- Policy & Practices
During one of the courses our team participated in during our second year of the bachelor, our current advisors introduced us to the iGEM competition. From this moment on they helped us with brainstorming about a suitable topic, advising us how to set up a research properly, and answering all our questions, sometimes with more questions. We are really grateful for all the time and faith they have put in our team! Please find a short profile for each of our advisors below .
Prof. dr. ir. Luc Brunsveld is a professor at our university. During our bachelor, all our team members have attended his courses, mainly concerning chemical biology, like Biochemistry or Molecular Cell Biology. Now he also advises us during our iGEM project, which we are more than happy with! For a more extensive biography, click on the arrow:
Luc (Lucas) Brunsveld (1975) received his PhD degree in 2001 under supervision of prof. Bert Meijer at the Eindhoven University of Technology. Topic of the thesis was the self-assembly of designed molecules into helical architectures in water. Subsequently, he moved as a Humboldt fellow to the Max Planck Institute of Molecular Physiologie, Dortmund, to work on the protein semi-synthesis and evaluation of lipidated Ras GTPases in the group of prof. Herbert Waldmann. From 2003-2004 he worked as a group leader in the medicinal chemistry department of Organon (now Schering-Plough) in Oss, on nuclear receptor medicinal chemistry.
End of 2004 Luc Brunsveld received the Sofja Kovalevskaja Award from the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation, with which he established his own research group at the MPI of Molecular Physiologie, Dortmund, beginning 2005. He worked on the combination of supramolecular chemistry with protein biochemistry and cellular biology, generating new approaches to modulate biological processes. In 2006 he became group leader at the Chemical Genomics Centre of the Max Planck Society, Dortmund. Here he was working on the chemical biology of nuclear receptors to understand and modulate the nuclear receptor-cofactor interaction, in close collaboration with Bayer-Schering Pharma, Merck-Serono, and Schering-Plough.
In the middle of 2008 Luc Brunsveld received an ERC starting grant and became full professor in chemical biology in the Department of Biomedical Engineering at the Eindhoven University of Technology. In his research Luc Brunsveld uses chemical biology approaches to study protein-protein interactions. Two general themes are: 1) Supramolecular Architectures are being pursued as instruments to modulate protein-protein interactions and 2) the Nuclear Receptor – Cofactor interaction is being investigated as a specific protein-protein interaction with many unsolved questions, possibly amendable via chemical biology.
Dr. ir. Tom de Greef is an expert at modelling dynamic systems and synthetic circuits. He lectured two of our members in developing dynamic systems and their uses in synthetic biology. Tom is a big help when it comes to the computational and modelling part of our project, giving us feedback and helping us to find the information we need. This often results in enough reading material to fill your day. For a more extensive biography, click on the arrow:
Dr. Ir. Tom de Greef (1980) was born in Eindhoven, the Netherlands, and studied at the University of Eindhoven (TU/e), where he received his MSc degree in Biomedical Engineering cum laude in 2004. He completed his PhD at the Department of Chemistry at the same university in 2008 with professors E. W. Meijer and R. P. Sijbesma, working on novel polymeric materials based on quadruple hydrogen bonding motifs. Subsequently, he moved to the Biomodeling and Bioinformatics group headed by prof. P. A. J. Hilbers at the Department of Biomedical Engineering (TU/e), studying self-assembling systems from a computational perspective. He also became assistant professor at this department in 2010. In 2013, Tom de Greef was a visiting scholar in the group of Prof. D. Weitz (Harvard) working on protein affinity screening using droplet microfluidics.
Current research themes are centered on the engineering of artificial cellular systems (bottom-up synthetic biology) with the aim to rationalize physicochemical design principles of biological systems and to develop novel biotechnological applications. In this multidisciplinary work he combines his fascination for (bio)chemistry, mathematical modeling, microfluidics and complex systems. In 2012 and 2013 he was awarded a VENI and an ECHO-STIP grant respectively by the Netherlands Organization of Scientific Research (NWO). He is also core member of the Institute for Complex Molecular Systems (ICMS).
Prof. dr. Maarten Merkx is a researcher at our university. Not only does he conduct an interesting research about protein sensors, he also takes the time to lecture students at our university, including our team members. This year he is giving our team critical advise on how to achieve the goals we strive for. For a more extensive biography, click the arrow:
Maarten Merkx (1970) studied Physical Organic Chemistry and Biochemistry at the Radboud University Nijmegen (cum laude). He did his PhD with Prof. Averill (University of Amsterdam) working on purple acid phosphatases, and subsequently was a Human Frontier of Science Program post-doctoral fellow with Prof. Lippard (MIT) studying methane monooxgenases. Currently he is professor in protein engineering at the Eindhoven University of Technology.
An important research theme is to develop generic engineering concepts for the development of protein-based switches, which include fluorescent sensors for intracellular imaging of metal ions, photo-switchable proteins, and protein-based sensors for antibody detection. He obtained young investigator grants from the HFSP and NWO (VIDI, 2006) and an ERC consolidator grant in 2011. In 2012 he received the award for the best TU/e teacher at the master level.