Research in the broad area of Infections and Antibiotics is performed by several research groups at the University of Gothenburg (GU), often in close connection with the Sahlgrenska university hospital. Some of the current focus areas are described briefly below.
At GU there is a Centre for Antibiotic Resistance Research, CARe. It is an interdisciplinary centre, involving six faculties, where antibiotic resistance research is conducted within six themes; diagnostics, environmental pollution, interventions, surveillance, therapeutics and transmission. Close interactions with stakeholders from multiple sectors facilitate the transfer of research results to societal applications, such as refined regulatory systems, more advanced waste water treatment technologies, and novel diagnostic tools.
With respect to vaccinology, a strong research area with long tradition, emphasis is put on mucosal vaccines against a number of different pathogens. Related projects cover topics from i) characterization of toxins and surface exposed virulence factors, ii) identification of suitable vaccine antigens and characterization of new adjuvants to enhance mucosal immune response to iii) clinical phase I-IV trials of vaccine candidates. GU is a world renowned center for research on diarrheal disease like ETEC infections and cholera and has been the WHO reference laboratory for ETEC. Research topics include genomics of bacterial strains in collaboration with the Sanger Institute in UK, analyses of virulence factors, epidemiology, etc. This research has a strong focus on global health and is to great extent performed in collaboration with research institutes in Asia, South America and USA. There is also related research on adhesion of microbes to host cells with the aim to characterize essential microbe-host protein-carbohydrate and lipid interactions to a level allowing the development of new anti-infection therapeutics.
The internationally recognized research in mucosal immunology includes studies of immunomodulation in mucosal innate and adaptive immune systems in different infectious disease models as well as in human infection and also studies of immune response patterns resulting in host resistance against infection. Related research is also focusing on the mucus barrier including studies on mucin and glycan biology.
The intestinal microbiome constitutes another strong research area focusing on the role of bacteria associated with the human body in the development of metabolic diseases, with particular emphasis on obesity, diabetes and atherosclerosis. This involves translational approaches to identify differences in microbial communities associated with the body in disease states in humans and the underlying molecular mechanisms promoted by specific bacteria in animal models. The importance of the intestinal microbial flora in the development of allergies is also investigated.
The research in bioinformatics at Chalmers University of Technology spans a wide array of techniques, including sequence analysis of metagenomes, genomes, genes and proteins, genetics, analysis of gene expression, protein structures modeling and prediction and metabolomics. A substantial part of the research is dedicated to the development of novel tools for data mining and improved interpretability of molecular data, including identification of antibiotic resistance genes. Bioinformatics at Chalmers have a long and successful tradition of close collaborations with many data intensive experimental groups within the Gothenburg region. At Chalmers research is also conducted on signaling and regulation in bacterial cells, focusing in particular on regulatory phenomena based on protein phosphorylation using phosphoproteomics aiming at global studies of the phosphorylation-based regulatory networks in both model and pathogenic bacteria.
GU provides researchers with core facilities for bioinformatics, cellular imaging, genomics, experimental biomedicine, mammalian protein expression and proteomics, which all offers training and education for PhD students and postdocs.