dr. MJ (Jules) Beekwilder

dr. MJ (Jules) Beekwilder

senior researcher plant metabolism

I am a senior researcher at Wageningen Plant Research, in the BU Bioscience. I supervise a team of 10-15 co-workers, consisting of scientists and post-docs, PhD students, technicians and students.

My main focus is plant metabolism, in particular how plants make useful and economically interesting materials. This includes fine chemicals for flavour and fragrance applications, antioxidants, pharmaceuticals and vitamins, but also starting materials for polymers. We aim to understand the biosynthesis in a broad sense, including the biochemistry, enzymes, genes, their regulation and storage. When we believe we understand the pathway, we try to re-engineer it in another plant, or in a microorganism.

In the BU I lead a number of projects with customers from the industry. In addition I work closely together with the Laboratory of Plant Physiology from Wageningen University, where we work on academic subjects. I enjoy to publish my work in peer-reviewed scientific journals.