Fungal Biomedicine and Biology

Group Leader: Jakob Bjæsbjerg Hoof

We focus on finding fungal compounds, e.g. peptide-based metabolites, which have potential as biomedicine. We use the existing knowledge of biosynthetic pathways to build new pathways and compounds by a synthetic biology approach. We strive to understand how, why and when the fungus produces our compounds of interest.

Ultimately, our research aims at fighting diseases, while having the focus to do advanced training of students at all levels in fungal physiology, biology and engineering.      

Filamentous fungi have a significant impact on human lives, both positive and negative. We use some strains in industrial production of e.g. enzymes, food additives, and antibiotics. In nature, filamentous fungi are major players in the degradation and utilization of organic material, e.g. dead plants.

Some fungi however, may infect living organisms, including plants and humans. Filamentous fungi are equipped with a physiology ideal for invasion of tissue and materials as well as for secretion of efficient enzymatic cocktail enabling each species to colonize a broad variety of substrates. The fungus protects these investments by producing and releasing an arsenal of bioactive chemicals when needed. It helps them to combat competitors and bypass the host-defense systems of the organisms they interact with in infections. If they are not harmful, bioactive compounds of fungal origin have the potential to be utilized for medicinal purposes and this is what we aim at doing in the Fungal Biomedicine and Biology Group.

Contact

Jakob Blæsbjerg Hoof
Associate Professor
DTU Bioengineering
+45 45 25 26 76