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Morten Sommer

DTU Biosustain, DK

Dr. Morten Sommer is a professor at Center for Biosustainability at Technical University of Denmark.

He obtained is Ph.D, from Harvard University and post doctorial training at Harvard Medical School.

His laboratory’s research is focused on systems approaches to understand microbial phenotypic stability as it relates to drug resistance and synthetic biology. 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. 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. Finally, he has developed computational models for predicting the cellular response to drug combinations in bacteria and shown how drug combinations can be rationally designed to limit resistance evolution. Morten Sommer has also been developing new synthetic biology tools including multiplex genome engineering and biosensors. These tools are being applied to accelerate cell factory development through the discovery of novel enzymes, optimization of cell factories and control of fermentation processes. In addition these tools are deployed to increase our understanding of phenotypic stability of cell states of relevance to metabolic engineering.

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