Veronika Kucharová Pettersen

Associate Professor

Job description

Microbiologist exploring the human gut microbiome in health and disease, affiliated with the Host-Microbe Interaction and Paediatric Research groups. Position funded by Centre for New Antibacterial Strategies.


  • 2022- Førsteamanuensis (Associate Professor) at Host-Microbe Interactions and Pediatric Research Groups, Department of Medical Biology, UiT
    2020-2021 NFR-financed researcher, Department of Clinical Medicine, UiT
  • 2018-2020 Visiting researcher, Snyder Institute for Chronic Diseases, Cumming School of Medicine, University of Calgary, Canada
  • 2013-2017 Postdoctor, Department of Clinical Science, Faculty of Medicine and Dentistry, University of Bergen, Norway
  • 2008-2012 PhD fellow, Department of Biotechnology and Food Science, Faculty of Natural Sciences, Norwegian University of Science and Technology, Norway


  • PhD Biotechnology, Norwegian University of Science and Technology
  • MSc Biotechnology, Technical University of Denmark
  • Biochemistry, University of Chemistry and Technology in Prague, Czechia

  • Ahmed Bargheet, Claus Andreas Klingenberg, Eirin Esaiassen, Erik Hjerde, Jorunn Pauline Cavanagh, Johan Bengtsson-Palme et al.:
    Development of early life gut resistome and mobilome across gestational ages and microbiota-modifying treatments
    EBioMedicine 2023 ARKIV / DOI
  • Veronika K. Pettersen, Luis Caetano Martha Antunes, Antoine Dufour, Marie-Claire Arrieta :
    Inferring early-life host and microbiome functions by mass spectrometry-based metaproteomics and metabolomics
    Computational and Structural Biotechnology Journal 2022 ARKIV / DOI
  • Veronika K. Pettersen, Antoine Dufour, Marie-Claire Arrieta :
    Metaproteomic profiling of fungal gut colonization in gnotobiotic mice
    Animal Microbiome 22. February 2022 ARKIV / DOI
  • Jumana Samara, Shirin Moossavi, Belal Alshaikh, Van A. Ortega, Veronika K. Pettersen, Tahsin Ferdous et al.:
    Supplementation with a probiotic mixture accelerates gut microbiome maturation and reduces intestinal inflammation in extremely preterm infants
    Cell Host and Microbe 11. May 2022 ARKIV / DOI
  • Marwan Mohammed, Veronika K. Pettersen, Audun Helge Nerland, Harald Gotten Wiker, Vidar Bakken :
    Label-free quantitative proteomic analysis of the oral bacteria Fusobacterium nucleatum and Porphyromonas gingivalis to identify protein features relevant in biofilm formation
    Anaerobe 2021 DOI
  • Veronika Kucharova Pettersen, Marie-Claire Arrieta :
    Host–microbiome intestinal interactions during early life: considerations for atopy and asthma development
    Current Opinion in Allergy and Clinical Immunology 2020 ARKIV / DOI
  • Erik van Tilburg Bernardes, Veronika Kucharova Pettersen, Mackenzie W. Gutierrez, Laforest-Lapointe Isabelle, Arrieta Marie-Claire :
    Intestinal fungi are causally implicated in microbiome assembly and immune development in mice
    Nature Communications 2020 ARKIV / DOI
  • Veronika Kucharova Pettersen, Hans Steinsland, Harald G Wiker :
    Distinct Metabolic Features of Pathogenic Escherichia coli and Shigella spp. Determined by Label‐Free Quantitative Proteomics
    Proteomics 2020 DOI
  • Veronika Kucharova Pettersen, Hans Steinsland, Harald G Wiker :
    Comparative proteomics of enterotoxigenic escherichia coli reveals differences in surface protein production and similarities in metabolism
    Journal of Proteome Research 2018 DOI
  • Bård Reiakvam Kittang, Veronika Kucharova Pettersen, Oddvar Oppegaard, Dag Harald Skutlaberg, Håvard Dale, Harald G Wiker et al.:
    Zoonotic necrotizing myositis caused by Streptococcus equi subsp. zooepidemicus in a farmer
    BMC Infectious Diseases 2017 DOI
  • Marwan Mohammed, Veronika Kucharova Pettersen, Audun Helge Nerland, Harald G Wiker, Vidar Bakken :
    Quantitative proteomic analysis of extracellular matrix extracted from mono- and dual-species biofilms of Fusobacterium nucleatum and Porphyromonas gingivalis
