Prof. Dr. Knut Drescher

Prof. Dr. Knut Drescher

Bacterial Biofilms

Curriculum Vitae

Knut Drescher
Abitur, Altes Gymnasium Bremen, 2002
Master of Physics, University of Oxford, 2007
PhD (biophysics), DAMTP, University of Cambridge, 2010
Postdoc (biophysics), University of Cambridge, 2010-2011
Postdoc (molecular biology), Princeton University, 2011-2014
Head of the Max Planck Research Group "Bacterial Biofilms" at the MPI for Terrestrial Microbiology, Marburg, since 11/2014. 
Professor of Biophysics, Philipps-Universität Marburg, since 10/2015.

Research area: Bacterial Biofilms

The lab focuses on understanding collective bacterial behaviors, using biofilm formation and swarming as model systems. Bacterial biofilms are surface-associated bacterial communities that are held together by an extracellular matrix. Cells within these communities are highly resistant to antibiotics and display strong phenotypic heterogeneity. Using microscopy, molecular biology techniques, and mathematical modeling, we study how bacteria form these complex multicellular biofilm communities, and how biofilms affect bacterial ecology. 

Main lab website:

Group picture, October 2017

Recent Selected Publications

Full publication list: 

H. Jeckel, E. Jelli, R. Hartmann, P.K. Singh, R. Mok, J.F. Totz, L. Vidakovic, B. Eckhardt, J. Dunkel, K. Drescher (2019) Learning the space-time phase diagram of bacterial swarm expansion. PNAS 116, 1489-1494. (abstract)

R. Hartmann, P.K. Singh, P. Pearce, R. Mok, B. Song, F. Diaz-Pascual, J. Dunkel, K. Drescher (2019) Emergence of three-dimensional order and structure in growing biofilmsNature Physics 15, 251-256. (abstract)

L. Vidakovic, P.K. Singh, R. Hartmann, C.D. Nadell, K. Drescher (2018) Dynamic biofilm architecture confers individual and collective mechanisms of viral protection. Nature Microbiology 3, 26-31. (abstract)

R. Martinez-Garcia, C.D. Nadell, R. Hartmann, K. Drescher, J.A. Bonachela (2018) Cell adhesion and fluid flow jointly initiate biofilm genetic structure. PLoS Computational Biology 14, e1006094. (abstract)

P.K. Singh, S. Bartalomej, R. Hartmann, H. Jeckel, L. Vidakovic, C.D. Nadell, K. Drescher (2017) Vibrio cholerae combines individual and collective sensing to trigger biofilm dispersal. Current Biology 27, 1-8. (abstract)

C.D. Nadell, K. Drescher, K.R. Foster (2016) Spatial structure, cooperation, and competition in biofilms. Nature Reviews Microbiology 14, 589-600. (abstract) 

K. Drescher, J. Dunkel, C.D. Nadell, S. van Teeffelen, I. Grnja, N.S. Wingreen, H.A. Stone, B.L. Bassler (2016) Architectural transitions in Vibrio cholerae biofilms at single-cell resolution. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 113, E2066-E2072. (abstract)  


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