Fariba Donovan

Fariba Donovan

Assistant Professor, Medicine
Member of the Graduate Faculty
Primary Department
Department Affiliations
(520) 626-0725

Work Summary

As both a research scientist and practicing infectious disease clinician I remain keenly aware of the importance of the practical application of basic research, to the broader problems we face treating patients with both invasive and opportunistic fungal infections. My main research interest focuses on the evaluation of early events involved with coccidioidomycosis.

Research Interest

Post medical training in Iran, she obtained a Ph.D. at Gifu University in Japan. Her research focused on candida albicans and its interaction with the human host with development of specific expertise in protein purification, molecular biology, and gene manipulation techniques to further identify C. albicans virulence factors. During post-doctoral work in the US, she focused on Coccidioides species, and was able to purify the urease protein, constructed a urease knockout strain of the fungus with lesser virulence in the animal model. The knockout strain showed promise as a potential vaccine candidate. This work remains an active area of Valley fever research. Later she broadened the research to the genetic manipulation of histoplasma capsulatum and the immune interaction in the animal model. Subsequently by the completion of her internal medicine residency and infectious disease fellowship as a natural extension of her research, she put into clinical practice her research interests and findings. In 2017 she was recruited to the University of Arizona at the Valley Fever Center for Excellence, to continue her Valley fever research and improve the prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of Valley fever.