    Anaerobe 09. March 2017 DOI
  • Veronika Kucharova Pettersen, Knut Anders Mosevoll, Paul Christoffer Lindemann, Harald G Wiker :
    Coordination of metabolism and virulence factors expression of extraintestinal pathogenic Escherichia coli purified from blood cultures of patients with sepsis
    Molecular & Cellular Proteomics 30. June 2016 ARKIV / DOI
  • Veronika Kucharova Pettersen, Hans Steinsland, Harald G Wiker :
    Improving genome annotation of enterotoxigenic Escherichia coli TW10598 by a label-free quantitative MS/MS approach
    Proteomics 09. September 2015 DOI
  • Veronika Kucharova, Harald G Wiker :
    Proteogenomics in microbiology: Taking the right turn at the junction of genomics and proteomics
    Proteomics 2014 ARKIV / DOI
  • Tonje Marita Bjerkan Heggeset, Veronika Kucharova, Ingemar Nærdal, Svein Valla, Håvard Sletta, Trond Erling Ellingsen et al.:
    Combinatorial Mutagenesis and Selection of Improved Signal Sequences and Their Application for High-Level Production of Translocated Heterologous Proteins in Escherichia coli
    Applied and Environmental Microbiology 2013 DOI
  • Veronika Kucharova, Trine Aakvik, Eivind Almaas, Adrian Ertsås Naas, Trygve Brautaset, Svein Valla :
    Non-Invasive Analysis of Recombinant mRNA Stability in Escherichia coli by a Combination of Transcriptional Inducer Wash-Out and qRT-PCR
  • Veronika Kucharova, Jørgen Skancke, Trygve Brautaset, Svein Valla :
    Design and optimization of short DNA sequences that can be used as 5' fusion partners for high-level expression of heterologous genes in Escherichia coli
    Applied and Environmental Microbiology 23. August 2013 DOI
  • Simone Balzer, Veronika Kucharova, Judith Megerle, Rahmi Lale, Trygve Brautaset, Svein Valla :
    A comparative analysis of the properties of regulated promoter systems commonly used for recombinant gene expression in Escherichia coli
    Microbial Cell Factories 2013 ARKIV / DOI
  • Laila Berg, Veronika Kucharova, Ingrid Bakke, Svein Valla, Trygve Brautaset :
    Exploring the 5 '-UTR DNA region as a target for optimizing recombinant gene expression from the strong and inducible Pm promoter in Escherichia coli
    Journal of Biotechnology 2012 DOI
  • Veronika Kucharová Pettersen, Julia Maria Kloos :
    Dritbra» hvis ungdom gir oss avføringen sin
    19. February 2024 DATA / ARKIV
  • Veronika Kucharová Pettersen, Hildegunn Norbakken Granslo, Anne Asla Bentzen :
    Forsker på avføring fra barn og ungdom: – Bæsj er dritbra
    25. February 2024 DATA
  • Veronika Kucharová Pettersen, Hildegunn Norbakken Granslo, Anne Asla Bentzen :
    UNN-Forskerne trenger ungdomsbæsj
    23. February 2024 DATA
  • Ole Gunnar Onsøien, Jan Fredrik Frantzen, Claus Andreas Klingenberg, Ahmed Bargheet, Veronika K. Pettersen :
    Ny norsk studie om probiotika og premature fødsler
    Dagens medisin 2023 FULLTEKST
  • Ahmed Bargheet, Veronika K. Pettersen :
    How beneficial bacteria can help premature babies thrive 16. June 2023 FULLTEKST
  • Jan Fredrik Frantzen, Ahmed Bargheet, Veronika K. Pettersen :
    Probiotics create order in preterm babies’ gut, and fight antimicrobial resistance 2023 FULLTEKST
  • Christian Lentz, Theresa Wagner, Bhupender Singh, Md Jalal Uddin, Gaute Hovde Bø, Jeanette Grunnvåg et al.:
    Standen "Bli med...som mikrobejeger" på Forskningstorget i Trømso, Forskningsdagene.
  • Veronika K. Pettersen, Bjørn Hatteng :
    Front Cover: Distinct Metabolic Features of Pathogenic Escherichia coli and Shigella spp. Determined by Label‐Free Quantitative Proteomics
    Proteomics 2021
  • Veronika K. Pettersen, Marit Fiksdal :
    Mother-to-child microbial transmission: important for human health and challenged by modern lifestyle
    21. October 2021 DATA
  • Veronika Kucharova :
    Expression of recombinant proteins in Escherichia coli: The influence of the nucleotide sequences at the 5´ ends of target genes

