Research projects

LaMDa has for a number of years been participating in genome sequencing and comparison of genomes of the organisms in the Bacillus cereus group, which among others include the food pathogen B. cereus, B. anthracis,  the cause of anthrax, and B. thuringiensis, the world's most frequently used biological pesticide. The MDR project has identified 77 conserved possible multidrug transporter proteins in these bacteria, which are characterized with regards to function and structure.

Principal investigator: Professor Ole Andreas Økstad 

Viruses are mobile genetic elements with both intracellular and extracellular forms, totally dependent on a host cell for their replication. During acute viral infections there is an ongoing battle between host immunity and viral replication. In our lab we investigate the transcriptional and biochemical changes occurring in cells from Atlantic salmon infected with viruses like ISAV and IPNV.

Principal investigator: Professor Tor Gjøen

Francisella tularensis causes the zoonotic disease tularemia (harepest in Norwegian). Other Francisella species cause disease in both animals and humans. Our research group is interested in understanding the impact of genome dynamics on the specific host−pathogen interaction of Francisella species where we use bacteria from the F. philomiragia group as a model system.

Principal investigator: Associate professor Hanne Winther-Larsen

Biofilms are multicellular structures of microbial cells attached to a surface, where the cells are surrounded and protected by an extracellular layer (matrix) of polysaccharide, protein and/or DNA. This may constitute the natural way of growth for many bacteria, also frequently during infection in a human host. Biofilms may severely increase the resistance of the cells to attack from antimicrobial compounds / antibiotics and cells of the immune system. In this project we investigate molecular mechanisms regulating biofilm formation in pathogenic Bacillus species belonging to the B. cereus group.

Principal investigator: Professor Ole Andreas Økstad

Vibrio cholerae is the cause of cholera in humans, a disease affecting 3-5 million people and causing 100,000-130,000 deaths worldwide every year. In this project we are engaged in understanding the molecular mechanisms of horizontal transfer of genes encoding virulence factors in pathogenic bacteria. The focus of the research project is on interaction between Type IV pili and bacteriophages, of which the CTX phage is known to encode cholera toxin, and to require TCP, a type IV pilus, to infect Vibrio choleae, thereby leading to these organisms turning toxic to humans.

Principal investigator: Associate professor Hanne Winther-Larsen