Infection Microbiology

The focus of our research is to understand why and how persistent bacterial infections have become an increasing health threat. We combine investigations of microbial evolution in infected patients with detailed molecular characterization of infection processes as observed in an advanced cell culture model of human airways.

What we try to achieve
A central objective of the project is to clarify which mechanisms (host and microbes) ensure bacterial persistence in addition to late occurrence of antibiotic resistance development.

Our project is translational, aiming at designing improved diagnostic procedures and more efficient therapies in the clinic. Particularly, we expand the concept of antibiotic resistance, and offer improved test assays for determining in situ resistance of both traditional and new antibiotics.

How we achieve our aims
We have taken a multi-disciplinary approach to address the research objectives. In a close collaboration between DTU and Rigshospitalet we have developed a direct pipeline for information about patient-specific infections and access to a unique biobank of clinical bacterial isolates and other relevant human samples. The standard experimental model is a human cell culture comprising differentiated tissue cells representing lung epithelia. With this model we can analyze host-microbe interactions and impacts of antimicrobial agents, as well as supply the infection model with relevant immune cells.

The group is headed by Professor Søren Molin (DTU) and Professor Helle Krogh Johansen (Rigshospitalet) and located at Lyngby campus, Building 220, 4th floor, office number 427D.