Kim Lewis

University Distinguished Professor
Location: 134 MU (Mugar Life Science), Boston, MA 02115

Area(s) of Expertise

  • Molecular Microbiology

Publications

About

Our laboratory studies persister cells and uncultured bacteria. Persisters are dormant variants of regular cells which are tolerant to antibiotics and responsible for recalcitrance of biofilm infections. Using transcriptome analysis, cell sorting and whole genome sequencing we are identifying genes responsible for persister formation. We identified a number of mechanisms…

Our laboratory studies persister cells and uncultured bacteria. Persisters are dormant variants of regular cells which are tolerant to antibiotics and responsible for recalcitrance of biofilm infections. Using transcriptome analysis, cell sorting and whole genome sequencing we are identifying genes responsible for persister formation. We identified a number of mechanisms for persister formation, and the first compound that kills them, acyldepsipeptide. Uncultured bacteria make up the majority of species on the planet, but do not grow in the lab. We developed a general method to grow these organisms by cultivation in their natural environment. In marine sediment, siderophores from neighbors serve as growth factors for uncultured bacteria. We have recently identified growth factors for uncultured bacteria from the human microbiome. We also use uncultured bacteria as a source for discovering new antibiotics.

 

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University Distinguished Professor Lewis in the news

These bacteria may be the key to treating clinical depression

Scientists estimate that we share our bodies with 38 trillion organisms that play an integral part in keeping us healthy and making us who we are. They crawl across our skin, cling to our intestines, and generally call our bodies home. Now, a study led by researchers at Northeastern shows that there is a potential link between the bacteria that live in our gut and clinical depression.
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Ticks creep into the city, bringing Lyme disease with them

With the sprawling of suburbia comes unwanted new neighbors. Ticks are no longer only dwellers of the deep forest—they can be found in cities, too, said University Distinguished Professor Kim Lewis at Northeastern. His lab is working to develop a cure for chronic Lyme disease, which develops in a subset of people diagnosed with Lyme disease.
Kim Lewis

Northeastern receives $9M grant to fast track the discovery of new antibiotics

A team led by University Distinguished Professor of Biology Kim Lewis received a five-year, $9 million grant from the National Institute of Health’s National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases to launch a novel platform for developing antibiotics that kill pathogens without encountering resistance.

How serious is the threat posed by new ‘superbug’?

ICYMI: Reports of the arrival in the U.S. of a new superbug that is resistant to an antibiotic of last resort have set off alarm bells among public health officials. Northeastern professor Kim Lewis explains the new superbug, how worried we should be, and how it might be stopped.