Richard is Professor of Molecular Microbiology at the University of Otago School of Dentistry. He undertook his biochemistry and microbiology training at the University of Cambridge, UK. His main research interest is in oral yeast: how they colonise the oral cavity; how they cause disease; and ways of preventing them causing disease.
Richard’s particular research interests focus on the human pathogen Candida albicans, which causes both oral candidosis and life-threatening disseminated disease. He uses molecular approaches to determine how C. albicans adheres in the mouth, what makes it pathogenic, how it becomes resistant to antifungal drugs, and how its drug resistance can be overcome. Richard also uses baker’s yeast, Saccharomyces cerevisiae, as a tool to investigate fungal membrane protein structure and function.