Prof. Dr. Urs Jenal

University of Basel
Klingelbergstrasse 50 / 70
CH - 4056 Basel
Biozentrum, Room 407 Phone: +41 61 207 21 35
Curriculum Vitae

Administrative Assistant

Claudia Erbel-Sieler
Biozentrum, Room 408
Phone: +41 61 207 10 84
Fax: +41 61 207 21 18


Weltenreise 2016, Infiziert. Viren, Bakterien, Parasiten. (German)


Master Students graduated: Congratulations Beni and Irina!

In the past 12 months, 84 students (31 from the Biozentrum) have successfully...

Successful application NRP72: Antibiotic resistance

Infections due to antibiotic-resistant bacteria have increased significantly in...more

Calcium induces chronic lung infections

The bacterium Pseudomonas aeruginosa is a life-threatening pathogen in...more

Research group Urs Jenal

Signaling in bacterial infections

Research addressing the basic molecular principles of signal transduction in bacteria uncovers the regulatory details of chronic bacterial infections.

Over the course of a chronic lung infection, Pseudomonas aeruginosa (red) forms biofilm aggregates, which confer resistance to predation by the host immune system (cells in green).

Bacteria can rapidly adapt to their surroundings through the ability to sense and respond to different environmental conditions. This allows bacterial pathogens to successfully persist in human and animal hosts. For this, bacteria have developed sophisticated mechanisms to circumvent the immune system and tolerate high doses of antimicrobials.

Signaling molecules for global control

Cyclic nucleotides are important signaling molecules that can globally regulate cellular processes in minute concentrations. Bacteria use these signaling devices to assemble into multicellular consortia, so-called biofilms, which help them to survive under adverse and stressful conditions. We are interested in how these signaling molecules are produced and degraded, and how they contribute to persistence and drug tolerance of pathogens and thus to chronic infections of the human host.

Bacterial persistence leads to chronic infections

We would like to understand the molecular basis of chronic bacterial infections in humans. To this end we are focusing on pathogenic Escherichia coli bacteria that cause recurrent urinary tract infections and on persistent Pseudomonas aeruginosa lung infections of patients with cystic fibrosis.

Regulatory networks as attractive target structures

Our studies aim at contributing to a more targeted approach to counter chronic infections in humans. Components of regulatory networks that contribute to bacterial persistence represent attractive target structures for novel antimicrobials against chronic forms of infections.