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Dr Tihana Bicanic

Professor of Infectious Diseases and Mycology
Clinical Academic with an interest in invasive fungal infection, antifungal therapy and resistance

Dr Bicanic joined St George’s as a Senior Lecturer and Honorary Consultant in Infectious Diseases in April 2013. Prior to this she undertook her pre-clinical medical training at Cambridge and clinical training at Oxford. Her specialist postgraduate clinical training in Microbiology and Infectious diseases was at St George's Hospital NHS Trust (2002-2009), where she has been a Consultant in Infectious Diseases since 2013.

Since 2004, together with colleagues from the Cryptococcal meningitis group at St George's, she has been involved in internationally-leading clinical and translational research in the field of invasive fungal infections. Since 2010, she has had her own laboratory and research group at St George’s. She was promoted to Reader in 2015 and Professor in 2023. 

Dr Bicanic is a Fellow of the European Confederation of Medical Mycology FECMM - ECMM in recognition of scientific excellence and outstanding expertise in Medical Mycology. Since 2020, she has been an honorary Associate Professor at the MRC Centre for Medical Mycology | MRC Centre for Medical Mycology | University of Exeter . She is regularly invited to speak at major International Infectious Diseases and Mycology conferences (ECCMID, TIMM, ISHAM). She is a also member of the antifungal subcommittee of the UK Health Security Agency ESPAUR (English antimicrobial utilisation and resistance oversight) group.

Previously on the Scientific Advisory Committee of British Infection Association Scientific Advisory committee (2017-23), she is a current panel member of the Pathogen Biology and Disease Transmission Discovery Advisory Group - Grant Funding | Wellcome

Since 2020, she has been the Director of the Infection Clinical Academic Group ( which fosters clinical research excellence and promotes links between researchers at St George's NHS Trust and the University.

From 2004 - 2019, Dr Bicanic's research focus was on cryptococcal meningitis (CM) in patients with HIV/AIDS. She undertook phase II antifungal clinical trials, described the epidemiology and clinical complications of the disease in HIV-infected South African patients (2004-6). Her Wellcome Trust Intermediate Fellowship explored the relationship between virulence factors (capsule, melanin, survival within macrophages and ex vivo human CSF) and genotype in clinical cryptococcal isolates with clinical presentation and outcome in human disease. She also performed the first genome-wide association study of susceptibility to disseminated cryptococcal disease in HIV-infected Southern African patients. She described the evolution and mechanism of cryptococcal resistance to fluconazole and showed how combination antifungal therapy can prevent this from occurring. 

Since 2019, Dr Bicanic expanded her research portfolio to fungal infections occurring in patients on the Intensive Care unit (ICU), invasive candidiasis and invasive aspergillosis secondary to severe viral pneumonia (influenza and COVID). She was chief investigator of the AspiFlu study from 2019-22. Her current focus is on epidemiology and mechanisms of Candida resistance evolution in the ICU, as chief investigator of the CandiRes study in 4 UK ICUs.


Research team

Ben Caswall, Laboratory technician

Phoebe Allebone-Salt, Clinical Research fellow

Harriet Davidson, Clinical Research Fellow


Research Collaborators

Candida resistance/ candidaemia

CandiRes study PIs: Dagan Lonsdale, St George's NHS Trust; Duncan Wyncoll, Guys and St Thomas' Hospital; Rohit Saha, Kings College Hospital; Junjack Wong, Liverpool University Hospitals (all Intensive Care Consultants)

Microbiology co-Is: Silke Schelenz and Alireza Abdolrasouli, King’s College Hospital; Carolyn Hemsley, Guy’s and St Thomas’; Alex Howard, Liverpool University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust

Collaborators: Joe Standing, University College London; William Hope, Liverpool (PK/PD); Elaine Bignell, Neil Gow, Exeter University (mechanism); Lewis White, University Hospital Wales, Cardiff (treatment response biomarkers)

Cryptococcal resistance

Joe Heitman, Duke University; Robin Allshire, Edinburgh University





Dr Bicanic lectures on Fungal Infections and antifungals; Fungal Resistance and Opportunistic Infections in HIV to Undergraduate and Masters students; supervises undergraduate (BSc) and postgraduate research students (MRes, MD (Res) and PhD) at SGUL and delivers bedside teaching to students during their attachments to the Clinical Infection Unit.

Externally, she lectures on fungal infections on the MSc, PG Cert, PG Dip (online) | MRC Centre for Medical Mycology | University of Exeter and the University of Witwatersrand (South Africa) Diploma in Tropical Medicine and Hygiene course. She also regularly chairs and has presented at the online MycoClinics seminars of challenging clinical cases Quarterly MycoClinics | MRC Centre for Medical Mycology | University of Exeter

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