Academic Profile

Academic Profile

Prof Staffan Kjelleberg

Distinguished University Professor, School of Biological Sciences

Phone: +65 65927886
Office: SBS B1N 27
Prof Staffan Kjelleberg

After completing his PhD, Staffan Kjelleberg conducted post-doctoral research at the University of New South Wales (UNSW), Australia before returning to Sweden to be a Research fellow with the Swedish Research Council (1983-1987). He was appointed Professor and Head of the Department of General and Marine Microbiology at the University of Göteborg in 1987. Kjelleberg was appointed Professor of Microbiology at UNSW in 1993, a position he continues to hold, and served as Head of the School of Microbiology and Immunology (1998-2000). He was appointed Visiting Professor at the Nanyang Technological University in 2008.
In 1994, Kjelleberg co-founded the Centre for Marine Bio-Innovation (CMB) at UNSW, where he currently serves as Director. The CMB is an international focal point for interdisciplinary research into biofilms and chemical signalling. Research at the CMB resulted in a strong patent portfolio for the development of quorum sensing blocking technology to combat bacterial biofilms and virulence. This technology was the basis for the start up company Biosignal Ltd, which was established in 1999, listed on ASX in 2004 and where he served as Research Director (2000-2005).
His professional experience also includes positions on national and international scientific societies, research councils, and governmental committees, advisory boards of biotechnology companies, editorial boards and editor of several scientific journals. He was President of the Swedish Society of Microbiology (1987-1992) and Vice President (2001-2004) and President (2004-2006) of the International Society for Microbial Ecology. He is currently Past President and member of the executive board of ISME (2006-2010). Kjelleberg regularly gives keynote presentations, invited lectures and serves as convenor at major scientific meetings. He is an elected fellow of the American Academy of Microbiology and was awarded the Scientia Professorship at UNSW in recognition of his scientific achievements.
Research Interests
Kjelleberg is internationally recognized for his studies of bacterial adaptive responses, signalling based communication between bacteria, bacterial biofilm biology, and chemically mediated interactions between bacteria and marine sessile organisms. His research approach includes molecular based studies of the mechanisms by which bacteria respond to prevailing conditions as well as environmental genomics of the biodiversity and function of natural microbial consortia. Kjelleberg has published more than 240 original papers in international refereed scientific journals and 30 books or book chapters. On the basis of strong collaborative research across microbiology, marine ecology and chemistry, and applied studies of the strategies employed by bacteria to build biofilms and communicate, substantial intellectual property has been established and utilized in biotechnology industries. Kjelleberg and his colleagues at the CMB also serve as a major research provider to several companies and organizations, including the Australian based Environmental Biotechnology Cooperative Research Centre.
Current Projects
  • A Novel Animal Model For The Treatment Of Chronic Poly-Microbial Infection Using Innovative Biofilm Patches
  • Biofilm Biology-Informed Biofilm Engineering
  • Cluster 3 - Microbial Biofilms
  • Development Of New Platforms And Molecules To Probe, Understand And Harness Microbial Biofilm Communities
  • Development of bio-chambers to support the reproducible growth of multiple-species biofilms
  • Haifa Project
  • Highly-conductive n-type organic wires for enhancing bioelectronic programme
  • Imaging and computation biology of mixed species biofilms
  • Mechanisms and Conduction Behaviour in Biofilms and Their Related Single Molecules
  • Next generation biofuels: improved butanol production titer by non-genetic means
  • Overcoming antibiotic resistance with lipid-polymer hybrid nanoparticle (LPN) delivery systems
  • Selective contact-active antimicrobial bio-macromolecules
  • The influence of gut microbiota composition (metagenome, metatranscriptome and metabolome) and its development/maturation on the development of eczema in Singaporean infacts and toddlers in the well-defined multi-ethnic GUSTO (Growing Up in Singapore Towards Healthy Outcomes) birth cohort
Selected Publications
  • Cheng Zhou, Geraldine W.N. Chia, James C.S. Ho, Thomas Seviour, Talgat Sailov, Bo Liedberg, Staffan Kjelleberg, Jamie Hinks* and Guillermo C. Bazan*. (2018). Informed Molecular Design of Conjugated Oligoelectrolytes to Increase Cell Affinity and Antimicrobial Activity. Angewandte Chemie International Edition, .
  • Stenvang, M., Dueholm, MS., Seviour, T., Geifman-Shochat, S., Sondergaard, MT., Kjelleberg, S., Nielsen, PH., Otzen, D. (2016). Epigallocatechin Gallate Remodels overexpressed Functional Amyloids in Pseudomonas aeruginosa and Increases Biofilm Susceptibility to Antibiotic Treatment. Journal of Biological Chemistry, 291(51), 26540-26553.
  • Kai Wei Kelvin Lee, Joey Kuok Hoong Yam, Manisha Mukherjee, Saravanan Periasamy, Peter D Steinberg, Staffan Kjelleberg and Scott A Rice. (2016). Interspecific diversity reduces and functionally substitutes for intraspecific variation in biofilm communities. The ISME Journal, 10, 846-857.
  • Saravanan Periasamy, Harikrishnan A. S. Nair, Kai Wei Kelvin Lee, Jolene Ong, Jie Q. J. Goh, Staffan Kjelleberg, Scott A. Rice. (2015). Pseudomonas aeruginosa PAO1 exopolysaccharides are important for mixed species biofilm community development and stress tolerance. Frontiers in Microbiology, 6(851).
  • Kai Wei Kelvin Lee, Kuok Hoong Joey Yam, Saravanan Periasamy, Manisha Mukherjee, Staffan Kjelleberg and Scott A. Rice. (2014, May). Interspecific diversity is more important than intraspecific diversity for performance of a mixed community biofilm. Paper presented at Biofilms 6, Vienna, Austria.

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