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Dr Simone Bergmann is a Professor at the Braunschweig University of Technology Germany. She received her doctorate from the Max von Pettenkofer Institute at the Ludwig-Maximilians University München. Her main expertise lies in studying a plethora of Bacterial diseases like pneumococcus. She completed her Post-Doc from Helmholtz-Centre for Infectious Diseases (HZI) in Braunschweig. She then went on to become a Project leader at her Post-Doc alumni, where she supervised 6 PhD students in obtaining their Doctorate degrees. She is a member of the Association of General and Applied Microbiology (VAAM) and of the German Society for Hygiene and Microbiology (DGHM)
The main research focus of PD Dr. Simone Bergmann and team colleagues is to identify and characterize interaction strategies of Streptococcus pneumonia with the human host. Pneumococci are human pathogenic bacteria colonizing the upper respiratory tract and causing local infections like otitis media and sinusitis but also invasive diseases like pneumonia, meningitis and septicaemia. Young children, elderly people and immunocompromised patients belong to the high risk group for pneumococcal infections. Pneumococci are highly adapted to the host environment and interact with a broad variety of different host components.
The main scientific topics of Dr. Bergmann include the investigation of pneumococcal interaction with different components of the human extracellular matrix like vitronectin and fibronectin. The binding factors and functional activities could be characterized to detail including signalling response and bacterial-induced morphological changes of the host cell. The recruitment of fibrinolytic components like plasminogen to the pneumococcal surface and the use of activated plasmin as proteolytical cofactor is a further main subject of the scientific studies. By applying a broad methodological repertoire of molecular and biochemical approaches, the interacting receptors and signals on both the human cell surface as well as on the pneumococcal cell surface are studied to molecular level. Dr. Bergmann is integrated within the group of Prof. Dr. Steinert and is also intensively colaborating with the group of Medical Microbiology headed by Singh Chhatwal at the HZI in Braunschweig. In addition to the extended engagement in university education, she is also involved in the graduate school program of the HZI. Furthermore, PD Dr. Bergmann is embedded in EU-spanning cooperation networks (Carepneumo), promoting scientific exchange.
Elena Fuchs, Christopher Untucht, Manfred Rohde, Michael Steinert and Simone Bergmann
Research Article: J Bacteriol Parasitol 2012, 3:142