Molecular Biology and Microbial Food Safety
Group leader Stanley Brul
The mission of the 'Molecular Biology and Microbial Food Safety' group is to understand the interaction of (microbial)cells and their (stressful)environment. We focus on the bioenergetics and importance of the intracellular pH as a signal in growth, survival and death strategies of cells. We deploy our insights with partners in SILS and partners outside (Unilever, FrieslandCampina, TNO, NVWA, AMC) in application oriented research that is of importance to health and disease. The group uses several modelsystems as appropriate ranging from bacteria and yeast to Caenorhabditis elegans.
Central to the research of our group is the molecular stress physiology of microorganisms at the boundary of death, survival and growth. At the heart of our research lies an integrative analysis of cellular response at the level of gene-expression, protein activity and metabolism towards both intrinsic and externally imposed stress. Quantitative analysis approaches are used to identify the most important levels of regulation of homeostasis including all state of the art molecular biology, proteomics, various advanced microscopical techniques as well as controlled cell culturing systems. Externally imposed stresses include compounds and treatments widely used to prevent and treat infection. We are a member of the Netherlands Institute for Systems Biology and have major contacts with the food and pharma industry focussing on the use of our data for new target identification.