Evolutionary Pathogenomics © Annette Günzel

Evolutionary Pathogenomics

Microbial pathogens are shaped by their evolutionary history, which provides them the genomic framework to cause disease. The Key lab aims to uncover the genetic mechanisms and phenotypic variation that underlay emergence and adaptation of infectious microbes. Therefore, we develop methods to track microbial evolution on dramatically different timescales by leveraging ancient DNA from archaeological specimens as well as high definition genomic data from clinical samples. Understanding the mechanisms of infectious disease emergence and adaptation holds promise to improve disease prevention, intervention and to develop more targeted therapies.


01/2024: Podcast with Felix et al. about paleomicrobiology and the black death (in german).

09/2023: Veronica Rożek joins us for her PhD work. Welcome.

04/2023: Our study about S. aureus evolution during skin colonization on atopic dermatitis patients is published in Cell Host & Microbe. News & Views.

03/2023: A new research project about the developing gut and oral microbiome has started. Volunteers wanted. Website (in german)

02/2022: Anne Kathrine Runge joins us for her postdoc working on ancient microbial genomics. Welcome AK!

06/2021: New preprint by Felix about S. aureus microevolution during colonisation of atopic dermatitis skin

05/2021: Funding success. Felix receives an 80.000Euro boost fund from the Klaus Tschira Foundation.

05/2021: Welcome Ian Light, who joins us as a PhD student!

03/2021: Martin Fenk joins the lab as first PhD student. Huge Welcome!

11/2020: Meike Soerensen joins us as a lab manager. Huge welcome Meike!

09/2020: Official start of the lab. Stay tuned for updates. Exciting times ahead.

05/2020: Funding success. We receive 50.000Euro from EASI-Genomics part of the European Horizon 2020 program.

04/2020: The Key lab has two open calls for PhD students part of the IMPRS-IDI grad school. Come and join us to work on exciting and interdisciplinary projects in bacterial genetics! Read more

02/2020: Our paper about human-pathogen emergence linked to the agricultural transition is published in Nature Ecol & Evol! Covered widely including Science, a News & Views, and the TWiM podcast.

12/2019: Our paper about HOPS is out in Genome Biology. We present a computational tool that facilitates streamlined identification and authentication of ancient microbial DNA from archaeological remains.

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