Christian Lentz

Associate Professor

Job description

Christian Lentz is an Associate Professor in Infection Biology and Deputy Leader of Research at the Department of Medical Biology, Faculty of Health Sciences at UiT. He is affiliated with the Research Group for Host-Microbe Interactions,Dept. of Medical Biology and the Centre for New Antibacterial Strategies (CANS). Christians research focuses on how bacterial pathogens functionally adapt to the human host and antibiotics during infection and aims to exploit this knowledge for development of new diagnostics and treatment options. He teaches various courses at the BSc, MSc and PhD level on topics related to Microbiology/nfection Biology and Biochemistry.

  • Stephen Dela Ahator, Karoline Wenzl, Kristin Hegstad, Christian Stephan Lentz, Mona Susan Johannessen :
    Comprehensive virulence profiling and evolutionary analysis of specificity determinants in Staphylococcus aureus two-component systems
    mSystems 2024 DOI
  • Md Jalal Uddin, Hermen S. Overkleeft, Christian Stephan Lentz :
    Activity-Based Protein Profiling in Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus aureus Reveals the Broad Reactivity of a Carmofur-Derived Probe
    ChemBioChem 2023 ARKIV / DOI
  • Matthias Fellner, Annabel Walsh, Stephen Dela Ahator, Nadia Aftab, Ben Sutherland, Eng W Tan et al.:
    Biochemical and Cellular Characterization of the Function of Fluorophosphonate-Binding Hydrolase H (FphH) in Staphylococcus aureus Support a Role in Bacterial Stress Response
    ACS Infectious Diseases 2023 ARKIV / DOI
  • Matthias Fellner, Christian Lentz, Sam A Jamieson, Jodi L Brewster, Linhai Chen, Matthew Bogyo et al.:
    Structural Basis for the Inhibitor and Substrate Specificity of the Unique Fph Serine Hydrolases of Staphylococcus aureus
    ACS Infectious Diseases 2020 ARKIV / DOI
  • Jonathan Hira, Md Jalal Uddin, Marius Myreng Haugland, Christian Stephan Lentz :
    From Differential Stains to Next Generation Physiology: Chemical Probes to Visualize Bacterial Cell Structure and Physiology
    Molecules 2020 ARKIV / DOI
  • Jonathan Hira, Bhupender Singh, Theresa Maria Wagner, Kristin Hegstad, Mona Susan Johannessen, Christian Stephan Lentz :
    A high-throughput platform for phenotypic profiling of bacteria coupled to single cell-derived growth analysis
  • Jonathan Hira, Bhupender Singh, Clément Ajayi, Mona Susan Johannessen, Christian Stephan Lentz :
    Sorting out their differences – High-throughput phenotypic profiling of single cells and subpopulations within isogenic bacterial pathogen cell populations
  • Christian Stephan Lentz :
    Chemical Probes in Bacterial Infection Biology - From identification of new virulence factors to phenotypic profiling of single cells
  • Christian Stephan Lentz :
    Mapping adaptive changes to antimicrobial resistance to cefiderocol
  • Christian Stephan Lentz :
    Functional differentiation of single bacteria with chemical probes
  • Anna-Luisa Warnke, Bhupender Singh, Christian Stephan Lentz, Marius Myreng Haugland :
    Synthesis of fluorescently labeled aminoglycoside antibiotics
  • 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.
  • Laura J Keller, Christian Lentz, Y Erin Chen, Rebecca J Metivier, Eranthie Weerapana, Michael A Fischbach et al.:
    Characterization of Serine Hydrolases Across Clinical Isolates of Commensal Skin Bacteria Staphylococcus epidermidis Using Activity-Based Protein Profiling
    ACS Infectious Diseases 2020 DOI

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

    Publications outside Cristin

    Publications in peer-reviewed journals

    1.  Fellner M, Walsh A, Dela Ahator S, Aftab N, Sutherland B, Tan EW, Bakker AT, Martin NI, van der Stelt M, Lentz CS. Biochemical and Cellular Characterization of the Function of Fluorophosphonate-Binding Hydrolase H (FphH) in Staphylococcus aureus Support a Role in Bacterial Stress Response. ACS Infect Dis. 2023 Oct 12. doi: 10.1021/acsinfecdis.3c00246.

    2. Uddin JM, Overkleeft HS, LentzCS. , Activity-Based Protein Profiling in Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus aureus Reveals the Broad Reactivity of a Carmofur-Derived Probe. Chembiochem. 2023 Aug 8:e202300473. doi: 10.1002/cbic.202300473. 

    3. Hira J, Uddin MJ, Haugland MM, Lentz CS. From Differential Stains to Next Generation Physiology: Chemical Probes to Visualize Bacterial Cell Structure and Physiology. Molecules. 2020 Oct 26;25(21):4949.

