Dr Leandro De Assis

Dr Leandro De Assis

Research Fellow

Peninsula Medical School (Faculty of Health)



The main experience of the researcher is in fungal biochemistry, genetics, and metabolism, more specifically, in the characterization of carbon source metabolism. The researcher has been dedicated to understand and elucidate mechanisms governing glucose signaling in Saccharomyces cerevisiae, Aspergillus nidulans, and Aspergillus fumigatus. The researcher has gained skills in basic and advanced microbiology, biochemistry, and genetics techniques from different universities: (i) Federal University of Lavras (Minas Gerais, Brazil) in basic microbiology methods for agricultural applications, (ii) Institute of Medical Biochemistry at the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro (Rio de Janeiro, Brazil) in basic and advanced biochemical and metabolism techniques and (iii) the University of Sao Paulo in advanced molecular biology and genetics methodologies. As a post-doctoral fellowship, the researcher had experience working with genetics and proteomics at Maynooth University in Ireland, also I was working as a postdoctoral fellowship at the Georg-August University of Gottingen in Germany applying genetics and proteomics approach to describe regulatory mechanisms in A. nidulans. Altogether, the researcher has been combining metabolism and biochemistry to characterize proteins involved in processes such as enzyme secretion, which is important for industrial applications. The researcher is currently working on various aspects of sugar metabolism in different Aspergillus spp. and Candida spp. especially studying cell wall construction and the exposition of carbohydrates on the surface of the fungi to the host and it also can be exploited for cancer cell metabolism once the uncontrolled growth demands a huge amount of energy and nutrients intake. The researcher is coordinating parallel projects in fungal and biomedical science including nuclear regulators controlling glucose metabolism in fungal cells and the characterization of the role of HK2 (hexokinase 2) on brain tumour metabolism.


2021 – current Research Fellow, Brain Tumour Centre, University of Plymouth, Plymouth, UK.

2021 – 2021  Independent Fellowship Marie Skłodowska-Curie, Fungal Genetics, and Secondary Metabolism Laboratory, Maynooth University, Ireland.

2020 – 2021  Postdoctoral Fellow Research Associated, University of Exeter, UK.

2018 – 2019  Postdoctoral Fellow, Laboratory of Molecular Biology, University of São Paulo, Brazil

2018 – 2018  Postdoctoral Fellow, Microbiology and Genetics, Georg-August-University of Gottingen, Germany 

2017 – 2017  Postdoctoral Fellow, Laboratory of Molecular Biology, University of São Paulo, Brazil

2016 – 2016  Postdoctoral fellow, Fungal Genetics and Secondary Metabolism Laboratory, Maynooth University, Ireland

2013 – 2016  Postdoctoral Fellow, Laboratory of Molecular Biology, University of São Paulo, Brazil

2009 – 2013  Ph.D., Institute of Medical Biochemistry, University of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

2005 – 2009  BSc, Department of Biology, Federal University of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

2003 – 2005  BSc, Department of Microbiology, Federal University of Lavras, Brazil.

Professional membership

Dr. Alistair J. P. Brown, MRC Centre for Medical Mycology, University of Exeter, UK.

Dr. Neil Andrew Brown, Department of Biology & Biochemistry, University of Bath, UK.

Dr. Thomas Kruger, Department of Molecular and Applied Microbiology, Leibniz Institute for Natural Product Research and Infection Biology, Germany.

Dr. Gerhard H. Braus, Microbiology, and Genetics, Gottingen, Georg-August-University of Gottingen, Germany.

Dr. Bayram Ozgur, Fungal Genetics and Secondary Metabolism Laboratory, Department of Biology, Maynooth University, Ireland.

Dr. Daysuke Hogawara, Medical Mycology Research Centre (MMRC), Chiba University, Japan.

Dr. Gustavo H. Goldman, Molecular Biology, Ribeirão Preto, São Paulo, University of São Paulo, Brazil.



