We published a perspective on the ecology of polymicrobial infections in the Dutch Journal of Medicine (NTvG).
From the beginning of 2018, I’ll start a lab on the ecology and evolution of (infectious) microbial ecosystems in the GELIFES in Groningen (NL).
Stay tuned (also if interesting in a PhD position), more info will follow later.
We will organize a session on Microbial Darwinian Medicine in the next KNVM/NVMM Spring Meeting on Wednesday 28 March 2018 (11.00-12.30h). Updates and call for abstracts will follow later.
Organizers: Christina Vandenbroucke-Grauls & Marjon de Vos
[Dutch] Bacteriën vormen vaak een minisamenleving. Ze reageren op elkaar en op invloeden van buitenaf, zoals voedsel of antibiotica. Inzicht in de interacties tussen bacteriën is fundamenteel interessant én voor de medische praktijk. Bijvoorbeeld in het geval van blaasontstekingen. Bij ouderen worden die vaak niet door één maar door meerdere bacteriën tegelijk veroorzaakt – het zijn polymicrobiële infecties – waarbij de bacteriën bovendien verschillende antibiotica resistentieniveaus hebben.
Meer lezen over de ecology van infecties?: Uitgelicht: de ecologie van infecties
Join us! Or any of the other labs involved.
Six postdoc positions in Origins of Life research
The Origins Center
The Origins Center is a recent, multidisciplinary and multi-institute initiative of a large number of top tier scientists in the Netherlands, who responded to questions submitted by the public on fundamentals of life in the universe in the context of the Dutch National Science Agenda. Recently we defined the outlines of five three-year pathfinder projects that together should lay the groundwork for a future, far larger research programme which aims at game-changing understanding of the origin of life and of life-bearing planets, predicting evolution, building and steering life from molecule to biosphere, finding extra-terrestrial life and of the mathematical concepts needed for bridging large spatial, temporal and organisatorial scale differences. The Center is coordinated by the University of Groningen, the Netherlands. Scientists affiliated with at least 17 Dutch universities and research institutes participate in its research. Recently the Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research NWO granted ‘Startimpuls’ (Initial Boost) funding to the Origins Center.
For the pathfinder projects we are now recruiting six postdoctoral research fellows with a strong background in astronomy, biophysics, chemistry, microbiology, ecology, evolutionary biology, mathematics, computational science, molecular biosciences or planetary and geosciences, and with the ability to perform innovative and multidisciplinary research. The recruited fellows will, jointly with several research groups in the Netherlands, further define and execute the projects. They will thereby be centrally involved in advanced and multidisciplinary research of great scientific and public interest.
Click here for more information on the Predicting evolution project (Pathfinder 2).
14-17 August 2017, Lorentz Center Leiden, NL
Human health is increasingly recognized to also depend on consortia of bacteria that interact with each other and the host. Bacterial communities in the gut microbiome are for example essential for nutrient absorption and protection against pathogens, and changes in the microbial associates can contribute to e.g. diabetes, obesity and antibiotic-resistant infections (such as infections of the urinary tract and the lungs of cystic fibrosis patients, and irritable bowel syndrome). Theoretical and experimental biology has been instrumental in elucidating how microbial interactions shape the stability of microbial consortia, and particularly how interventions, such as antibiotic treatment, affect their (co)existence. This is directly relevant from a medical perspective, but the application of evolutionary and genomic approaches to understand clinical systems has been limited. Darwinian medicine seeks to do just that.
Great advances in sequencing tools and bioinformatics help us to better understand which bacteria are where, how their genomes evolve over time, and how pathogens and antibiotic resistance traits are transmitted over time. However, there are many challenges in the interpretation of data and the translation of results into improved clinical tools and practices. For example, are mutations in pathogens during infection adaptations to the host-environment, or an adaptation to inter-bacterial interactions? And are ecological shifts in the microbiome the cause or effect of disease? This workshop will address the current understanding of how changes in the microbiome affect human health, and how we can move from correlative patterns to causative effects. To do so we need a joint approach, which transcends the boundaries of clinical, comparative genomic, and experimental biological fields.
This workshop will bring together a group of scientists from clinical, genomic/bioinformatic, and evolutionary biology backgrounds. Each day of the workshop has a theme, and the stage is set with a combination of longer and shorter (PechaKucha style) presentations. The speakers of the day will join subgroups of participants for in-depth discussions, followed by a plenary synthesis discussion. Rotating group compositions, poster presentations and informal socializing will facilitate the aim of furthering the interdisciplinary field of microbial Darwinian medicine.
Workshop Coordinator: Martijn Fritsen, Tel: +31 71 527 5542
Workshop free of charge, selection based on relevance and motivation.
Past week I’ve presented some of my work on the ecology and evolution of antibiotic resistance in urinary tract infections at the 99th Dies Natalis (university’s birthday) of Wageningen University.
Therefore we recorded a clip on the problem of antibiotic resistance (in Dutch).
And you can find some more background on my research on the ecology of infections here.
You can find more background on antibiotic resistance in the Netherlands here (in Dutch).
You can still submit an abstract for our session ‘Experimental evolution of bacterial ecosystems: from experiment to mathematical model’ at the KNVM Spring Meeting , which will be held Tuesday 11 & Wednesday 12 April 2017 in Papendal, The Netherlands.
The submission deadline is 15 January 2017.
Invited speakers: Rutger Hermsen (UU, NL) and David Johnson (EAWAG, Zürich, CH). Organizers: Sijmen Schoustra, Marjon de Vos
Notification of acceptance: 1 February 2017
Organizers: Akos Kovacs, Marjon de Vos
Chronic urinary tract infections (and especially the problem of correct detection) were discussed in the House of Commons in the UK.