Michelle Momany
Plant Sciences, Rm 1512
Phone Number:  706-542-2014
Office/Lab:  Plant Sciences, Rm 1505
Phone Number: 

Ph.D Fungal Cell and Molecular Biology, University of Texas - Austin 1992

B.A. Microbiology, University of Texas - Austin 1985

Research Projects: 

Research in my lab focuses on polar growth in the model filamentous fungus Aspergillus nidulans and the pathogen Aspergillus fumigatus. One major project in the lab is examining septins, novel cytoskeletal proteins, in A. nidulans. Work in other systems has shown that the septins function as scaffolds, organizing the division plane and other areas of new cell growth. Research in our lab has shown that there are 5 septins in A. nidulans and that one of those septins localizes to septa, forming branches and conidiophore layers. The filamentous localization of A. nidulans septins is especially exciting because it furnishes an experimentally tractable system to investigate the significance of the septin filaments previously only reported in animals.

The other major project in the lab is looking at gene expression and polar growth in A. fumigatus. A. fumigatus causes invasive aspergillosis, an often fatal disease of the immunocompromised. We are using microarrays and deep sequencing to study the genes that are expressed in the early growth of this fungus.

Grant Support: 
  • Combining cell biology and transcriptomics to understand invasive aspergillosis, The Royal Society, UK, International Exchanges Scheme         Co-PIs: Michelle Momany and Elaine Bignell (U of Manchester), 12/01/15-11/01/17, £12000
  • UGA BSRI Seed Grant program - Exploring the role of O-Glycosylation in Stability and Activity of Secreted Lignocellulosic-degrading Enzymes. PI: M. Momany, October, 2010- September, 2011, $20,000.
  • National Science Foundation - Septins in Fungal Development. PI: M. Momany, February 1, 2011-February 31, 2013, $460,000
  • National Institutes of Health - Temporal and Spatial Profiling of Gene Expression During Polar Growth of Aspergillus fumigatus. PI: M. Momany, June, 2008- May, 2011, $322,812
Of Note: 
  • Co-Chair 28th Fungal Genetics Conference (2015) at Asilomar
  • Gordon Research Conference: Cellular and Molecular Fungal Biology - Vice co-chair for 2008, Co-chair for 2010
  • National Academies Education Fellow in the Life Sciences 2008
  • American Association for the Advancement of Science Fellow 2008
  • Sandy Beaver Award for Excellence in Teaching (Franklin College, UGA) 2005
  • Aspergillus Genome Research Policy Committee (2003- ) AGRPC Chair (4/2004- )
Recent Publications: 
  • Kriangkripipat, T. and  M. Momany. 2014. Aspergillus nidulans Pmts form heterodimers in all pairwise combinations. FEBS Open Bio4, 335-341.
  • Hernández-Rodríguez Y., Masuo S., Johnson D., Orlando R., Smith A., Couto-Rodriguez  M., and M. Momany. 2014. Distinct Septin Heteropolymers Co-exist During Multicellular Development in the Filamentous Fungus Aspergillus nidulans. PLoS ONE, 9(3): e92819.
  • Thomas, B.,  Momany, M. , and P. Kner. 2013.  Optical sectioning structured illumination microscopy with enhanced sensitivity. Journal of Optics 15: 094004.
  • Hernández-Rodríguez Y and M. Momany. 2012. Posttranslational modifications and assembly of septin heteropolymers and higher-order structures. Current Opinion in Microbiology 15: 660-668
  • Leal, S.M. Jr, Vareechon, C., Cowden, S., Cobb, B.A., Latgé J.P., Momany, M., and E. Pearlman. 2012. Fungal antioxidant pathways promote survival against neutrophils during infection. Journal of Clinical Investigation 122: 2482-2498.
  • Suh M.J., Fedorova. N.D., Cagas. S.E., Hastings, S., Fleischmann, R.D., Peterson, S.N., Perlin, D.S., Nierman, W.C., Pieper, R. and M. Momany. 2012. Development stage-specific proteomic profiling uncovers small, lineage specific proteins most abundant in the Aspergillus fumigatus conidial proteome. Proteome Science 10:30.
  • Beckham, G. T.,  Dai, Z., Matthews, J.F., Momany, M., Payne, C.M. Adney, W.S., Baker, S.E. and Himmel, M.E. 2012. Harnessing glycosylation to improve cellulase activity. Current Opinion in Biotechnology 23: 338-45.
  • Hernandez-Rodriguez, Y., Hastings, S. and M. Momany. 2012. The septin AspB inAspergillus nidulans forms bars and filaments and plays roles in growth emergence and conidiation. Eukaryotic Cell 11: 311-323.
  • Deak, E., Nelson, M., Hernández-Rodríguez,Y., Gade, L., Baddley, J., Momany, M., Steele, C. and S. A. Balajee. 2011. Aspergillus terreus accessory conidia are multinucleated, hyperpolarizing structures that display differential dectin staining and can induce heightened inflammatory responses in a pulmonary model of aspergillosis. Virulence 2: 200-07.