    4. Lentz, CS. What you see is what you get: activity-based probes in single-cell analysis of enzymatic activities. Biol Chem. 2020 Feb 25;401(2):233-248. Review article

    5.     Chen L., Keller LJ, Cordasco E, Bogyo M#, Lentz CS#. Single-cell phenotypic characterization of Staphylococcus aureus with fluorescent triazole urea activity-based probes. Angew. Chem. Int. Ed. (2019). 58(17):5643-5647. # Corresponding author(s)

    6.     Manna D, Lentz CS, Ehrenkaufer G, Suresh S., Bhat A, Singh U. An NAD+ dependent novel transcription factor controls stage conversion in Entamoeba. eLife (2018) Oct 30;7. pii: e37912. doi: 10.7554/eLife.37912.

    7.     Lentz CS*, Sheldon JR*, Crawford L, Cooper R, Garland M, Weerapana E, Amieva M, Skaar EP, Bogyo M. Identification of a Staphylococcus aureus virulence factor by activity-based protein profiling (ABPP). Nature Chem. Biol. (2018) 14, 609–617. DOI:10.1038/s41589-018-0060-1.

    *CSL and JRS contributed equally to this work.

    8.     Tomlin FM, Gerling-Driessen UIM, Liu Y-C, Flynn, RA, Vangala JR, Lentz CS, Clauder-Muenster S, Jakob P, Mueller WF, Ordonez-Rueda D, Paulsen M, Matsui N, Foley D, Rafalko A, Shirakura T, Suzuki T, Bogyo M, Steinmetz LM, Radhakrishnan SK, Bertozzi CR. Inhibition of NGLY1 inactivates the transcription factor Nrf1 and potentiates proteasome inhibitor cytotoxicity. ACS Cent. Sci. (2017) 3(11):1143-1155. DOI: 10.1021/acscentsci.7b00224.

    9.     Lentz CS, Ordonez AA Kasperkiewicz P, La Greca F, O'Donoghue A, Schulze, CJ, Powers JC, Craik CS, Drag M, Jain SK, Bogyo M. Design of selective substrates and activity-based probes for Hydrolase Important for Pathogenesis 1 (HIP1) from Mycobacterium tuberculosis. ACS Infect Dis. (2016) 2(11):807-815.

    10.     Lentz CS, Sattler JM, Fendler M, Gottwald S, Halls VS, Strassel S, Arriens S, Hannam JS, Specht S, Famulok M, Mueller AK, Hoerauf A, Pfarr KM. In vitro activity of wALADin benzimidazoles against different life cycle stages of Plasmodium parasites. Antimicrob Agents Chemother (2015) 59(1):654-8.

    11.     Lentz CS, Halls VS, Hannam JS, Strassel S, Lawrence SH, Jaffe EK, Famulok M, Hoerauf A, Pfarr KM. wALADin benzimidazoles differentially modulate the function of porphobilinogen synthase orthologs. J Med Chem. (2014) 57(6):2498-510.

    12.     Gentil K*, Lentz CS*, Rai R, Muhsin M, Kamath AD, Mutluer O, Specht S, Huebner MP, Hoerauf A. Eotaxin-1 is required for parasite clearance during chronic filarial infection. Parasite Immunol (2014) 36(2):60-77.

              *KG and CSL contributed equally to this work.

    13.  Schiefer A, Vollmer J, Laemmer C, Specht S, Lentz C, Ruebsamen-Schaeff H, Broetz-Oesterhelt H, Hoerauf A, Pfarr K. The ClpP peptidase of Wolbachia endobacteria is a novel target for drug development against filarial infections. J Antimicrob Chemother (2013) 68(8):1790-800.

    14.  Lentz CS, Stumpfe D, Bajorath J, Famulok M, Hoerauf A, Pfarr KM. New chemotypes for wALADin1-like inhibitors of delta-aminolevulinic acid dehydratase from Wolbachia endobacteria. Bioorg Med Chem Lett (2013) 23(20):5558-62.

    15.  Lentz CS*, Halls V*, Hannam JS, Niebel B, Struebing U, Mayer G, Hoerauf A, Famulok M., Pfarr KM. A selective inhibitor of heme biosynthesis in endosymbiotic bacteria elicits antifilarial activity in vitro. Cell Chem Biol (2013) 21;20(2): 177-87.

              *CSL and VH contributed equally to this work.

    16.  Niebel B, Lentz C, Pofahl M, Mayer G, Hoerauf A, Pfarr KM, Famulok M. ADLOC: an aptamer displacement assay based on luminescent oxygen channeling. Chemistry (2010) 16(36): 11100-7.

    Research interests

    We employ chemical tools, molecular imaging and microbiological techniques to study how bacterial pathogens adapt to environmental conditions, e.g. during infection, and how they respond to antibiotics. We use these insights to develop innovative antimicrobial treatment strategies and chemical probes or sensors for diagnostic pplications that are urgently needed in times of emerging drug resistance. More information is found below.

