Michiel Kleerebezem obtained his PhD in Molecular Microbiology at the University of Utrecht in 1995. Since then he has been employed at NIZO food research. From 1998, part of his time has been dedicated to research performed within TI Food & Nutrition where he was appointed as scientific director in 2011. In 2007 he was appointed as special professor at the Laboratory for Microbiology at Wageningen University, and has now been appointed as a personal professor at the Host Microbe Interactomics Group at the same university.
His expertise centers around the molecular biology and physiology of bacteria, with a special focus on lactic acid bacteria, probiotics, and the intestinal microbiota. He is strongly involved in the genomics driven work related to understanding the molecular mechanisms of environmental adaptation in Lactobacillus plantarum and Lactococcus lactis, focusing on adaptation to the conditions encountered in the oro-gastrointestinal tract and conditions encountered during (industrial) dairy fermentation, respectively. In recent years he has expanded his field to the (post-genomic) molecular analysis of the mechanisms of communication between intestinal bacteria and the host mucosa. Michiel Kleerebezem has (co-) authored more than 200 peer-reviewed publications and is inventor on more than 25 patent applications.