Roles on external bodies

Collaborating as a reviewer for Biotechnology for Biofuels, mBio, and Fungal Genetics and Biology




Grants & contracts

2020  Marie-Curie Individual Fellowship H2020-MSCA-IF-2019 proposal number 883325 title: “Nuclear Regulators of Fungal Enzymes” - National University of Ireland - Maynooth, score 94.4% and total cost € 196,590.72.




1. de Assis LJ, Silva LP, Bayram O, Dowling P, Kniemeyer O, Brakhage AA, Chen Y, Dong L, Tan K, Wong KH, Ries LNA, Goldman GH: Carbon Catabolite Repression in Filamentous Fungi is Regulated by Phosphorylation of the Transcription Factor CreA. mBio. 2021. https://doi.org/10.1128/mBio.03146-20

2. Pradhan, A., Ma, Q., de Assis, L.J., Leaves, I., Larcombe, D.E., Rodriguez Rondon, A. V., Nev, O.A., and Brown, A.J.P. Anticipatory Stress Responses and Immune Evasion in Fungal Pathogens. Trends Microbiol. 2021, 1–12. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.tim.2020.09.010

3. Silva, L.P., Frawley, D., de Assis, L.J., Tierney, C., Fleming, A.B., Bayram, O., and Goldman, G.H. Putative Membrane Receptors Contribute to Activation and Efficient Signaling of Mitogen-Activated Protein Kinase Cascades during Adaptation of Aspergillus fumigatus to Different Stressors and Carbon Sources. mSphere. 2020. 5, 1–25. https://doi.org/10.1128/mSphere.00818-20.

4. Assis LJ, Silva LP, Liu L, Schmitt K, Valerius O, Braus GH, Ries LNA and Goldman GH. The High Osmolarity Glycerol Mitogen-Activated Protein Kinase regulates glucose catabolite repression in filamentous fungi. Plos Genetics, 2020, 16:e1008996. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pgen.1008996

5. Ries LNA, Pardeshi L, Dong Z, Tan K, Steenwyk JL, Colabardini AC, Ferreira Filho JA, de Castro PA, Silva LP, Preite NW, Almeida F, de Assis LJ, dos Santos RAC, Bowyer P, Bromley M, Owens RA, Doyle S, Demasi M, Hernández DCR, Netto LES, Pupo MT, Rokas A, Loures FV, Wong KH, Goldman GH. The Aspergillus fumigatus transcription factor RglT is important for gliotoxin biosynthesis and self-protection, and virulence. PLOS Pathog, 2020, 16:e1008645. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.ppat.1008645

6. Prusky D, de Assis LJ, Baroncelli R, Benito EP, del Castillo VC, Chaya T, Covo S, Díaz-Mínguez JM, Donofrio NM, Espeso E, Fernandes TR, Goldman GH, Judelson H, Nordzieke D, Di Pietro A, Sionov E, Sukno SA, Thon MR, Todd RB, Voll L, Xu JR, Horwitz BA, Wilson RA. 2020. Nutritional factors modulating plant and fruit susceptibility to pathogens: BARD workshop, Haifa, Israel, February 25–26, Phytoparasitica, 2020, 48:317–333. https://doi.org/10.1007/s12600-020-00803-w

7. Ribeiro MS, Paula RG De, Voltan AR, Castro RG De, Jos L, Assis D, Jos C, Monteiro VN. Trichoderma harzianumParticipates in Cell Wall Biogenesis but Is Not Essential for Antagonism Against Plant Pathogens. Biomolecules 2019, 9:1–17. https://doi.org/10.3390/biom9120781

8. Horta, M. A. C.; Thieme, N.; Gao, Y.; Burnum-Johnson, K. E.; Nicora, C. D.; Gritsenko, M. A.; Lipton, M.; Mohanraj, K.; Assis, LJ; Lin, L.; Tian, C.; Braus, G. H.; Borkovich, K. A.; Schmoll, M.; Larrondo, L. F.; Samal, A.; Goldman, G. H.; Benz, J. P. Broad substrate-specific phosphorylation events are associated with the initial stage of plant cell wall recognition in Neurospora crassa. Frontiers in Microbiology, 2019. https://doi.org/10.3389/fmicb.2019.02317

