Wickes, Brian L., Ph.D.


Location: 4.025V - MED


Microbiology, Immunology & Molecular Genetics

Wickes, Brian L., Ph.D.


Personal Statement:

Dr. Wickes’ lab’s major interest is in the area of molecular diagnostics for both bacteria and fungi, basic research on Cryptococcus neoformans with a focus on molecular mechanisms of differentiation, and the molecular and genetic regulation of biofilm formation in Candida sp. His laboratory extensively integrates teaching and instruction into the research program and currently has trainees of all ranks.


Ph.D., Microbiology at Catholic University, Washington, D.C.


Keywords: Cryptococcus Neoformans

Research interests:
Dr. Wickes’ laboratory is interested in the molecular biology of differentiation in Cryptococcus neoformans and the identification and diagnosis of medically important fungi. This interest is manifested in a number of different projects that range from basic research to translational clinical studies and in some areas, extends beyond fungi into bacteria. They have a number of active projects in the laboratory.

  1. Cryptococcus neoformans is an opportunistic human fungal pathogen. Their major interest in C. neoformans concerns the genes involved in morphology and differentiation. They study two developmental processes, mating and monokaryotic fruiting. Mating occurs between cells of compatible mating types while monokaryotic fruiting occurs in single cell types. Their reason for studying differentiation lies in determining which morphology, yeast or spore, is responsible for generating infectious particles that ultimately are inhaled, and cause disease.
  2. A second fungus that they study is Candida glabrata. This yeast is one of the most common causes of non-albicans candidiasis and has attracted increasing interest due to its higher intrinsic resistance to antifungal drugs. They are presently interested in developing new selectable markers and other molecular tools for this pathogen, and also study biofilm production by C. glabrata. They have an oral study of C. glabrata in AIDs patients and have developed a diagnostic strategy for distinguishing these yeasts from other Candida spp. in clinical isolates.
  3. In addition to our basic research programs, they also have an extensive diagnostic program. They collaborate with the Fungus Testing Laboratory in the UT Health San Antonio Dept. of Pathology in the analysis of clinical isolates. The laboratory uses molecular methods to identify rare or difficult to work with fungi. They also conduct epidemiologic studies on outbreaks to determine relatedness.
  4. In collaboration with the Dept. of Pathology, they have been studying drug resistance in bacteria, specifically, ESBL (Extended Spectrum Beta Lactamase) organisms. Their interests lie in developing molecular diagnostic strategies that focus on a novel technique called LATE (Late After the Exponential) PCR.

Awards & Accomplishments

  • 01/2012 Athletic Hall of Fame: Catholic University of America
  • 01/2010 National Institutes of Health: College of CSR Reviewers
  • 01/2009 Outstanding Review Award: Clinical Infectious Diseases
  • 01/2008 UT Health San Antonio Leadership Education and Development (LEAD) Institute Fellow
  • 01/2007 Co-author: “First Report of the Emergence of CTX-M Type ESBLs as the Predominant ESBL Isolated in a U.S. Healthcare System.” Named one of the 10 most important β-lactamase papers at the 47th ICAA Meeting, Chicago, IL
  • 1/2004  Distinguished Service Award: American Society for Microbiology (ASM) Publication Board
  • 01/2003  Outstanding Editorial Board Member: American Society for Microbiology (ASM) Journal of Clinical Microbiology)
  • 01/2002  Outstanding Editorial Board Member: American Society for Microbiology (ASM) Journal of Clinical Microbiology
  • 01/2001 Outstanding Editorial Board Member: American Society for Microbiology (ASM) Journal of Clinical Microbiology.


  • 01/2001-Present  Texas Branch, American Society for Microbiology
  • 01/2001-Present  Center for the Enhancement of the Biology/Biomaterials Interface (CEBBI)
  • 01/2001-Present  San Antonio Cancer Institute (SACI), Full member
  • 01/1999-Present  Genetics Society of America
  • 01/1992-Present  International Society for Human and Animal Mycology
  • 01/1992-Present  Medical Mycology Society of the Americas
  • 01/1984-Present  American Society for Microbiology


Complete List of Publications

  • Fungal diagnostics. Kozel TR, Wickes BL. Cold Spring Harb Perspect Med. 2014 Apr 1;4(4):a019299. doi: 10.1101/cshperspect.a019299. Review. PMID:24692193