Research of the Laboratory of Microbiology

The Laboratory of Microbiology (headed by Professor Willem M. de Vos) is engaged in research and education in biotransformations and interactions of microorganisms as well as their control. Moreover, it contributes to the exploitation of the generated knowledge in the application areas of Health & Food, Bioproducts & Energy and Environment & Sustainability.

The research is primarily molecule-driven and genomics-based while incorporating systems approaches at all levels. It integrates three important microbial disciplines which are organized into the research groups Bacterial Genetics (led by Professor John van der Oost), Molecular Ecology (led by Professor Hauke Smidt) and Microbial Physiology (led by Professor Fons Stams).

The Laboratory of Microbiology was established close to 100 years ago and has developed a long-standing expertise on bacteria, archaea and viruses. There is a strong emphasis on anaerobic prokaryotes because of their novel and unique properties, their relevance for various industrial application areas, and the developed anaerobic expertise and infrastructure.  Present members of the department include approximately 100 international scientists, students and supporting staff. There are active interactions with other Chairs, including that of Systems and Synthetic Biology, while many members participate in EU and other international networks via collaborations or joined appointments.