José Pedro Vila Cha Losa

Understanding and fighting persistent bacteria

Bacterial persistence has recently been suggested to precede acquisition of resistance. In turn, persistence has been shown to be induced by strong perturbations of metabolic homeostasis. In this project, we will investigate cellular microbial metabolism, which has recently been shown to be governed by an upper rate of Gibbs energy dissipation. With the computational method we develop, we will be able to gain insight into the metabolic wiring of persisters cells. In addition, research into the mechanistic basis of the identified Gibbs energy dissipation limit is expected to lead to a new understanding of cellular functioning on a biophysical level. Interesting biophysical properties have recently been uncovered in energy deprived cells, which is a phenotype that resembles antibiotic tolerant persister cells.

“I have a degree in Bioengineering from Universidade do Porto (Portugal), which provided me a multidisciplinary background. I have gained some practical expertise in the field of viral vaccine manufacturing during two research stays abroad (Max Planck Institute, Magdeburg, Germany, in 2018 and McGill University, Montréal, Canada, in 2019). I am now a PhD student in the Molecular Systems Biology group at Rijksuniversiteit Groningen.”


Department: GBB, RUG
Principal investigator(s): Prof. dr. Matthias Heinemann

ESR4.3 José Pedro Vila Cha Losa
ESR4.3 José Pedro Vila Cha Losa