Volker Behrends
20072021

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Personal profile

Biography

I'm a biologist working at the interface of microbiology and analytical chemistry with interest in bacterial metabolism, evolution and infection. The overarching aim of my research is to understand how fundamental biological processes are affected by the metabolic state of an organism. Using metabolic profiling techniques I investigate the mechanistic link between metabolism, virulence and resistance, placing particular emphasis on bacterial interaction.

Qualifications

PhD: Metabolic profiling of cystic fibrosis pathogen (Imperial College, 2010)
MRes : Biomedical Research (Imperial College, 2006)
Dipl. Biol: Biochemistry, Microbiology, Phys. Chemistry (Univ. Göttingen, 2005)

Research interests

I am interested in how different microbes manage the trade-off between optimising growth an maintaining physiological flexibility. In particular, I want to investigate how stress and antibiotic exposure affect bacterial intra- and inter-species competition.

I have worked in the field of microbial and general metabolomics, employing NMR and MS-based metabolomics coupled to statistical analysis of large and complex datasets, I aim to understand the role of bacterial metabolism in health and disease and how the metabolism is influenced by the cell's surroundings. My work encompasses both wet- and dry-lab settings, in which I develop sampling and data analysis approaches drawing on and enhancing my knowledge in the areas of microbiology, infection biology and bacterial stress responses as well as scientific programming

Research projects

Understanding metabolic evolution of Pseudomonas aeruginosa in the cystic fibrosis lung

P. aeruginosa can cause chronic infections in the lung of cystic fibrosis. During the time, the bacterium undergoes genetic as well as phenotypic alterations. I am interested in how these changes affect microbial virulence and antibiotic resistance.

Characterising intracellular host-pathogen interactions with a view of discovering new avenues for treatment.

Treating intracellular infections presents a formidable clinical challenge, as antibiotics effective at killing the pathogen in vitro are often unable to do so once the pathogen enters the host cells. We aim to understand the host pathways that are important or essential for pathogen survival. The enables us to look for host-directed treatments, e.g. looking to repurpose drugs that have been approved for treatment of different condition, in an infection biology context.

Professional affiliations

Vereinigung fuer allgemeine und angewandte Microbiologie (DE): 2006-present
Biochemical Society (UK): 2011-present
Society for Applied Microbiology (SfAM, UK): 2011-present

Teaching

My teaching interest include microbiology, analytical chemistry and bacterial pathophysiology. Projects for supervision include antibiotic susceptibility-centred projects and metabolic profiling data analysis.

Links

External positions

Honorary Lecturer, Imperial College London

15 Sep 201414 Sep 2017

Network

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