Laboratory for Microbial Dynamics (LaMDa)
At the Laboratory for Microbial Dynamics (LaMDa) we aim to understand how pathogenic (disease-causing) microorganisms contribute to the development of disease at the molecular level, and how changes and variability in their genomes (DNA, RNA) affect cellular and viral prosesses, including resistance to antimicrobial agents and the potential for vaccine development. A feature story on LaMDa activities can be found in the June 2012 issue of NBS-nytt, page 6-9 (linked PDF-file, Norwegian).
Microorganisms studied within LaMDa include infectious salmon anemia virus, Klebsiella pneumoniae, Francisella noatuensis, Vibrio cholerae, and Bacillus cereus group bacteria.
About the Laboratory
LaMDa was initiated as an emerging top-tier research laboratory at the Faculty of Mathematics and Natural Sciences (MN faculty) in 2008, and currently forms part of the newly granted strategic MN faculty initiative CIME (Center for Integrative Microbiology and Evolution). The laboratory is thereby closely associated with several other research groups working within molecular microbiology at the Faculty, as well as with other Norwegian and international collaborators. The research is centered around the dynamic behaviour of bacterial genomes and the cellular processes affected by such mechanisms. Our mission is to understand how genome dynamics drives the evolution and affects pathogenicity and antimicrobial resistance in microbial organisms. The laboratory currently receives research funding through the Norwegian Research Council, and internal grants from the University of Oslo (from The Faculty of Mathematics and Natural Sciences and the School of Pharmacy), and research (parts) are still related to a previous EU FP7 Marie Curie Staff Exchange grant (IRSES). Our goal is twofold: to perform first class science, and to create an environment where younger students and scientists can learn and develop into more mature scientists in general, and microbiologists in particular.
LaMDa hosted ETOX15 - European workshop on bacterial protein toxins, June 18-22, 2011, as part of the University of Oslo 200 year anniversary.
LaMDa hosts three research groups, each lead by a principal investigator (PI) with permanent affiliation to the School of Pharmacy:
Professor Ole Andreas Løchen Økstad - Bacterial Evolution and Disease
In addition, two emerita are associated with LaMDa:
Research topics within LaMDa include antimicrobial resistance development in Klebsiella pneumoniae, development of novel antimicrobials (mechanism of action and in vitro toxicity studies), genome dynamics in pathogenic Bacillus bacteria, structure-function relationships of multidrug transporters and molecular mehanisms governing biofilm formation in Bacillus cereus group bacteria, relationship of bacteriophages and type IV pili in Vibrio cholerae, virulence factors of Francisella and development of Francicellosis in fish, and molecular biology of salmon anemia virus (SAV). More detailed descriptions of the research projects are accessible from the left hand toolbar.