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Felipe Cava Group

Research group Bacterial cell wall composition and its contribution to long-standing and emerging infectious diseases.

I am a MIMS group leader and Wallenberg Academy Fellow at Umeå University, two of the most prestigious long-term programmes for young researchers in Sweden.

My lab in MIMS-UCMR aims at deciphering new knowledge on one of the major “Achilles heels” of bacteria - their cell wall – both to provide answers to scientific fundamental questions and to improve our options to combat long-standing and emerging infectious diseases. We use an arsenal of advanced analytical technologies and cell imaging tools (optical, fluorescence and correlative SEM-FL microscopy, MATLAB and ImageJ based image analysis), combined with genetics and next generation sequencing technologies (including RNA-seq, Tn-seq), biochemistry, bioinformatics (MATLAB and R based-chemometrics) and molecular biology to study how bacteria regulate their cell wall to adapt to (and infect) the host in some of the most relevant bacterial models.

To approach this, we have launched an integrative research program to uncover and exploit the unnoticed variability of the bacterial cell wall. This investigation is imperative for a realistic understanding of cell wall biology in nature, in particular its role in environmental adaptation and signalling. Moreover, this research might lead to the discovery of new metabolic and regulatory pathways with great potential in the development of new species-specific antimicrobials therapies.

This is the first time that a project of such magnitude has been actually launched in the cell wall research field, and therefore has generated immediate collaborative networks amongst fairly unconnected disciplines in life sciences, both in academia and in the public health field.


Read more about the reserach on MIMS website

Read more about the research at Cava lab

Head of research

Felipe Cava
Professor, research fellow


Participating departments and units at Umeå University

Department of Molecular Biology

Research area

Infection biology
A new brick in the wall: bacterial cell wall intermediate found

Intermediate of the peptidoglycan recycling pathway that can modulate synthesis and structure of cell wall.

The aim is to develop new antibiotics

Felipe Cava wants to learn more about the small and complex microbes.