This thesis would not have been possible without the aid of my family, friends, laboratory members, and professors. First and foremost, I would like to thank Dr. Kalai Mathee for allowing me to enter her lab in August 2007 and enabling to embark on this journey. This experience has transformed me into more mature scientist, teaching me how to ask the right questions and the process needed to solve them. I would also like to acknowledge Dr. Lisa Schneper. She has helped me throughout the whole process, by graciously giving me input at every step of the way. I would like to express gratitude to Dr. Jennifer Richards for all her input in writing the thesis. She has been a great teacher and being in her class has been a pleasure. Moreover, I would like to thank all the committee members for their constructive criticism throughout the process. When I entered the lab in August, there was one person who literally was by my side, Melissa Doud. Without your input and guidance I would not have even been able to do these experiments. I would also like to thank you and Dr. Light for allowing me to meet some cystic fibrosis patients. It has allowed me to put a face on the disease, and help the patients' fight. For a period before I had entered the lab, Ms. Doud had an apprentice, who started the fungal aspect of the project, Caroline Veronese. Her initial work has enabled me to prefect the protocols and complete the ITS 1 region.One very unique aspect about Dr. Mathee's lab is the camaraderie. I would like to thank all the lab members for the good times in and out of the lab. These individuals have been able to make smile and laugh in parties and lab meetings. I would like to individually thank Balachandar Dananjeyan, Deepak Balasubramanian, and V arinderpal Singh Pannu for all the PCR help and Natalie Maricic for the laughs and being a great classmate. Last, but not least, I would like to acknowledge my family and friends for their support and keeping me sane: Cecilia, my mother, Mohammad, my father, Amir, my older brother, Billal, my younger brother, Ouday Akkari and Stephanie De Bedout, my best friends.