9. Antonieto, A. C. C. ; Nogueira, K. M. V. ; Paula, R. G. ; Nora, L. C. ; Cassiano, M. H. A. ; Guazzaroni, M. ; Almeida, F. B. R. ; Silva, T. A. ; Ries, L. N. A. ; de Assis, L. J. ; Goldman, G. H. ; Silva, R. N. ; Silva-Rocha, R: A novel Cys2His2 zinc-finger homolog of AZF1 modulates holocellulase expression in Trichoderma reesei. mSystems, 2019. https://doi.org/10.1128/mSystems.00161-19.

10. Ribeiro, L. ; Chelius, C. ; Boppidi, K. ; Naik, N. ; Hossain, S. ; Ramsey, J. ; Kumar, J. ; Ribeiro, L. ; Ostermeier, M. ; Tran, B. ; Goo, Y. ; de Assis, L. J. ; Ulas, M. ; Bayram, O. ; Goldman, G. H. ; Lincoln, S. ; Srivastava, R. ; Harris, S. ; Marten, M. Comprehensive analysis of Aspergillus nidulans PKA phosphorylome identifies a novel mode of CreA regulation. mBio, 2019.


11. Ries, L. A. N. ; de Castro, P. A. ; de Lima, P. B. A. ; Manfiolli, A. O. ; de Assis, L. J. ; Hagiwara, D. ; Goldman, G. H. Nutritional Heterogeneity Among Aspergillus fumigatus Strains Has Consequences For Virulence In a Strain- And Host-Dependent Manner. Front Microbiol, 2019. https://doi.org/10.3389/fmicb.2019.00854

12. Manfioli, A. ; Mattos, E. ; de Assis, L. J. ; Silva, L. P. ; Ulas, M. ; Brown, N. A. ; Bayram, O. ; Goldman, G. H. Aspergillus fumigatus high osmolarity glycerol mitogen activated protein kinases SakA and MpkC physically interact during osmotic and cell wall stresses. Front Microbiol, 2019. https://doi.org/10.3389/fmicb.2019.00918

13. Manfiolli, A ; Siqueira, F. ; Reis, T. ; Dijck, P. V. ; Schrevens, S. ; Hoefgen, S. ; Foge, M. ; Strassburger, M. ; de Assis, L.J. ; Heinekamp, T. ; Rocha, M. ; Janevska, S. ; Brakhage, A. ; Malavazi, I. ; Goldman, G. H. ; Valiante, V. Mitogen activated protein kinase cross-talk interaction modulates the production of melanins in Aspergillus fumigatus. mBio, 2019; 10 (2), e00215-19. https://doi.org/10.1128/mBio.00215-19.

14. de Assis LJ, Manfiolli A, Mattos E, Fabri JHTM, Malavazi I, Jacobsen ID, Brock M, Cramer RA, Thammahong A, Hagiwara D, Ries LNA, Goldman GH. 2018. Protein Kinase A and High-Osmolarity Glycerol Response Pathways Cooperatively Control Cell Wall Carbohydrate Mobilization in Aspergillus fumigatus. mBio. 2018; 9, e01952-18. https://doi.org/10.1128/mBio.01952-18.

15. de Assis LJ, Ulas M, Ries LAN, Ramli NAME, Sarikaya-Bayram O, et al. Regulation of Aspergillus nidulans CreA-mediated catabolite repression by the F-box proteins Fbx23 and Fbx47. mBio. 2018; 9, e00840-18. https://doi.org/10.1128/mBio.00840-18

16. Ries LAN, de Assis LJ, Rodrigues FJS, Caldana C, Rocha MC, Malavazi I, et al. The Aspergillus nidulans pyruvate dehydrogenase kinases are essential to integrate carbon source metabolism. G3 Genes/Genome/Genetics. 2018; g3.200411.2018. https://doi.org/10.1534/g3.118.200411

