About the Costerton Biofilm Center

The Costerton Biofilm Center is a unique interdisciplinary research center established to explore the field of chronic infections caused by bacteria.







Directors address

Bacterial biofilms and chemical biology approaches to control them have played central roles in my research for the past 25 years. I always marveled science for its international dimension, a view strongly shared with one of my main mentors Bill Costerton.

Professor Michael Givskov, Dr. Techn., Managing Director

In 2010, I was one of the prime movers behind the establishment of the Singapore biofilm Centre for Environmental Life Sciences Engineering (SCELSE) with my friend and collaborator since 1992 Prof. Staffan Kjelleberg as Director and then subsequently headhunted as a research director for SCELSE. At University of Copenhagen, I was at the same time founder and presently managing director of the Costerton Biofilm Center which opened in 2013. It pleases me to see how this has developed into a fruitful collaboration between those two, frontline biofilm centers.

A wide range of expertise and skills are available at the Center and the scientists have access to experimental techniques such as state-of-the-art microscopes at the Core Facility for Integrated Microscopy situated 50 meters from the Center and the facility for experimental animals. At CBC, facilities are also available for the next generation gene expression analysis and chemical biology approaches with high-throughput screening of chemical libraries are within the wider framework of research and development related to biofilm drug discovery.

Future perspectives

While biofilms are everywhere and affect each and every facet of our lives, our understanding of how they are organized and how they function is still in its infancy. With the CBC, we wish to develop a comprehensive understanding that will allow us to understand interactions between bacteria and the human host, in healthy and diseased individuals and chemically control biofilms (as part of our novel antibiofilm drug discovery). This is done by means of cutting-edge technologies of contemporary life-science.

The Center provides a forum for scientists and clinicians and encourages research into the microbial aetiology of biofilms. By integrating translational and clinically relevant research, the Center takes lead in improved prevention and development of new treatments of diseases caused by biofilms. The research aims at explaining the riddle as to why biofilm-bacteria gain the upper hand in the fight against our immune system, and hopefully lead to new and innovative strategies for early diagnosis, treatment and prevention of chronic diseases for the benefit of public health.

Cystic fibrosis
Chronic ulcer

Bacteria are visualized by means of FISH hybridization (red) and immune cells by DAPI stain (blue). The images illustrate the common pattern in two different chronic diseases: aggregates of biofilm bacteria surrounded by numerous immune, inflammatory cells that fail to eliminate the biofilm.