Bacterial Synthetic Biology

We work broadly within microbiology as it applies to human and planetary health. We develop and apply novel technologies within the fields of microbiome synthetic biology and microbial foods. The two main research areas in the lab are: advanced microbiome therapeutics and microbial foods.

What we try to achieve
Our work is broadly aimed towards understanding how microbial systems establish, organize and evolve and affect their hosts and environment. We study these systems with a goal towards engineering them for applications within human and planetary health. We use cutting edge technology and aim to translate our basic research findings into entities, policies and education that provide long term benefits to society.

Why our research is important and how it can be used
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 use the term microbial foods to describe the use of microbiology for food production comprising everything from natural fermentations to microbial biomass and cell factories. Our research is applications oriented with a goal of developing technology that solves some of the pressing needs of our food system.

How we achieve our aims – methods, tools, technologies
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.

The group is headed by Professor Morten Otto Alexander Sommer and is located at Lyngby Campus, building 220, floor 3. PI office 318F.