Leadership and Faculty Members

Center Leader

I am, together with the Center coordinator, the contact person and responsible for budget and the overall scientific progress. I supervise PhD students, mentor postdocs and assistant professors, and look for additional funding. I am also head of the Section for Microbial and Chemical Ecology at Department of Biotechnology and Bioengineering. My science evolves around bacterial ecophysiology and biotechnology with a focus on marine bacterial I am a member of the Research Council for Natural Science.

Center Coordinator

As a coordinator I assist the Center leader in running and coordinating practical, administrative, scientific and social activities in CeMiSt in liaison with the DTU Bioengineering administrative support.
I assist the Center leader and other CeMiSt scientists in arranging meetings and events. Together with the Center leader, I compile material and input for writing of the annual report and other documents. I develop and update the Center webpage, and am responsible for running the Center events, such as workshops, lectures, seminars and conferences. 

I study bacterial interaction and evolution, and the underlying phenotypic and genetic changes. My group aims to reveal the ecology of Bacilli, understand their social interactions during biofilm development and adaptation in the presence of other microorganisms, including soil derived bacteria and fungi, in which niche secondary metabolites are expected to have a great impact.





I am Head of the NMR Center DTU, a DTU core infrastructure. My research group has special interest in the field of NMR spectroscopy at the interface between chemistry and biology as a tool to acquire structural knowledge and compound identification and tracking. In CeMiSt we will be working and using the NMR and chemistry competences with focus on interdisciplinarity, exploring NMR in the study of secondary metabolites and their evolutionary role.



Claus Sternberg

Claus Sternberg Senior Researcher

I have been involved in microbial biofilm research for many years, and have studied online the architecture and physiology of cells growing as biofilms.
Currently, I am heading the bioimaging core at DTU Bioengineering where I participate and assist in optical analysis of biological systems, including bacterial and fungal cells and communities.




Biological and chemical diversity of the genera Aspergillus, Penicillium and Talaromyces. Prevention of growth and mycotoxin production, and biotechnological exploitation of filamentous fungi. Key findings: Fungal species are clear-cut classes, are specifically associated to different substrates and produce species specific profiles of secondary metabolites.


My group works at the interface of microbial genomics, ecology, and functional genetics to understand, engineer, and control bacterial systems that relate to medicine, sustainable agriculture, and biotechnology. Our work is largely centered on Pseudomonas species
Our activities in CeMiSt revolves around understanding the role of the genetic and chemical diversity of Pseudomonas species in soils. We are currently developing/applying synthetic biology tools to be able to manipulate secondary metabolite production in different Pseudomonas species, and work with chemists to detect and quantify these molecules.


Ling Ding

Ling Ding Associate Professor

My research group works on microbial natural product chemistry and biosynthesis and we are very keen in bringing biological solutions to agriculture and drug candidates for human health.
Our activities in CeMiSt focus on secondary metabolites from soil Streptomyces and understanding their roles in microbe-microbe and plant-microbe interactions. We detect, analyze and characterize different small molecules through NMR and LC/MS spectroscopy. Meanwhile, we carry out genome mining to understand the genetic potential and chemical diversity of natural Streptomyces isolates.



Mikael Lenz Strube

Mikael Lenz Strube Associate Professor

My research is focused on the computational analysis of microorganisms, with a particular focus on how they assemble themselves into microbiomes. We use, and develop, advanced bioinformatic and statistical methods in this endeavor, which we use for analysis of the data generated in the group and by our collaborators. In the context of CeMiSt, I am involved in the analysis of most of the data generated, which includes metataxonomic, metagenomic, metatranscriptomic and metaproteomic data which allows us to profile our systems from all angles. A novel, but major, focus is currently the statistical integration of all -omics data using network theory and machine learning.


The overarching theme of my research activities is how microbes act and interact in their environment, and how we can investigate and utilize their behavior by analyzing the molecules they comprise and produce. With a special focus on marine environments, I am currently investigating to what extent microbial community members, which are proficient producers of bioactive secondary metabolites, are capable of shaping microbial communities.




In the CeMiSt Center, I focus on the production of small molecules by fungi as a response to the continuously changing environment and microbiota in the ecosystem that they naturally inhabit. We will construct fungi in which particular metabolites have been deleted to compare wild type and mutant interactions with other microorganisms. We will also construct fungi that overproduce a given compounds, and then analyze their fitness and impact in the analyzed ecosystem.
My interest spans from the molecular level (DNA, proteins and small molecules) to the entire ecosystem, and both at the minute to minute as well as at the evolutionary timescale.


I study and teach microbial natural product chemistry, and am in particular interested in discovery of novel of bioactive compounds and their biosynthetic pathways. The current activities in my research group are focused on genomics driven discovery and engineering of cryptic secondary metabolite biosynthetic pathways in filamentous fungi, as well as chemical ecology and toxicity of natural products from marine bacteria and fish killing microalgae. I’m also involved in activities aiming at commercialization of novel fungal pigments and is a member of the executive board of CeMiSt.

My group is interested in developing computational tools, such as antiSMASH, to mine the genomes of microorganisms for the presence of secondary metabolite biosynthetic gene clusters that code for the production of these complex metabolites and use these data to engineer the production of these compounds.
Within CeMiSt, we are mainly involved in adapting and optimizing our tools for the bioinformatics tasks within the center.


Shengda Zhang

Shengda Zhang Assistant Professor

I have a background within marine microbiology with special interests in molecular microbiology and genome engineering. During my postdoctoral training, I developed molecular tools to manipulate genes in marine proteobacteria and generated a series of scarless deletion mutants to unravel the biosynthetic pathway and the physiological role of secondary metabolites (SMs) in the native producers. My research activity at CeMiSt will be focused on understanding the molecular mode of action of how those SMs affect the physiology of the producer and interactions with other microorganisms in the relevant microbiomes.


Aaron John Christian Andersen

Aaron John Christian Andersen Metabolomics Core Manager

I am the manager of the Metabolomics Core at the Department of Bioengineering and work closely with CeMiSt on the analysis of secondary metabolites found within complex biological systems. I have a background in marine natural products chemistry and metabolomics, and worked on many different marine organisms, producing antibiotics or toxins. This has given me a keen interest in secondary metabolite discovery and understanding the role of these metabolites within the environment. We use the latest techniques and instrumentation in mass spectrometry coupled to chromatography, I am interested producing high quality metabolomics data and using this to investigate metabolites in biological systems.