Social interactions in microbial communities
The MICA Lab is headed by Hans Steenackers and is part of the KU Leuven Centre of Microbial and Plant Genetics.
The MICA Lab studies microbial community behaviour and develops antimicrobials targeting communities.
Our goal is to obtain a better understanding of social interactions in microbial communities, antimicrobial resistance development within communities and methodologies to monitor communities in situ.
This should allow us to develop novel types of antimicrobials that interfere with social interactions (socio-active strategies), resistance development (anti-resistance strategies) or take benefit of improved monitoring (observation-guided strategies). Special attention is paid to the evolution-proof character of the proposed antimicrobial approaches.
The research spans from fundamental investigations of innovative antimicrobial targets, over antimicrobial compound identification and synthesis, to in situ and in vivo testing of novel antimicrobials and strategies for their delivery. To support this research, the MICA Lab is coordinating an interdisciplinary platform for the development of antimicrobials, which is based on several collaborations with research groups within and outside the KU Leuven.
We are open to share our research platform with interested academic and industrial research partners. We are currently participating in the following multi-partner projects: Bisceps (FWO SBO), Baratom (VLAIO LA-trajectory), Epiresist (FWO project), Defensico (KU Leuven C2), Clean-coat (KU Leuven C3), Bioclean (H2020 MSCA ITN) and the Flemish Scientific Research Network on Biofilms (FWO WOG), and have participated in several recently finished projects: NEMOA (IWT SBO), Coatim (FP7), SMART Release (KU Leuven IDO) and Killfilm (Flanders' Food).
If you are interested in our research, collaborating with us, or joining the lab, we invite you to explore our website or contact us via [email protected] or +32 (0)16 37 95 19