Evolution is rendering our medicines against many infections useless threatening to bring us back to the pre-antibiotic era. In many cases resistance to a particular antibiotic did not evolve within the resistant human pathogen, but rather was acquired by lateral gene transfer from other resistant bacteria. These resistant donor bacteria need not be pathogenic, yet they contribute to the evolution of antibiotic resistance in human pathogens by serving as an accessible reservoir of resistance genes. We are using a variety of culture-dependent and culture-independent methods to characterize how these reservoirs are interacting, with the ultimate goal of creating quantitative models for how antibiotic resistance genes arise in human pathogens. We study the adaptive mechanisms of drug resistance and collateral sensitivity using a combination of laboratory evolution and sampling of clinical isolates, with the goal of developing novel treatment strategies for countering resistance development. These strategies can also be investigated in other disease areas such as oncology.
Lejla Imamovic introduces the principle of collateral sensitivity cycling.
Eric van der Helm and Lejla Imamovic
Earth’s population could reach 10 B people leading to a 50-80% increase in global demand for food. Current agriculture cannot support this and climate impact of continuing food production as is would be catastrophic as food production already accounts for approximately 1/3 of total greenhouse gas emissions and +49 million square kilometers corresponding to 38% of earth's land mass. To address this global challenge a combination of new food habits and radical innovation in food production must take place. We are using microbial synthetic biology to address global challenge.
The human microbiome is to an increasing extent being implicated in a wide range of disease and health states. We study the human microbiome during interventions, with a particular focus on antibiotic treatment and resulting microbiome modulation. We design and build new interventions for modulating the microbiome to promote specific community compositions or functionality. We also design and build interventions that can amend the functionality encoded in the gut microbiome.
Industrial-scale biomanufacturing of therapeutics, enzymes, and chemicals relies on cultivating large volumes of engineered cells in fed-batch or continuous bioprocesses. Clonal expansion of high-performing producer cells can favor the emergence of low-producing escape variants that have shed the load from metabolic burden or toxicities imposed by product synthesis or secretion. Eventually, these low- or non-producing variants can reduce product yield and quality, making genetic homogeneity a crucial, yet often overlooked parameter of process scale-up. We are investigating this problem as it applies to industrial biomanufacturing and develop synthetic biology solutions to limit its detrimental effects on scale-up.
The laboratory is happy to share any published strains or plasmids.
To simplify this process some of our published reagents have been deposited to AddGene for easy access.
For other reagents not available from AddGene, please contact Morten Sommer.
Talented and motivated applicants interested in joining our lab as a post doctoral fellow or a PhD-student should send their application, including CV and references to:
We have a PostDoc position posted at the moment. Please follow the link to see the postings
While funding is available for some positions, we encourage candidates to apply for their own funding (salary).
The Sommer lab has a wide range of projects available for master students (speciale) and undergraduates. If you are interested in our research and would like to do a project in the lab please contact Morten Sommer for further information. Please include CV and your grades from your studies so far.
Novo Nordisk Foundation Center for Biosustainability
Kemitorvet, Building 220
DK-2800 Kongens Lyngby
Lab: E306, E310 and E314
Offices: E316F, E319F, E321F, E323F and E324F
Morten Sommer contact info
Phone: +45 4525 8000
Mobile: +45 2151 8340