Molecular Biosystems Group
The Molecular biosystems research group is newly established at Department of Chemistry. The group is, together with the structural chemistry group, currently the host of the Norwegian Structural Biology Centre (NorStruct), is engaged in the Center for Research-based Innovation (MabCent) and is partner in two PhD schools (the local MSB and the national BioStruct).
Current research lies within the field known as molecular biosystems, i.e., research in the interface between biological chemistry, -omics technologies (genomics, transcriptomics, proteomics and metabolomics), and systems biology. During recent years the research has mainly been focused on (1) gene regulation and communication networks in marine bacteria, and (2) marine bioprospecting.
i) Gene regulation and communication networks in marine bacteria
The molecular mechanisms of diseases on Atlantic fish (cod and salmon) that are caused by Gram-negative bacteria (e.g., different species of vibrios and moritellas) are largely unknown. Based on knowledge from the literature, and our own studies we know that these bacteria communicate via small molecules. We use classical microbiology, genetics, biochemical methods, molecular biology, "high-troughput" -omics technologies, and bioinformatics to provide more insights into gene regulation, bacterial communication networks and their mechanisms for virulence.
ii) Marine bioprospecting/cold adapted enzymes
Marine bioprospecting describes the search for valuable biologically active compounds from marine environments. Our goal is to find cold-adapted enzymes with useful and unique features for the high-value market. Enzymes that are currently being characterized in the lab are derived from metagenomic DNA isolated from Arctic environmental samples.
There are three faculty members in the research group:
Nils P. Willassen
Kåre Olav Holm