DEPARTMENT OF BIOCHEMISTRY AND MOLECULAR BIOLOGY
Research at the Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology (BMB) is essentially about the study of the fundamental processes that control all cell life and development. Studies of how genes are structured and organized, how gene activity is regulated and how gene information via RNA is translated into protein. Proteins typically operate by interacting with other proteins or by transforming the molecules. The study of these processes is an essential element of all research at BMB. Protein function is often regulated by the proteins being modified in various ways, and identification of these modifications is also a key area for the Institute’s research.
The Institute’s research is very internationally oriented and takes place in close cooperation with many international research institutions and enterprises.
Microbiology and pathogenic bacteria
The Kallipolitis group carries out research on gene regulatory systems in gram-positive bacterial pathogens, including Listeria monocytogenes and Staphylococcus aureus. We focus on understanding how RNA- and protein-based gene regulatory systems control the adaptation of bacterial pathogens to changing and stressful environmental conditions. We are particularly interested in uncovering the biological function and mechanism of action of small, regulatory RNAs. In addition, the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans is being exploited as a model host for the study of host-pathogen relationships. In other on-going research projects, we investigate new strategies for prevention and treatment of bacterial infections.
Website : Microbiology and Pathogenic bacteria
ROLE IN THE PROJECT
1999-2001 Postdoctoral fellow, Professor Hanne Ingmer´s research group, Department of Veterinary Microbiology, Royal Veterinary & Agricultural University, Denmark.
1997-1999 Postdoctoral fellow, Professor Poul Valentin-Hansen´s research group, Department of Molecular Biology, Odense University
1997 Ph.D. in Molecular Biology, Odense University. Title of thesis: “Protein-protein communication in Escherichia coli: Structural and functional features of the CytR/cAMP-CRP/DNA repression complex”. Supervisor: Professor Poul Valentin-Hansen.
Professional and teaching experience
Birgitte H. Kallipolitis holds extensive teaching experience in microbiology and molecular biology courses. Since 2002, principle supervisor for 30 B.Sc. project students and 20 M.Sc. project students. Principle supervisor for 8 Ph.D.-students (2 ongoing).
Associate professor, Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, University of Southern Denmark.
Visiting scientist, Professor Colin Hill´s research group, Department of Microbiology, University College Cork, Ireland.
Assistant research professor, Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, University of Southern Denmark.
The Kallipolitis group focuses on understanding the adaptation of bacterial pathogens to changing and stressful environmental conditions. We study how pathogenic bacteria sense and respond to adverse conditions encountered in the external environment and during infection of a host organism. Furthermore, we are involved in developing new strategies for combating infections caused by
antibiotic resistant bacteria. We are particularly interested in uncovering the biological function and mechanism of action of regulatory sRNAs. The first seven sRNAs in the foodborne human pathogen Listeria monocytogenes were discovered by the Kallipolitis group.
Christiansen, J. K., Larsen, M. H., Ingmer, H., Søgaard-Andersen, L., and Kallipolitis, B. H. (2004). The RNA-binding protein Hfq of Listeria monocytogenes: Role in stress tolerance and virulence. J. Bacteriol. 186: 3355-62.
Christiansen, J. K., Nielsen, J. S., Ebersbach, T., Valentin-Hansen, P., Søgaard-Andersen, L., and Kallipolitis, B. H. (2006). Identification of small Hfq-binding RNAs in Listeria monocytogenes. RNA, 12: 1383-1396.
Nielsen, J. S., Lei, L. K., Ebersbach, T., Olsen, A. S., Klitgaard, J. K., Valentin-Hansen, P., and Kallipolitis, B. H. (2010). Defining a role for Hfq in Gram-positive bacteria: evidence for Hfq-dependent antisense regulation in Listeria monocytogenes. Nucleic Acids Res. 38: 907-919.
Sievers, S., Sternkopf, E. M. S., Jacobsen, K., Lund, A., Mollerup, M. S., Nielsen, P. K., and Kallipolitis, B. H. (2014). A multicopy sRNA of Listeria monocytogenes regulates expression of the virulence adhesin LapB. Nucleic Acids Res. 42:9383-9398.
Sievers S., Lund A., Menendez-Gil P., Nielsen A., Storm Mollerup M., Lambert Nielsen S., Buch Larsson P., Borch-Jensen J., Johansson J., Kallipolitis B. H. (2015). The multicopy sRNA LhrC controls expression of the oligopeptide-binding protein OppA in Listeria monocytogenes. RNA Biol. 12:985-97.
Full list of publications: list of publications