Ditte Høyer Engholm: Attention to detail – scientific visualization of the bacterium Streptococcus pneumoniae

PhD defense, Tuesday 11 April 2017. Ditte Høyer Engholm.

2017.04.11 | Lisbeth Heilesen

Ditte Høyer Engholm

Digital whole-cell illustration of the pneumococcus. The components of the bacterium are visualized at a consistent scale. The DNA is shown in purple in the central part of the cell surrounded by cytoplasmic proteins in shades of brown. The cell membrane is in yellow followed by the pale green grid-like structure of the cell wall. The outermost layer is a capsule made of sugar strands, which protects the bacterium form the host immune system.

Watercolor illustration of pneumococcal cell division. The painting shows the intricate network of proteins that are responsible for cell division. The green cell wall is on the outside of the bacterium and the brown proteins within the cell.

During her studies, Ditte Høyer Engholm used available scientific data to visualize the bacterium Streptococcus pneumoniae, also known as the pneumococcus. The pneumococcus is a common human pathogen and despite simple and effective treatment and prevention strategies it is a global health burden killing almost one million children under the age of five each year. The visualization of the pneumococcus created by Ditte Høyer Engholm exemplifies how scientific knowledge can be used to make detailed paintings and digital illustrations that serve as a visual overview of the current scientific knowledge.

This new visualization is intended to increase awareness, inspire discussions, and stimulate the formation of new research hypotheses.

The PhD degree was completed at the Department of Molecular Biology and Genetics, Science and Technology, Aarhus University.

This résumé was prepared by the PhD student.

Time: Tuesday 11 April 2017 at 14.00
Building 1593, room 012, the Lecture Theatre, iNANO house, Gustav Wieds Vej 14, Aarhus University, 8000 Aarhus C.
Title of dissertation:
Visualizing the human pathogen Streptococcus pneumoniae
Contact information:
Ditte Høyer Engholm, e-mail: dhe@mbg.au.dk, tel.: +45 6010 0958
Members of the assessment committee:

Professor Sven Hammerschmidt, Department Genetics of Microorganisms, Universität Greifswald
Lecturer and CEO of Digizymes Gaël McGill, Department of Biological Chemistry and Molecular Pharmacology, Harvard Medical School, and Digizyme Inc
Associate professor Charlotte R. Knudsen (chair), Department of Molecular Biology and Genetics, Aarhus University
Main supervisor:
Associate professor Ebbe Slot Andersen, iNANO, Aarhus University
Associate professor Rikke Schmidt Kjærgaard, Aarhus Institute of Advanced Studies, Aarhus University
Associate professor Ersnt-Martin Füchtbauer, Department of Molecular Biology and Genetics, Aarhus University
The PhD dissertation will be defended in English

The defence is public.
The dissertation is available for reading at the Graduate School of Science and Technology/GSST, Ny Munkegade 120, building 1520, rooms 128-134, 8000 Aarhus C.

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