Professor of Infectious Disease Control, especially Clinical Bacteriology at the Department of Microbiology, Tumor and Cell Biology since 2002.
Chronic inflammatory bowel disease represents one of today's major population health problems. Another disease of national significance, peptic ulceration, is caused by the bacterium Helicobacter pylori, and is even referred to as the "world's commonest infection". This discovery was also awarded the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine to Barry J Marshall and J Robin Warren in 2005.
Lars Engstrand's research group has, for more than 20 years, studied the bacterium and its links with stomach ulcers and stomach cancer. This research into Helicobacter pylori has led to increasing interest in the role of the gut flora in several inflammatory diseases.
Lars Engstrand's research has broadened in more recent years to include studies into the gut flora and its association with health and disease. Today, with the help of novel and powerful DNA techniques, we can produce a complete picture of the gut flora in the samples under investigation. Fields of research include the composition of the bacterial gut flora in Crohn's disease and irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), as well as in childhood allergy. Material from several large population-based studies is being used in this context. The aim is to characterise disorders of gut flora in these conditions and, if possible, to restore normality, thereby promoting healing and the maintenance of good health in the population as a whole.