Chapter 14: Professor Lone Gram


“There are two things that have driven Lone Gram’s research right from when she wrote her thesis in 1984. First, it needs to be useful, and second, it needs to be about bacteria.”

“I have always been driven by the idea that what I do needs to be of use. By this I don’t necessarily mean that my research needs to increase the gross domestic product or create three thousand new jobs, but I see it more from an overall perspective. Usefulness can also mean becoming wiser about biology, about us, and about the world around us, for example, about climate change. I started in 1980 at Landbohøjskolen with the degree that goes by the Danish name “levnedsmiddelkandidat.” In 1983, I had my first microbiology course, and I thought it was absolutely amazing what bacteria are capable of. So, curiosity, especially about microbiology, is another driving force for me.”

Right from the start, Lone Gram’s research has been useful. In her thesis she dealt with a very concrete problem in microbiology research.

“Right before I started my thesis, I discovered microbiology, specifically about bacteria in fish. It was a big problem back then that when you grow bacteria it takes time. A cell has to become two, then four, then a colony, a process that takes some days, and then you have to just wait for the answer. In my thesis, I worked on developing faster methods – something that was important back then and still is today.”

You can read the whole portrait of Professor Lone Gram below (in Danish) by downloading the chapter below.

Sign up for our newsletter