Christina Cuomo

Christina Cuomo is group leader for the Fungal Genomics Group at the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard. She oversees projects that target important and emerging human and agricultural fungal pathogens and represent fungal diversity. The group uses genomic and transcriptomic approaches to examine patterns of genome evolution and host-pathogen interaction. Current projects target multiple strains of important pathogens to examine population diversity and identify differences that associate with phenotypes such as virulence, lifestyle, or host niches.

As part of her current work under the Fungal Genome Initiative at the Broad, Cuomo leads analysis of a wide diversity of animal and plant pathogens, with the goal of better understanding the genetic basis of pathogenicity.  Animal pathogens include three major groups of human pathogens: Candida albicans, Cryptococcus neoformans, and the dimorphic fungi, as well as the Microsporidia, obligate pathogens of diverse hosts. Plant pathogens include the wheat rust fungi (Puccinia sp) that cause current agricultural epidemics and Microbotryum violaceum, a model for studying host shifts, pathogenicity, and sex chromosome evolution.

Cuomo received her A.B. in biology from Bryn Mawr College and Ph.D. in genetics from Harvard University. She joined the Whitehead Institute/MIT Center for Genome Research, now part of the Broad Institute, in 2002. She now works in the Broad’s Genome Sequencing and Analysis Program.

Contact Christina Cuomo via email at

Select Publications

Muñoz JF, Gauthier GM, Desjardins CA et al. The dynamic genome and transcriptome of the human fungal pathogen Blastomyces and close relative Emmonsia. PLoS Genet. 11(10): e1005493.

Farrer, RA, Desjardins, CA, Sakthikumar, S et al. Genome Evolution and Innovation across the Four Major Lineages of Cryptococcus gattii. MBio. 2015; 6(5). pii: e00868-15.

Desjardins, CA, Sanscrainte, ND, Goldberg, JM et al. Contrasting host-pathogen interactions and genome evolution in two generalist and specialist microsporidian pathogens of mosquitoes. Nature Communications. 2015; 13;6, 7121.

Hirakawa, MP, Martinez, DA, Sakthikumar, S et al. Genetic and phenotypic intra-species variation in Candida albicans. Genome Research. 2015; 25(3), 413-25.

Muñoz et al. The dynamic genome and transcriptome of the human fungal pathogen Blastomyces and close relative Emmonsia. PLOS Genetics. 2015 Oct 6. 

Last updated date: October 2015