Tone Tønjum's group:
Unit for Genome Dynamics
The Genome Dynamics group main focus is studying the mechanisms involved in the changing and maintenance of genomes in both microbes and man, and the effect this has on function and disease. This involves the study of DNA-repair mechanism in both man and microbes and the study of horizontal gene transfer in microbes.
The stability of microbial genomes and gene pools is constantly challenged by horizontal gene transfer and recombination, as well as DNA damage. Mechanisms for rapid genome variation, adaptation and maintenance are a necessity to ensure microbial fitness and survival in rapidly changing environments.
Understanding microbial pathogenesis, horizontal gene transfer and DNA repair mechanisms requires an interdisciplinary approach of molecular biology, genomics and bacterial physiology. Studies on transformation and components providing genome maintenance in genetic model bacteria are most important for understanding the balance between cellular fitness for survival and disease development.
In addition to studying genome dynamics in microbes, we are also studying the impact genome dynamics has on human function and disease particularly in aging and CNS-related diseases such as Alzheimer.
At present the group addressing these challenges in molecular and cellular biology and medicine includes 16 people and has strong international networks.
Healthy Brain Ageing
DNA repair in ageing and Alzheimers disease
Genome maintenance in Mycobacterium tuberculosis
Tuberculosis molecular epidemiology
Inflammatory bowel disease
Transformation in Neisseria
Genome maintenance in Neisseria