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Maria Grymer Metz Mørch: The complex world of probiotics: how C. elegans can help us understand the multifaceted mechanisms of probiotic bacteria

PhD defence, Tuesday, 19 May 2020. Maria Grymer Metz Mørch.

2020.05.19 | Lisbeth Heilesen

Maria Grymer Metz Mørch

Multi-resistant pathogenic bacteria are a rising problem worldwide, and treatment of infections with traditional antibiotics may be complicated. Probiotic bacteria are beneficial bacteria, which confer a health benefit to their host organism, and some probiotics protect against pathogenic bacteria. During her PhD studies, Maria Grymer Metz Mørch has used the nematode C. elegans as a model organism to study host responses to probiotics in relation to infection with the multi-resistant bacteria methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA). Maria used genetic analysis to investigate host pathways and factors important for the host response to the probiotic bacteria. She found that specific parts of the innate immune system in addition to host factors involved in intestinal barrier maintenance and fatty acid metabolism are essential for C. elegans to obtain increased probiotic-mediated MRSA tolerance.  

The novel findings contribute to the understanding of how probiotic bacteria affect their host organism in a multifactorial manner, and which processes are important for a host response. This could lead the way for development of alternatives to traditional antibiotics.  

The PhD study was completed at Department of Molecular Biology and Genetics, Faculty of Natural Sciences, Aarhus University.

This summary was prepared by the PhD Student.

Time: Tuesday, 19 May 2020 at 16:00
Place: Will be held online.  To receive a link to the event, please send an e-mail to Anni Hangaard Andersen (aha@mbg.au.dk).
Title of PhD thesis: Deciphering host responses to Lactobacilli - A study of probiotics using C. elegans
Contact information: Maria Grymer Metz Mørch, e-mail: mgm@mbg.au.dk, tel: +45 28102012
Members of assessment committee:
Professor Malene Hansen, Neuroscience and Aging Research Center, Sanford Burnham Prebys Medical Discovery Institute, USA
Associate Professor Janne Kudsk Klitgaard, Department of Clinical Research, University of Southern Denmark, Denmark
Associate Professor Anni Hangaard Andersen (chair), Department of Molecular Biology and Genetics, Aarhus University, Denmark  
Main supervisor:
Professor Claus Oxvig, Department of Molecular Biology and Genetics, Aarhus University, Denmark
Co-supervisors:
Associate Professor Anders Olsen, Department of Chemistry and Bioscience, Aalborg University, Denmark
MD Kurt Fuursted, Head of Bacteriology, Statens Serum Institut, Copenhagen, Denmark
Language: The PhD dissertation will be defended in English.

The defence is public.
Due to the coronavirus situation, Aarhus University is physically closed. Therefore, the PhD thesis will not be available for reading at the offices of the PhD administration. Instead, interested parties may send an e-mail to gradschool.scitech@au.dk, and receive a digital copy of the PhD thesis. Please note, it may in certain cases be necessary to make an individual arrangement to read the PhD thesis.

PhD defense