Prof. Dr. Marek Basler

University of Basel
Klingelbergstrasse 50 / 70
CH - 4056 Basel
Biozentrum, Room 402 Phone: +41 61 207 21 10
Curriculum Vitae

Administrative Assistant

Michaela Hanisch
Biozentrum, Room 408
Phone: +41 61 207 21 21
Fax: +41 61 207 21 18

Job offers


Bacterial nanosized speargun – the so-called type VI secretion system – works like a power drill. (Basler et al., Nature Microbiology 2017)
Friendly Fire/ Cell Sept. 8, 2016 (Vol. 167, Issue 1)
Dynamics of T6SS sheath in Vibrio cholerae. (Basler et al., Nature 2012)
Disassembly of T6SS sheath by ClpV in Vibrio cholerae. (Basler et al., Science 2012)
Dueling between green Pseudomonas aeruginosa cells (ClpV-GFP) and killing of red Vibrio cholerae cells (ClpV-mCherry) (Basler et al., Cell 2013)


Marek Basler awarded EMBO Gold Medal 2018

Marek Basler, Professor at the Biozentrum of the University of Basel, is one of...more

Marek Basler receives renowned Friedrich Miescher Award

Prof. Marek Basler from the Biozentrum at the University of Basel and Prof....more

Bacteria acquire resistance from competitors

Bacteria not only develop resistance to antibiotics, they also can pick it up...more

Research Group Marek Basler

How do bacterial injection needles function at nanoscale?

Using nano-needles many bacteria inject a cocktail of toxins into other cells. We study the structure, dynamics and function of this bacterial injection apparatus, the so-called type VI secretion system.

Bacteria fight their competitors with a molecular speargun - the Type VI secretion system.

During evolution, bacteria have developed a variety of infection tools to infuse proteins and toxins into host cells. One of the methods is the type VI secretion system (T6SS). It is a widespread export system that can be found in soil and marine bacteria as well as in pathogens, such as the bacterium which causes pneumonia, Pseudomonas aeruginosa.

T6SS vital for bacterial virulence

The T6SS plays significant roles in defense, symbiosis as well as interactions between bacteria. Furthermore, it determines the virulence of a pathogen, i.e. the ability of bacteria to cause infectious diseases. We are interested in the key mechanisms underlying the assembly, function and recycling of T6SS.

Function and structure of T6SS

We study the structure, assembly and dismantling of this extraordinarily large nanomachine employing the newest microscopy techniques combined with biochemical approaches and computer analyses. In addition, we aim to uncover how individual components of T6SS interact with each other, which signaling pathways regulate T6SS dynamics and how the injection mechanism functions in detail. In order to do this, we make the mechanism visible using fluorescent labeled molecules.

T6SS as a target in treatment

Our research aims to provide a detailed insight into the function of this complex nano-machine and to contribute to a deeper understanding of bacterial infections in humans. The elucidation of individual pathogen specific T6SS components could provide new approaches for antibacterial therapies.