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The May Lab in the School of Biosciences is celebrating a double prize-winning week with two post-doctoral researchers, Kerstin Voelz and Rhiannon Pursall having their work recognised.


The laboratory, led by Principal Investigator Dr Robin May, is interested in the molecular basis of complex interactions pathogens and their hosts and in how they have evolved.

Kerstin Voelz

Kerstin came joint 2nd in the Society for General Microbiology Sir Howard Dalton Young Microbiologist of the Year competition (, and is studying the interaction between the facultative pathogenic yeast Cryptococcus and macrophages.  She is particular interested in the role that mitochondria play as regulator of virulence in recent ongoing and spreading outbreaks of cryptococcosis. 

Rhiannon Pursall

Rhiannon won the 'Elevator Pitch' competition at the Vitae conference earlier in the week ( She is working on cryptococcal pathogenicity, investigating what drives the extreme virulence of the strain responsible for the recent outbreak of cryptococcosis on Vancouver Island. 

Find out more about the work of the May Laboratory here.