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Personal profile


Professor Lone Gram studies bacterial eco-physiology and biotechnology. Her research focuses on aquatic bacteria (freshwater and marine) and is aimed at two clear goals: to control, i.e. kill or inhibit disease-promoting bacteria, and to enable biotechnological use of bacteria.

Lone Gram is particularly interested in microbial secondary metabolites; their natural functions and biotechnological application. She wants to control bacteria that cause disease in man or fish and studies novel principles and compounds that can control pathogenic bacteria. Lone and her group are course responsible for courses at DTU and several project students are affiliated with the group. Also, the group has an extensive international network.

Other information

2020: member of the Royal Danish Academy of Sciences and Letters. 2018: Ridder af Dannebrogordenen. 2016: Villum Annual Awared, 2008: Awarded Kaufmann's Mindefond and Tagea Brandt's travel award 2007-to date: Editor of Applied and Environmental Microbiology.2006-2012. Member of the Danish Council for Research Policy 2008-2011. Member 2013-2018 of the Danish Research Council for Natural Sciences (vice chair in 2014, chair 2015-2016). Since 2019, member and vice chair of the Borad of the Independent Research Fund, Denmark.

International Experience:

2009: Research visit to Harvard Medical School (4 months) 1999: Research visit to University of New South Wales (1½ month) 1995: Research visit to University of New South Wales (7 months) 2006-to date: Adjunct Professor at University of Maryland 1998-2009 Member and 2003-2007 secretary of ICMSF; the International Commission on Microbiological Specifications for Foods 1986-1993: Several consultancies for the Food and Agricultural Organization of the United Nations working on projects and courses in Africa related to fish technology

Language Skills:
Danish (mother tongue)
English (fluent)


Research areas

My group studies the ecology and physiology of aquatic microorganisms. This includes studies of bacteria such as Roseobacter, Pseudoalteromonas, Vibrio, Shewanella, fluorescent pseudomonads or Listeria monocytogenes. Part of the work deals with pathogenic bacteria and food safety and infection (Gram 2005, Gram and Huss 2000) and part of the work with the biotechnological potential of marine bacteria (Gram et al. 2010). We work on control on unwanted bacteria (pathogens and spoilage bacteria) and work with both live fish and seafood products. Also, we have a more general interst in the development of novel antibacterial compounds (such as small organic molecules, antimicrobial peptides, enzymes) that may be used in clinical settings or as antifouling agents. Our work with L. monocytogenes focuses on seafood safety and we study environmental niches, spread, colonization, inhibition and virulence of the bacterium. We are interested in aquacultured fish species; in particular non-antibiotic based disease control methods such as probiotics or blocking of bacteria quorum sensing. Potential fish probiotics include Roseobacter and Pseudomonas species. Methods range from traditional culturing, phenotypic characterization to typing by RAPD and antibody and probe detection. Several of our current research projects deal with various aspects of interactions between bacteria and between bacteria and the eucaryotic host . We use the understanding of bacteria-bacteria-interactions (especially antagonism) to search for novel antibacterial compounds. In 2006, we have joined a global scientific marin cruise (Galathea3) where we will determine the distribution of bacteria with antibacterial activity in the marine environment around the globe. This work can potentially be of interest in development of novel food preservation compounds, antifouling agents and even in drug discovery work.

Expertise related to UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 2 - Zero Hunger
  • SDG 3 - Good Health and Well-being
  • SDG 7 - Affordable and Clean Energy
  • SDG 8 - Decent Work and Economic Growth
  • SDG 14 - Life Below Water

Education/Academic qualification

Food Science, The Royal Veterinary and Agricultural University, Denmark


External positions

Professor, Technical University of Denmark, Dept. of Systems Biology

2013 → …

Professor, Techncial University of Denmark

2011 → …

Research Professor, Technical University of Denmark


Research Council Professor, National Institute for Fisheries Research


Senior scientist, National Institute for Fisheries Research


Scientist, Technological Laboratory


PhD student, The Royal Veterinary and Agricultural University



  • User defined:
  • Microbial secondary metabolites
  • Novel antibacterial compounds and principles
  • Bacterial ecology and physiology
  • Marine biotechnology


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Collaborations and top research areas from the last five years

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