Structural and molecular biology of bacterial cell surfaces - SRF mandate

Project Details


Mission: Our research focus lays on the study of bacterial cell surfaces, protein secretion pathways and molecular processes that direct host-pathogen interactions. We aim to advance the fundamental understanding of these processes, and to employ this knowledge in the development of virulence- targeted antimicrobials and to harness bacterial secretion systems and self-organizing surface organelles for biotechnological applications. To this end, we study the structural and molecular biology of bacterial adhesins and cell surface filaments (curli, pili and S-layers), their assembly pathways, their mode of receptor recognition as well as downstream molecular cascades triggered in the host.

Two active lines of research seek the development and evaluation of adhesin-targeted antimicrobials in two important human pathogens: Helicobacter pylori (HP; peptic ulcers and gastric MALT lymphomas and adenocarcinomas) and uro- and enteropathogenic E. coli.

A second major focus area in the lab seeks to exploit the filamentous or paracrystalline nature and self-organizing ability of bacterial surface organelles (chaperone/usher pili, curli, S layers) for (nano)biotechnological developments.
Short title or EU acronymSRF
Effective start/end date1/10/1830/09/23


  • bacterial cell

Flemish discipline codes

  • Cell growth and development