Antibiotic resistance evolution: Evolution experiments & theoretical modeling (joint project with Hildegard Uecker)
The emergence and spread of drug resistant pathogens poses a major threat for human health. Evolution is at the core of the current antibiotic crisis. Yet, the enormous potential of bacterial pathogens to adapt is usually ignored in current health programs. The aim of this project is to gain a better understanding of the dynamics of antibiotic resistance evolution within and across patients and to develop and assess new concepts for evolution-informed antibiotic therapy. The project involves (1) experimental evolution and in parallel (2) the development of theoretical models that are tailored to the experiments. For the evolution experiments, we use the opportunistic human pathogen Pseudomonas aeruginosa as a model organism. Experimental evolution is combined with genomic and functional genetic analysis. The proportion of mathematical modeling and computer simulations can be adjusted to the interests and profile of the student.
The student will have a joint appointment in two groups with an experimental and a theoretical focus, respectively, and be co-supervised by two PIs (Hinrich Schulenburg
- PI of experimental part; Hildegard Uecker - PI of theoretical part). The project therefore offers an excellent opportunity to acquire a broad skill set and gain experience in interdisciplinary work.