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.
Increasing concerns related to climate change caused by our reliance on fossil fuels for many processes in our society prompt the need to look for alternatives. Biological systems can be engineered to perform conversions of renewable input substrates to value added products using much less energy than conventional methods. We use a variety of metagenomic and culture based techniques for harnessing biological diversity useful for generation of biofuels and other value chemicals. We build synthetic selection networks that sense and respond to specific metabolites inside the cell. We deploy these tools for pathway discovery, strain optimization for specific metabolic engineering targets. We use synthetic selection systems for multiplexed interrogation of biological phenotypes enhancing our understanding of cellular metabolism and regulation.
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.
Lejla Imamovic introduces the principle of collateral sensitivity cycling.
Eric van der Helm and Lejla Imamovic
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