Short description of the project

The evolution of drug resistance is the dominant threat to the successful management of a variety of diseases, including most infectious diseases and forms of cancer, collectively responsible for over half of the disease related deaths globally. In this research program we will conduct a large and systematic characterization of the evolutionary paths leading to drug resistance of Escherichia coli when exposed to drugs individually and in combination. We hypothesize that general rules governing the evolutionary response to different drug treatments can be formulated facilitating the development of novel treatment paradigms. We will pursue the development of such strategies and test their applicability.

Short description of the researcher

Morten Sommer’s research is focused on systems approaches to understand drug resistance. He developed metagenomic techniques for mapping antibiotic resistance gene reservoirs in different microbial communities. This work demonstrated the importance of the human gut microbiome in the dissemination of antibiotic resistance genes and for the first time proved that multidrug resistance genes are exchanged between innocuous soil bacterial and human pathogens. His laboratory is now constructing computational models of the global dissemination of antibiotic resistance genes. Recently, he has focused on characterizing evolutionary responses of bacterial pathogens to drug treatment. This work resulted in the development of the novel treatment paradigm termed collateral sensitivity cycling.

This project is funded by The Danish Council for Independent Research Sapare Aude programme with reference to grant ID DFF-4004-00213

Novel Treatment Strategies for Countering Drug Resistance