Sünje Johanna Pamp
National Food Institute, Technical University of Denmark
Humans are host to a remarkable diversity of microbes that are key to our health and well-being, but the microbiome of humans and animals can also be the source of infectious diseases and contribute to a variety of complex diseases. My research aims at unravelling the mechanisms by which microorganisms adapt, evolve and interact in space and time – from the perspective of single cells to complex host-associated microbial communities. We integrate approaches from genomics, microbial ecology, evolution, classical and molecular microbiology and clinical and veterinary medicine to provide insight into:
• the biogeography of pathogens;
• microbe–microbe interactions;
• microbe–host immune system interactions;
• antimicrobial resistance and tolerance;
• beneficial functions of the microbiota structure; and
• the function of microbial communities (biofilms).
Through interdisciplinary approaches, our research has already revealed the identity and predicted function of important uncultivated members of human and animal microbiomes (such as segmented filamentous bacteria) and their impact on host immune system maturation, provided initial insight into the microbial interactions of opportunistic pathogens (such as Staphylococcus aureus and Pseudomonas aeruginosa) and led to a strategy for specifically targeting physiologically distinct microbial subpopulations, resulting in a successful combined antimicrobial treatment strategy. The ultimate goal is to provide better strategies for preventing and controlling microbial infections and complex microbial diseases to benefit society.