PI/ Group Leader: Björn O. Schröder
Björn studied Biochemistry at Technical University of Munich/ Germany before getting his PhD from University of Tuebingen/Germany. During his thesis in the group of Jan Wehkamp he investigated the role of environmental factors on the activity of intestinal antimicrobial peptides. A major finding of the thesis was that redox modulation affects the activity of human beta-defensin 1.
For a post-doctoral stay abroad Björn joined the lab of Fredrik Bäckhed at Gothenburg University/ Sweden, where he investigated the role of gut microbiota on intestinal mucosal defence during metabolic diseases. During this time a collaboration with the group of Gunnar C. Hansson led to the exciting finding that a Western-style diet causes microbiota-mediated deterioration of the colonic mucus layer and that these defects can be prevented by probiotic and prebiotic interventions.
In 2019 Björn was recruited as a MIMS group leader to Umeå University/ Sweden.
PhD student: Fabiola Puertolas Balint
Fabiola obtained her Bachelor degree in Pharmaceutical Sciences from Universidad de las Americas in Puebla/ Mexico. During her International Masters in Innovative Medicine at the Universities of Uppsala/ Sweden and Groningen/Netherlands Fabiola joined the group of Dan Andersson to study antimicrobial resistance of E.coli and the group of John Rossen for a research project on the virulence of Aspergillus fumigatus.
After performing her Master thesis at Karolinska Institutet/ Sweden in the group of Lars Engstrand, where she investigated the role of Lactobacilli in Helicobacter pylori infection, Fabiola joined the team in October 2019 as a project assistant and became PhD student in April 2020.
Postdoc: Dhirendra Singh
Dhirendra obrained his Master in Biotechnology from Cochin University of Science and Technology, Cochin, Kerala, India. Subsequently he joined Amity University, Noida, as a junior research fellow. In 2015, after getting selected in Stipendium Hungaricum fellowship, he joined Attila Gacser’s laboratory in the Department of Microbiology at University of Szeged, Szeged, Hungary to pursue his PhD. During his PhD thesis he investigated the roles of secreted aspartyl proteases in Candida parapsilosis and worked in close collaboration with Mihály Józsi, Eötvös Loránd University, Budapest, Hungary and with Eva Pericolini at University of Modena and Reggio Emilia, Modena, Italy. Dhirendra joined the laboratory in January 2020 as a Post-doctoral fellow.
Postdoc: Paul Tetteh Asare
Paul studied Food Science and Technology at the Chonbuk National University, South Korea. During this time, he focused on isolation and characterization of bacteriophages from food with potential for use as biocontrol agents against food pathogens (1, 2 and 3). He was awarded the prestigious Swiss Government Excellence Scholarships for Foreign Scholars in 2015 and joined the group of Prof. Christophe Lacroix at the Laboratory of Food Biotechnology, ETH-Zurich for his PhD. His PhD thesis focused on the antimicrobial compound, reuterin, produced by Lactobacillus reuteri, on single and complex microbiota (4 and 5). Paul joined the laboratory in February 2020 as a Post-doctoral researcher.
Master student: Lotte Zandbergen
Lotte obtained her Bachelor degree in Health and Life Sciences from the VU University in Amsterdam/Netherlands. During her Bachelor she joined the research group of Kees Hovingh, where she explored plasma lipid regulation, in diagnosed hypercholesterolemia patients. Afterwards, she continued with her Masters in Cardiovascular Research also at the VU University. Her rising interest for metabolism resulted in a minor thesis about the role of perivascular adipose tissue in vascular health, which was performed within the group of Ed Eringa. To complete her Master Degree, Lotte joined the team in January 2020 for 6 months as a Master thesis student.
Guest Researcher: Hanna Lee
Hanna is a visiting researcher from the University of California, Davis/USA where she has been studying the effects of milk components (e.g. milk fat globule membrane) on human metabolomics and gut microbiota during infancy as a Ph.D. candidate. With a keen interest in learning the direct effects of food-host-microbe interactions on the intestinal mucosal immunity, she joined the team with short-term support from UC Davis. As a dietitian and a self-proclaimed food connoisseur, she believes that the key to systemic health is in the gut which acts as a first-line metabolic and immune organ.