    1.     Single-cell microbial physiology and biomarker discovery

    Antibiotic resistance is, according to the World Health Organization, one of the biggest threats to mankind. Therefore, the development of novel chemotherapeutic and diagnostic strategies for bacterial infections to counter antimicrobial resistance and optimize treatments is an urgent priority requiring a profound understanding of the underlying molecular processes. How bacteria colonize, infect and persist in a host is commonly studied using global read-outs (e.g. genomics, transcriptomics, proteomics) that are performed at the level of entire bacterial populations, providing a phenotypic snapshot of the ‘averaged cell’. That, in fact, single cells or subpopulations of a single bacterial pathogen behave very differently and that this phenotypic heterogeneity contributes to bacterial virulence and problems in clinical management is not commonly taken into account. Two clinically relevant examples for this heterogeneity are e.g. differentiated surface-associated bacterial communities (‘biofilms’) that are difficult to eradicate or ‘persister cell’ subpopulations that are refractory to antibiotic treatment. The sparsity of knowledge on cellular individuality is owed to the simple fact that functionally different cells remain morphologically indistinguishable from each other. Our approach to dissecting bacterial supopulation phenotypes is to use tailored fluorescently tagged small molecule probes as exogenous markers of microbial physiology, and validate their use as biomarkers for different cellular phenotypes. We use a variety of different fluorescent chemical probes, but a focus lies on the use of tailored activity-based probes (ABPs) which are functionalized enzyme inhibitors that covalently bind to the active site of their targets allowing for visualization of their activity.  Our long-term goal is to evaluate chemical probes as biomarkers for the development of diagnostic tests to rapidly assess clinically relevant parameters of a bacterial isolate such as metabolic state, antibiotic resistance or virulence.

    2.     Dissection of bacterial virulence

    Bacterial virulence is linked to the remarkable capability of pathogens to survive in different biological niches, such as different tissue sites, biotic and abiotic surfaces and in extracellular and intracellular states. These niches do not only present unique molecular surfaces and nutrient levels, but are also characterized by different stress conditions posed e.g. by the host immune system, microbial competitors, antimicrobial agents and other environmental factors. The corresponding exposure to different molecular environments and the transitioning between niches will require cells to adapt their functional state. In order to identify enzymatic targets that are functionally relevant for bacterial survival, we use chemical proteomics strategies. More specifically, we use functionalized small molecule probes such as activity-based probes to detect, enrich and identify target enzymes. For functional validation of these targets, we will use protein biochemistry and utilize bacterial mutant/reporter strains and chemical probes in different in vitro and in vivo assays.

    Ongoing 3rd-party financed projects:

    Pågående prosjekter finansiert via tredjemidler:

    HNF1688-23 ´Closing the diagnostic gap in adaptive antimicrobial resistance of multi-drug resistant Gram-negative pathogens (2023-2026, project leader, funded by HelseNord)

    HNF1570-21 ´Activity-based proteomic mining of enzyme targets for clinical control of
    vancomycin-resistant Enterococcus faecium´(project leader, 2021-2024, funded by HelseNord)


    Are you interested in our research, want to join the team or have more questions? Please do not hesitate do get in touch!

    Also follow our activies on Twitter: !


    2004 – 2009                Undergraduate studies (Diploma, equivalent to MSc) in Molecular Biomedicine, University of Bonn, Germany

    2009 – 2013                PhD student. Institute of Medical Microbiology, Immunology and Parasitology in collaboration with the Chemical Biology Unit of the Life and Medical Sciences Institute. University of Bonn, Germany.Supervisors: Dr. Kenneth Pfarr, Prof. Achim Hoerauf, Prof. Michael Famulok

    2013 - 2014                Postdoctoral fellow at the Institute of Medical Microbiology, University of Bonn, Germany. Supervisors: Dr. Kenneth Pfarr, Prof. Achim Hoerauf

    2014 – 2018                Postdoctoral fellow in the research group of Prof. Matthew Bogyo, Department of Pathology, Stanford University, CA, USA

    2018   -   2019             Senior postdoc at the Department of Chemical Biology (CBIO), Helmholtz-Centre for Infection Research, Braunschweig, Germany. Head of department: Prof. Mark Broenstrup

    Since 2020                  Associate professor in Infection Biology, Research Group of Host-Microbe Interactions and Centre for New Antibacterial Strategies (CANS), Department of Medical Biology, Faculty of Health Sciences, UiT – The Arctic University of Norway.



    BSc nivå

    MBI-1000 Introduction to Biomedisin

    • Coordinator of module on infectious diseases
    • 2 Lectures and 1 seminar on and ´Introduction to and history of infectious diseases´, ´Biomedical research on infectious diseases´

    MBI-2001 Biokjemi

    • Lectures and lab course on enzyme kinetics

    MSc level

    MBI-3012 Advanced methods in biomedicine

    • Responsible for 1 week of lab-course and accompanying seminars module: ´Chemical Biology and Inhibition Kinetics´

    MBI-3014 ´Infection, Inflammation and Immunity´ 

    • Co-course leader and lecturer
    • Various lectures and seminars on bacterial, parasitic and yeast infections, methods in infection biology, general Infection biology, alternative treatment strategies for bacterial infections


    PhD level

    MBI-8005 ´Advanced and interactive antimicrobial resistance course´

    • Lecture ´Concepts and methods to study adaptive resistance and heteroresistance´

    IBA- PhD Workshop on Cellular phenotypic heterogeneity in bacterial pathogen populations.

    • Main organizer
    • Lecture´Differentiating and separating phenotypically distinct bacterial cells using chemical probes and flow cytometry´


    Member of research group