Department of Ecophysiology
Research in the Department is presently organized in three research groups:
Bacterial cells process vast amounts of information to generate and regulate sophisticated output responses such as adaptation, differentiation, development, growth and cell movement. In our research we pursue two overall aims: First, we aim to understand how bacteria process information to generate appropriate output responses. Second, we aim to understand how the molecular machines involved in motility, cell division and secretion function and how their activity is regulated.
Information processing is carried out by complex networks of signal transduction proteins. A challenging problem in biology is to understand how these protein networks are organized in space and time to allow the ordered execution of these tasks. We are probing this question by studying signal transduction pathways and networks governing development, motility, cell polarity, and the cell cycle in Myxococcus xanthus. We also aim to understand how the differentiation of swimmer to swarmer cells in Vibrio parahaemolyticus is regulated in response to surface contact. Finally, we aim to understand how the type III secretionsystem works on the molecular level, how it is activated and regulated during an infection process, and how its function can be controlled or inhibited.
The members of the Department meet in weekly department seminars with progress reports presented mostly by PhD students and post-docs. The daily language in the Department is English.
Experimentally, we take an interdisciplinary approach to address our questions and incorporate diverse techniques in our research including:
- Molecular genetics
- In vitro characterization of purified proteins
- Fluorescence microscopy and live-cell imaging
- Functional genomics
- Whole genome sequencing and comparative genomics
- Theoretical modeling