  • The 50 latest publications is shown on this page. See all publications in Cristin here →

    Research interests

    I explore metabolite and protein signatures of the gut microbiome to understand its functions.  I am interested in how the microbiome mediates colonization resistance against pathogens, how it is linked to cancer development, and how it is formed in infancy. I use the knowledge of these essential gut microbiome functions to formulate strategies for disease prevention.


    We are looking for participants in our study on gut microbiome of children and youth - Do you want to participate ?




    Gut Microbiome-based Biomarkers to Prevent Infections by Antimicrobial Resistant Bacteria in Infancy 

    funded by Helse Nord RHF

    The microbial community living in the human intestine provides first-line defence against enteric pathogens. Exploiting symbiotic bacteria for pathogen suppression is a viable alternative to the use of antibiotics in preventing infections.

    This research project leverages two cohort studies of term infants to describe the biochemical impact of antibiotics and probiotics on their gut microbiome. The first is a randomized clinical trial co-led by the Paediatric Research group in Tromsø (UiT/UNN), which investigates the effects of probiotic therapy in Tanzanian children and its potential to prevent infections by ESBL-producing Enterobacterales (ProRIDE: Probiotics to Reduce Infections and Death and Prevent Colonization with ESBL- producing bacteria). The second study is a prospective, observational pilot study of infants with suspected symptoms of infection during the 1st week of life leading to antibiotic therapy (IMPALE: Impact of Antibiotics on the Neonatal Metabolome). The aim of both studies is to describe changes in faecal metabolites and microbial composition in association with antibiotic/probiotic use, drug-resistant strain colonization, and a risk of infection.


    Compositional and metabolic changes of the gut microbiome in childhood cancers 

    funded by Barnekreftforeningen, Thorfinns gavefond til barnekreftforskning”and Erna og Olav Aakres stiftelse

    The project is a collaboration between the Paediatric Research group at UiT, Norwegian Childhood Cancer Biobank, and researchers from the Centre for Ecological and Evolutionary Synthesis at the University of Oslo.

    The gut microbiome has been implicated as a possible driver and regulator of cancer pathogenesis. Producing small molecules and metabolites that act both locally and systemically, the gut microbiome may promote or suppress cancer generation and progression. Although several studies have reported associations between microbial alterations and different types of cancers, the gut microbiome has not been systematically characterized in childhood cancer.

    This project explores the compositional variation of the gut microbiome in paediatric cancer patients. By using DNA sequencing methods and metabolite profiling, the researchers will characterize features of the gut microbiome associated with cancer diagnoses in children. The goal is to describe microbiome-based markers that discriminate cancer cases from healthy controls and microbial metabolites that can serve as diagnostic biomarkers in therapeutic explorations.


    Infant Gut Microbiome Acquisition: Off to a Healthy Start

    funded by The Centre for Advanced Study (CAS) at The Norwegian Academy of Science and Letters

    This project connects experts in microbiology, clinical science, epidemiology, and bioinformatics, which together discuss a roadmap for translational microbiome research. A sequence of workshops critically examines current microbiome-focused mother-child population studies, analytical and computational approaches for mining microbiome data, and experimental models for defining causality. In a subsequent research stay, a core group of researchers will formulate review manuscripts based on the workshops and develop joint proposals investigating mother-to-child microbial transmission, drivers of infant gut microbial colonisation, and the impact of antibiotic use on this process. 



    Early-life gut fungal dysbiosis in pediatric asthma development

    Proteomic characterization of Escherichia coli

    A Combinatorial Mutagenesis Approach to Improve Microbial Expression Systems