Knut Drescher

Knut Drescher

Prof. Dr. Knut Drescher

Max Planck Institute for Terrestrial Microbiology
Faculty of Physics, Philipps-Universität Marburg
Karl-von-Frisch-Straße 16, 35043 Marburg
+49-6421 28 21473


Research Area

The lab focuses on understanding multicellular bacterial behaviors, using biofilm formation and swarming as model systems. Bacterial biofilms are surface-associated three-dimensional bacterial communities that are held together by an extracellular matrix. Cells within these communities are highly tolerant to antibiotics and display strong phenotypic heterogeneity. By combining microscopy, molecular biology techniques, advanced data analysis, machine learning, and mathematical modeling, we study how bacteria form complex multicellular communities, how these communities function, and how these communities affect bacterial ecology.


Multicellular behavior
Microbial genetics
Data analysis

Recent Publications

1. F. Diaz-Pascual, R. Hartmann, M. Lempp, L. Vidakovic, B. Song, H. Jeckel, K.M. Thormann, F.H. Yildiz, J. Dunkel, H. Link, C.D. Nadell, K. Drescher (2019) Breakdown of Vibrio cholerae biofilm architecture induced by antibiotics disrupts community barrier function. Nature Microbiology 4, 2136-2145.

2. H. Jeckel, E. Jelli, R. Hartmann, P.K. Singh, R. Mok, J.F. Totz, L. Vidakovic, B. Eckhardt, J. Dunkel, K. Drescher (2019) Learning the space-time phase diagram of bacterial swarm expansion. PNAS 116, 1489-1494.

3. R. Hartmann, P.K. Singh, P. Pearce, R. Mok, B. Song, F. Diaz-Pascual, J. Dunkel, K. Drescher (2019) Emergence of three-dimensional order and structure in growing biofilms. Nature Physics 15, 251-256.

SYNMIKRO Young Researchers Groups

Almost all scientific members of SYNMIKRO are actively involved in DFG’s Collaborative Research Centers (Sonderforschungsbereiche), Research Training Groups (Graduiertenkollegs), or other Cooperative Research projects. Alongside performing adventurous experiments, and reporting excellent science, SYNMIKRO substantially promotes potential Young Research Group Leaders by constantly keeping its doors open to welcome and support Young Researchers planning to set up an Independent Research Group.
Our Young Research Groups