Microbial Pharmacology and Population Biology (MicroPop)

About us

We do basic research on microbial evolution . We focus on two thematically overlapping areas:

Evolution, selection, and spread of antibiotic resistance

It is clear that the frequency of antimicrobial drug resistance in the community is associated with the total level of antimicrobial consumption. Not so clear is the association between reduced consumption levels and subsequent reduction in the frequency of resistance. We focus on different processes that may counteract the reversal of antimicrobial resistance in environments with reduced selective pressures such as the biological cost of resistance, horizontal gene transfer, and genetic stability of resistance determinants. Within this context we are currently working on transmission dynamics and molecular epidemiology of antimicrobial resistance genes/elements in bacterial populations as well as “collateral sensitivity” as a selection inversion strategy to reduce evolution, selection and spread of antibiotic resistance. Our recent work proves that antimicrobial resistance is not the only success factor of human pathogenic clones, hence we also study the role of other pathogenicity factors in selecting for and shaping the population of pathogenic clones such as bacteriocin production,  biofilm formation and immune interactions.

Mechanistic and evolutionary consequences of bacterial genome plasticity

Horizontal gene transfer (HGT) in bacteria plays a major role in adaptive evolution exemplified by the evolution, spread and selection for antibiotic resistance determinants. We focus on evolutionary dynamics of mobile genetic elements to understand the underlying evolutionary forces responsible for their maintenance in bacterial populations. We are also interested in the mechanistic basis of acquisition of foreign DNA in bacteria and how it affects genetic diversity in microbes.


Microbial Pharmacology and Population Biology (MicroPop)

Faculty of Health Sciences, Dept Pharmacy
+47 47 68 89 74 (P. Johnsen group leader)


Logg inn / Login