Anna M. Selmecki, PhD
Anna M. Selmecki, PhD

Anna M. Selmecki, PhD

Assistant Professor
School of Medicine


  • Genomics, Fungal Pathogens, Evolution, Mechanisms of Drug Resistance, Polyploidy and Aneuploidy

Academic Appointments


  • Med. Microbiology & Immunology


  • Assistant Professor


Examples of the most recent publications can be obtained from this PubMed link.


  • College of St. Benedict/St. John's University,B.A.,1998-2002
  • University of Minnesota,Ph.D.,2002-2007

Publications and Presentations


  • Todd RT, Forche A, Selmecki A. (2017)  Ploidy Variation in Fungi: Polyploidy, Aneuploidy, and Genome Evolution.  The Fungal Kingdom. Chapter 28. Edited by Joseph Heitman, Barbara Howlett, Pedro Crous, Eva Stukenbrock, Timothy James, and Neil Gow., American Society for Microbiology, ISBN-9781555819576, Chapter 28, 2017


  • Xie JL, Qin L, Miao Z, Grys BT, Diaz JC, Ting K, Krieger JR, Tong J, Tan K, Leach MD, Ketela T, Moran MF, Krysan DJ, Boone C, Andrews BJ, Selmecki A, Ho Wong K, Robbins N, Cowen LE. (2017)  The Candida albicans transcription factor Cas5 couples stress responses, drug resistance and cell cycle regulation.
    Nature Communications  8(1):499., Nature Communications, 8 (1), 2017
  • Scott A, Richmond P, Dowell D, Selmecki A. (2017) The influence of polyploidy on the evolution of yeast grown in a sub-optimal carbon source. Molecular Biology and Evolution., Molecular Biology and Evolution, 34 (10), 2690-2703, 2017
  • Todd RT, Forche A, Selmecki A. (2017)  Ploidy Variation in Fungi: Polyploidy, Aneuploidy, and Genome Evolution. Microbiology Spectrum. 5 (4)., Microbiology Spectrum, 5, 2017
  • Selmecki, A., Maruvka, Y., Richmond, P., Guillet, M., Shoresh, N., Sorenson, A., De, S., Kishony, R., Michor, F., Dowell, R., Pellman, D. Polyploidy can drive rapid adaptation in yeast., Nature, 519 (7543), 349-52, 2015


  • University of Nebraska Medical School, Department of Pathology and Microbiology, 2016
  • Creighton University School of Medicine, Department of Biomedical Sciences, Research Seminar, 2016
  • University of Iowa, Department of Biology, 2016
  • Iowa State University - Department of Ecology, Evolution, and Organismal Biology, 2016
  • University of Nebraska Medical Center, Department of Genetics, Cell Biology and Anatomy, 2016
  • University of Missouri Kansas City, Biology Department Research Seminar, Kansas City, MO, 2016
  • EMBO Conference on Experimental Approaches to Evolution and Ecology, Heidelberg Germany, 2016
  • University of Nebraska Omaha, Biology Department Faculty Seminar, 2016
  • ASM Conference on Microbial Evolution, 2016
  • INBRE Faculty Research Seminar for summer INBRE scholars, 2016
  • Gordon Research Conference on Cellular and Molecular Fungal Biology, New Hampshire, 2016
  • International Conference on Polyploidy and Hybridization, Rovinj Croatia, 2016
  • 13th ASM Conference on Candida and Candidiasis 2016, Seattle Washington, 2016
  • University of Nebraska Medical Center - Department of Pharmacy, 2016
  • Creighton University Medical Microbiology and Immunology Departmental Seminar, 2016
  • Rocky Moutain Yeast Meeting 2016 - Research Seminar, 2016
  • Rocky Moutain Yeast Meeting Poster Presentation - with trainees Kimberly Fischer, Ph. D. and Robert Thomas, 2016
  • Des Moines University - Research Seminar, 2015
  • Kavli Frontiers of Science - Poster Presentation - "The Impact of Polyploidy on the Rate and Dynamics of Adaptation", 2015
  • FASEB Conference on Molecular Pathogenesis, Keystone, CO, 2015
  • Poster Presentation - Gordon Conference on Molecular Mechanisms of Evolution, 2015
  • Nebraska Fungal Meeting, Lincoln, NE, 2015
  • Stowers Institute, Kansas City, MO, 2015
  • Worcester Polytechnic Institute, Worchester, MA, 2015

Research and Scholarship

Research and Scholarship Interests

  • Understanding the dynamics of how growth-promoting mutations arise and accumulate in a population of cells is a fundamental problem underlying our understanding of tumorigenesis, drug resistance, and the treatment of cancer. We use experimental evolution, mathematical modeling, and comparative genomics to understand the impact of mutations on adaptation of a cell and its surrounding population. 

    We recently optimized a flow cytometry-based system that enables us to detect the acquisition and spread of beneficial mutations within a population, and used this system to compare budding yeast strains that varied by genome copy number or ploidy (Selmecki et al., Nature 2015). We found that polyploid yeast adapted more rapidly than isogenic haploid or diploid yeast in raffinose medium, and that polyploid yeast acquired more mutations, including point mutations, large segmental aneuploidies, and whole chromosome aneuploidies. We will continue to use this system to study how changes in chromosome number (ploidy and aneuploidy), cell size, and environment affect genome stability and evolvability in fungal and mammalian cells. 

    Our previous research identified chromosome aneuploidy as a driver for the acquisition of antifungal drug resistance in the pathogenic yeast Candida albicans (Selmecki et al., Science 2006). We found that aneuploid cells arose within a population very rapidly in the presence of antifungal drug (Selmecki et al., PLoS Genetics 2009), and that increased copy number of two specific genes found on the most common aneuploid chromosome provided the drug resistance phenotype (Selmecki et al., Molecular Microbiology 2008). The mechanisms underlying this rapid genome restructuring are not known.

Current Research Projects

Grant Funding Received

  • Nebraska LB692 - Impact of Fluconazole on Genome Stability
  • Nebraska LB506 - Mechanisms of Genome Instability in Polyploid Cells
  • George Haddix President's Faculty Research - Biologically Collected Environment DNA for Water Quality and Public Health
  • Creighton University Global Initiative - Applying Genomics to the Elimination of River Blindness
  • NIH equipment supplement - Patrick Swanson
  • 2016 Nebraska Experimental Program to Stimulate Competitive Research (EPSCoR) Major Research Instrumentation grant for a Crieghton University High Performance Computer Cluster