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The diversity of bacterial cell walls

cava felipe Elin Berge 2017Present: Associate Professor at the Department of Molecular Biology, Umeå University

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Past: MIMS Group Leader (2013-2019)

Go to the Cava lab's own website

Felipe Cava: MIMS group leader and Wallenberg Academy Fellow at Umeå University, two of the most prestigious long-term programme for young researchers in Sweden.

My lab in Umeå University/MIMS-UCMR aims at deciphering new knowledge on one of the major “Achilles heels” of bacteria - their cell wall – both to provide answers to scientific fundamental questions and to improve our options to combat long-standing and emerging infectious diseases. We use an arsenal of advanced analytical technologies and cell imaging tools (optical, fluorescence and correlative SEM-FL microscopy, MATLAB and ImageJ based image analysis), combined with genetics and next generation sequencing technologies (including RNA-seq, Tn-seq), biochemistry, bioinformatics (MATLAB and R based-chemometrics) and molecular biology to study how bacteria regulate their cell wall to adapt to (and infect) the host in some of the most relevant bacterial models.

To approach this, we have launched an integrative research program to uncover and exploit the unnoticed variability of the bacterial cell wall. This investigation is imperative for a realistic understanding of cell wall biology in nature, in particular its role in environmental adaptation and signalling. Moreover, this research might lead to the discovery of new metabolic and regulatory pathways with great potential in the development of new species-specific antimicrobials therapies.

Cava lab 0298 210120 MPN 1

This is the first time that a project of such magnitude has been actually launched in the cell wall research field, and therefore has generated immediate collaborative networks amongst fairly unconnected disciplines in life sciences, both in academia and in the public health field.

We are constantly seeking highly motivated students and postdocs interested in:

  • Bacterial cell biology, molecular biology, biochemistry and genetics
  • infection biology
  • systems biology and bioinformatics
  • development of novel antimicrobial therapies 
  • Next generation sequencing technologies

Interested? Send me an email toThis email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

The Wallenberg Academy Fellows programme is a career programme with long-term funding for most promising young researchers connected with a mentor programme.

More information about the Wallenberg Academy Fellows programme here.


Photo credit: Elin Berge and Mattias Petterson.

Battling antibiotic resistance

movie by Knut and Alice Wallenberg Foundation, with participation of scientists from MIMS and UCMR:
Or watch the original movie on:

Research about infectious diseases:

Oliver Billker in movie of Knut and Alice Wallenberg Foundation:
Or watch the original movie on:

footer all slides 2014-02-06

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