Cornelia Kurischko graduated in 1975 from the Department of Genetics. For my diploma thesis I worked with D. melanogaster under the supervision of Viktor Mikheev. I went back to GDR and worked at the Academy of Sciences of GDR in Jena on genetics of the non-conventional yeast Yarrowia lipolytica. At the same time I became an external PhD student at the Dept. of Genetics in Leningrad, under the supervision of S.G. Inge-Vechtomov. In 1982 I graduated with a work on the mating system of Y. lipolytica. Afterwards I cloned the mating type locus MATA.
In 1989, after the reunification of Germany, I continued my work at the newly organized Hans-Knoell-Institute (HKI), one of the follow-up institutes of the Academy of Sciences. With my PhD students we subcloned MATA and SLA2, and actin-binding protein. This gene localizes in the very close proximity of the MAT locus, which was the reason that we never were able to knock it out. Interestingly, MAT and SLA2 form an evolutionary conserved cluster, as we published in collaboration in 2005. At the HKI I started to work with Candida albicans, and we cloned the SLA2 homologue.
Since January 2001 I work as a staff scientist in the lab of Frank Luca at the Univ. of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia. Here I work with S. cerevisiae, which is much fun after working with such difficult genetic objects as Y. lipolytica and C. albicans! We discovered a new signal pathway which we named RAM (Regulation of Ace2 transcription and morphogenesis). Our main focus is the conserved kinase Cbk1.