.
  2. Fabri JHTM, de Sá NP, Malavazi I, Del Poeta M. The dynamics and role of sphingolipids in eukaryotic organism upon thermal adaptation. Prog Lipid Res. 2020 Sep 2;80:101063. doi: 10.1016/j.plipres.2020.101063.
  3. Bryan AM, You JK, McQuiston T, Lazzarini C, Qiu Z, Sheridan B, Nuesslein-Hildesheim B, Del Poeta M. FTY720 reactivates cryptococcal granulomas in mice through S1P receptor 3 on macrophages. J Clin Invest. 2020 Jul 27:136068. doi: 10.1172/JCI136068.
  4. Mota Fernandes C, Del Poeta M. Fungal sphingolipids: role in the regulation of virulence and potential as targets for future antifungal therapies. Expert Rev Anti Infect Ther. 2020 Jul 16:1-10. doi: 10.1080/14787210.2020.1792288.
  5. Colombo AC, Rella A, Normile T, Joffe L, de Melo Tavares P, de S. Araujo G, Frases S, Orner E, Farnoud A, Fries B, Sheridan B, Nimritcher L, Rodrigues M and Del Poeta M. 2019. Cryptococcus neoformans glucuronoxylomannan and sterylglucoside are required for host protection in an animal vaccination model. mBio. 2;10(2). PMID 30940711. PMC6445945.
  6. Luberto C, Haley J, and Del Poeta M. 2019. Imaging with Mass spectrometry, the next frontier in sphingolipid research? A discussion on where we stand and the possibilities ahead. Chem. Phys. Lipids. 219:1-14, 2019. PMID: 30641043.
  7. Haranahalli K, Lazzarini C, Sun Y, Del Poeta M,and Ojima I. 2019. SAR Studies on Acylhydrazones as Inhibitors of fungal sphingolipids for the Development of Novel Antifungal Agents. J. Med Chem. doi: 10.1021/acs.jmedchem.9b01004.  PMID:31369263.
  8. Munshi MA, Gardin JM, Singh A, Luberto C, Rieger R, Bouklas T, Fries BC, Del Poeta M. The role of ceramide synthases in the pathogenesis of Cryptococcus neoformans. Cell Rep. 2018 Feb 6;22(6):1392-1400. doi: 10.1016/j.celrep.2018.01.035. PMC5839121.
  9. Bouklas T, Alonso-Crisostomo, Szekely T Jr., Diago-Navarro E, Orner EP, Smith K, Del Poeta, M, Balazsi G., Fries BC. 2017. Generational distribution of a Candida glabrata population: old cells prevail as commensals, while younger cells attack the vulnerable host. PLoS Pathogens. 2017 May 10;13(5):e1006355. doi: 10.1371. PMC:5440053
  10. Garcia J, Shea J, Alvarez-Vasquez F, Qureshi A, Voit EO, Luberto C, Del Poeta M. 2008. Mathematical modeling of pathogenicity of Cryptococcus neoformans. Molecular System Biology. 4:183.
  11. Rittershaus PC, Kechichian T, Allegood J, Merrill AH Jr, Hennig M, Luberto C, and Del Poeta M. 2006. Glucosylceramide synthase is an essential regulator of pathogenicity of Cryptococcus neoformans. Journal of Clinical Investigation. 116:1651-1659.
  12. Luberto C, D Taraskiewicz, B Bolanos, B Martinez-Marino, P Chitano, DL Toffaletti, GM Cox, JR Perfect, YA Hannun, E Balish, M. Del Poeta. 2003. Identification of App1 as regulator of phagocytosis and virulence of Cryptococcus neoformans. Journal of Clinical Investigation 112:1080-1094.
Lab Photos