The research at the UMCG is done under the common umbrella of the Healthy Ageing programme within the research group Microbes in Health and Disease. Here lies the strength of our department.
We have the tradition and responsibility to understand the nature of the microorganisms in the emergence of infectious diseases. We then use a wide range of fundamental, applied and clinical research for the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of infectious diseases to improve. In an ageing society with more older people and more people with a weak immune system (especially also our patients), innovative research for the prevention of infections and research on new and diagnostic methods and treatment possibilities is necessary.
Here are PIs from independent research group working together. Currently, the following Research Groups active:
- Molecular Bacteriology and Bacterial Ecology
- Experimental Virology, Vaccinology and Tumor-Immunology
- Clinical Virology
- Genomics for Infection Prevention
For the coordination of the research groups, there is the Research Management Team, comprising all PI’s of the department.
Microbes in Health and Disease
Coordination within the department: prof. dr. J.M. van Dijl, prof. dr. A. W. Friedrich.
The research in our department is focused within the research programme “Microbes in Health and Disease” (MHD).
The mission of the 'Microbes in Health and Disease' (MHD) programme is to perform fundamental, translational, and clinical application-oriented research on the detrimental and beneficial roles of microorganisms in human health and disease.
The main aims are:
- to obtain a Systems-level understanding of microbial epidemiological principles,
- to develop novel approaches for the prevention, diagnostic or treatment of infections caused by important bacterial and viral pathogens that are especially threatening to very young, frail elderly or immune-compromised individuals, and
- to exploit beneficial effects of the human microbiota to promote healthy ageing. Since the complex dynamic behaviour of biological systems is sustained by complex networks of interactions between their individual components, Systems Biology approaches are used to integrate the results of interdisciplinary studies on microbes at the molecular, cellular, organism and community levels, latter also by theory-based and mathematical modelling. Importantly, pathogenic microbes do not respect national borders and the MHD programme is therefore embedded in a strong network of crossborder and international collaborations.