Welcome to the Michael A. Sørensen Group
My scientific work is focused on basic aspects of bacterial regulation systems at the level of transcription and translation. Recently I have turned my focus towards a novel regulatory system that operates by controlling the concentration of tRNAs during stress.
If you are interested in stydyig or working in my group read more about projects below and how to join the lab as a student on the Section for Biomolecular Sciences student page.
During growth in many cell types, translation is the most energy consuming process exceeding 50% of the total cellular energy budget. In our model organism, Escherichia coli, we have found a very direct regulatory mechanism responsible for reducing the translational capacity of the cell during stress. The reduction occurs by degradation of important components of the translational machinery. The overall goal of the project is to identify the mechanisms behind target degradation and understand how that can influence the fitness of bacteria in various situations. The most promising player in the degradation process is a hitherto undescribed class of small regulatory RNAs.
Our group can offer projects in several branches of the main project. We want to understand the biochemistry underlying the degradation reaction by in vitro assays and we also take a genetics approach by constructing and employing mutant strains to analyze the effects of specific cellular components on the growth physiology of cells. A typical project includes one or more of the following technics: 1) Cloning and expression of genes. 2) Strain construction and selection of mutants. 3) Analysis of RNA expression by Northern blots, 4) Analysis of proteins by 2D- gels or enzymatic assays.
Because the projects all include topics important for our research they require close supervision. I can therefore only accommodate a few students at a time.
The lab is located on the 2nd floor, building 3 and 4 of the Copenhagen Biocenter (map), close to the centre of Copenhagen. It takes less than 1 hour to travel from Copenhagen's airport to our lab, by train or subway (from the airport to Nørreport station, a 20 minute journey, with trains every 10 minutes) and bus (bus 150S from Nørreport to the stop called "Fredrik Bajers Plads" in the intersection of Tagensvej and Nørre Allé, a 10 minute journey, with buses every 6-8 minutes). From there it is a few minutes walk.