17. Manfiolli A, Fernanda Dos Reis T, de Assis LJ, Pereira Silva L, Hori JI, Walker L, et al. Mitogen-activated kinases (MAPK) and protein phosphatases are involved in Aspergillus fumigatus adhesion and biofilm formation. Cell Surf. 2018; 1, 43-56. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.tcsw.2018.03.002

18. Ries LNA, Rocha M, de Castro P, Silva-Rocha R, Silva R, Freitas F, de Assis LJ, Bertolini MC, Malavazi I and Goldman GH.The Aspergillus fumigatus CrzA transcription factor activates chitin synthase gene expression during the caspofungin paradoxical effect. mBio 2017;8:e00705-17. https://doi.org/10.1128/mBio.00705-17.

19. dos Reis TF, Nitsche BM, de Lima PBA, de Assis LJ, Mellado L, Harris SD, et al. The low-affinity glucose transporter HxtB is also involved in glucose signaling and metabolism in Aspergillus nidulans. Sci Reports Nature 2017;7:45073. https://doi.org/10.1038/srep45073 

20. de Oliveira Bruder Nascimento ACM, dos Reis TF, de Castro PA, Hori JI, Bom VLP, de Assis LJ, Ramalho LNZ, Rocha MC, Malavazi I, Brown NA, Valiante V, Brakhage AA, Hagiwara D, Goldman GH: Mitogen-activated protein kinases SakA HOG1 and MpkC collaborate for Aspergillus fumigatus virulence. Mol Microbiol 2016; 100:841-859. https://doi.org/10.1111/mmi.13354

21. de Assis LJ, Ries LNA, Savoldi M, dos Reis TF, Brown NA, Goldman GH: Aspergillus nidulans protein kinase A plays an important role in cellulase production. Biotechnol Biofuels 2015, 8:213–223. https://doi.org/10.1186/s13068-015-0401-1

22. de Assis LJ, Ries LNA, Savoldi M, Dinamarco TM, Goldman GH, Brown N a.: Multiple Phosphatases Regulate Carbon Source Dependent Germination and Primary Metabolism in Aspergillus nidulans. G3 Genes/Genome/Genetics 2015, 5:1–17. https://doi.org/10.1534/g3.115.016667

23. de Assis LJ, Zingali RB, Masuda CA, Rodrigues SP, Montero-Lomelí M: Pyruvate decarboxylase activity is regulated by the Ser/Thr protein phosphatase Sit4p in the yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae. FEMS Yeast Res 2013, 13:518–28. https://doi.org/10.1111/1567-1364.12052

24. Masuda C a., Previato JO, Miranda MN, de Assis LJ, Penha LL, Mendonça-Previato L, Montero-Lomelí M: Overexpression of the aldose reductase GRE3 suppresses lithium-induced galactose toxicity in Saccharomyces cerevisiae. FEMS Yeast Res2008, 8:1245–1253. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1567-1364.2008.00440.x

25. Tomizawa MM, Dias ES, de Assis LJ, Gomide PHO, Dos Santos JB: Genetic variability of mushroom strains Agaricus blazei by RAPD markers. Cienc Agrotec 2007, 31:1242–1249.


2014 Engineered yeast strain that reduces the production of foam during fermentation processes, Patent number: BR10201400268, National Institute of Intellectual Property, Brazil

Other Publications


Cover Illustration mBio November/December Volume 9, N˚ 6 (de Assis et al., mBio 9 e01952-18, 2018), American Society of Microbiology (ASM). https://mbio.asm.org/content/9/6.cover-expansion

Cover Illustration Plos Genetics August Volume 16, N˚ 8 (de Assis et al., Plos Genetics e1008996, 2020), Plos. 


Special collection on resilience Trends in Microbiology May Volume 29, N˚5 (Pradham, A et al., Trends in Microbiology, Cell Press, 2021) https://doi.org/10.1016/j.tim.2020.09.010