Welcome to the laboratory of Anders P. Hakansson, Ph.D.



HAMLET, a bactericdal protein-lipid complex from human milk.
During my graduate studies I discovered a protein complex from human milk, HAMLET (human alpha-lactalbumin made lethal to tumor cells) that induced apoptosis in tumor cells without affecting healthy cells. Besides killing tumor cells, HAMLET effectively kills respiratory tract pathogens by inducing an apoptosis-like death in bacteria. We have also learned that, using the same mechanism, HAMLET can synergize with common antibiotics to make antibiotic-resistant bacteria, such as methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA), sensitive to the antibiotics they are resistant to. Our current projects are aimed at characterizing the specific network of molecules activated during HAMLET-induced bacterial death and the potential use of HAMLET in preventing and treating established bacterial infections.

Pneumococcal colonization, biofilm formation and infection.
We also have a major interest in understanding the bacterial and host interplay during colonization and infection. We have reently shown that pneumococci colonize the nasopharynx as a biofilm and have characterized the factors required for optimal colonization and biofilm formation and how these factors promote optimal genetic exchange by this naturally ompetent organism. We are also very interested in understanding the mechanisms behind transition from pneumococcal colonization to infection as well as host and bacteiral factors that modulate colonization of the nasopharynx. One of thees molecules is dihydrolipoamide dehydrogenase, that when absent from the bacteria renders them completely attenuated.

Human milk and early childhood caries.
Early childhood caries (ECC) is a common infectious disease among infants and toddlers. Based on a few reports fromteh late 1970s breastmilk has been suggested as a cause for caries in children. Few studies have addressed breastfeeding's role in caries development and no study has shown any association between breast milk and caries. The objective of this project is therefore to understand how human milk and its components affect viability, colonization and caries development produced by the major pathogens responsible for early childhood caries.


For those interested in the anti-tumor activity of HAMLET click HERE, for a summary on the tumor-project that is proceeding in Lund, Sweden under the direction of Dr Catharina Svanborg.

For information about “Palles fond för Anders forskning” click HERE.
För information om “Palles fond för Anders forskning” klicka HÄR.