Microbial Defence Mechanisms

JBC March 2018 Cover

Cover of the Journal of Biological Chemistry (Manav et al., 2018).

Our lab is interested in elucidating the fundamental mechanisms in microorganisms that allow them to live, thrive, or survive under highly challenging conditions, such as when lacking nutrients or when exposed to antibiotics. This understanding is vital for our ability to develop new generations of treatments for infectious diseases in the future.

Our research is focused on understanding the molecular and structural basis for microbial defence mechanisms in both bacteria and archaea, in particular stress response mechanisms and persistence phenomena. To study the function and molecular structure of enzymes, we employ biochemistry, x-ray crystallography, and single-particle electron microscopy.

Our work on bacterial stress response mechanisms include toxin-antitoxin systems and the structural basis for a physiological state known as persistence. We also study mechanisms that are activated during nutritional stress, including the 240 kDa E. coli carbon-phosphorus lyase complex, a multi-enzyme complex responsible for utilisation of phosphonate compounds in gram-negative bacteria.

Crystal structure of the Caulobacter crescentus VapBC:DNA complex (Bendtsen et al., NAR, 2017).

Go to the News and Research sections to learn more about our research projects, or take some time to browse our Publications.  For a presentation of our research in layman’s terms, see the Press section. Our lab is also involved in Methods development in protein x-ray crystallography.

Go to the Teaching section to learn more about our active engagement in developing teaching methods at the university level. To learn more about who we are and what we do outside work hours, be sure to check out the list of Lab Members and our lab gallery.