symposium on Pathogen Evolution

Pathogens show an enormous potential to adapt to their host environment.

This includes adaptation to the host immune system and also the used repertoire of antibiotic drugs. Prominent examples are the evolution of distinct infection strategies of Mycobacterium pathogens, the causative agent of tuberculosis, or the current spread of multi-drug resistance among infectious bacteria in clinical environments due to either rapid de novo evolution or horizontal acquisition of resistance mechanisms. Such rapid evolutionary dynamics are a particular challenge for treatment efficacy, yet they are usually ignored during development of novel therapy.

This symposium is dedicated to a better understanding of the evolutionary mechanisms and consequences of pathogen adaptation. It is hosted by the Kiel Evolution Center, the International Max Planck Research School for Evolutionary Biology, and the Leibniz Science Campus ‘Evolutionary Medicine of the Lung’ (EvoLUNG). It will bring together international and local scientists using an exciting range of distinct yet complementary research approaches, such as evolution experiments; genome characterizations of pathogens in human, animal, and plant populations; functional genetic analyses; or mathematical modeling. The information obtained may serve as a basis for improved design of sustainable therapy and may highlight the particular potential of translational evolutionary research and thus the application of evolutionary concepts to pressing current problems caused by infectious disease.


Thursday 20 July, 2017
13:00 - 18:00

Friday 21 July, 2017
09:00 - 14:00


Zoological Museum
Hegewischstraße 3
24105 Kiel


Program (PDF)
Symposium Flyer (PDF)

Program Thursday, July 20

  • 13:00 Welcome and Opening
    Hinrich Schulenburg, Kiel
  • 13:15 Lejla Imamovic, Lyngby
    Collateral sensitivity network outline the path to targeted strategies against resistance
  • 14:00 Roderich Römhild, Kiel
    Minimizing resistance evolution with fast-switching antibiotic sequences
  • 14:15 Jessica Ojong, Borstel
    Iron-driven host-microbiota coadaptation: an influence factor in Mycobacterium tuberculosis infection?
  • 14:30 Jamie Winternitz, Plön
    Investigating host-pathogen coevolution in associations between human HLA and Mycobacterium tuberculosis genetics
  • 14:45 Lutz Becks, Plön
    Sublethal antibiotics in the environment and their role for resistance evolution and stability of microbial communities
  • 15:20 Coffee Break
  • 16:00 Camilo Barbosa, Kiel
    Evolution of collateral sensitivity and its implications for the treatment of Pseudomonas aeruginosa
  • 16:35 Ruben Prange, Kiel
    Drosophila as a model to elucidate the molecular pathophysiology of COPD
  • 16:50 Martina Kapitza, Kiel
    Science Outreach on Medical Life Science
  • 17:05 Jens Rolff, Berlin
    Predicting drug resistance evolution: antimicrobial peptides vs. antibiotics
  • 17:50 Summary and group photo
  • 19:00 Dinner @ Steigenberger

Program Friday, July 21

  • 09:00 Welcome back
  • 09:05 Michael Bottery, York
    Adaptive modulation of antibiotic resistance through intragenomic coevolution
  • 09:50 Aditya Kumar Lankapalli, Jena
    An automated pipeline for detection of recombination patterns in bacteria
  • 10:05 Maria Bargués i Ribera, Plön
    Plant-pathogen co-evolutionary dynamics and derived agricultural strategies
  • 10:20 Stefan Niemann, Borstel
    Resistance and compensatory evolution of M. tuberculosis
  • 10:55 Brunch Break
  • 11:40 Tal Dagan, Kiel
    Inferring ancestral-descendent relations with minimal ancestor deviations
  • 12:15 Leif Tüffers, Kiel
    Rapid adaptation of clinical Pseudomonas aeruginosa populations to antibiotic therapy
  • 12:30 Maxime Godfroid, Kiel
    Genome-wide evolution of Mycobacterium tuberculosis
  • 12:45 Niels Jonas Mahrt, Kiel
    Periodic bottlenecks in experimental antibiotic resistance evolution
  • 13:00 Sebastien Gagneux, Basel
    Ecology and evolution of human tuberculosis
  • 13:45 Conclusion