Royal decoration for Marileen Dogterom

News - 26 April 2023 - Communication TNW

Marileen Dogterom, Professor of Bionanosciences at the Faculty of Applied Sciences (AS) and president of the Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences (KNAW), was made a Knight of the Order of the Dutch Lion in the municipality of Woerden. The so-called ribbon is a reward for someone who has done groundbreaking (scientific) work for Dutch society.

Marileen Dogterom is an internationally acclaimed researcher in biomolecular and cellular physics. She leads the Dutch Consortium BaSyC (Building a Synthetic Cell) and is one of the initiators of the European Synthetic Cell Initiative, where researchers are trying to understand the processes of life by building an artificial cell. Her research focuses on the cytoskeleton: the system of microtubules that gives living cells their shape and strength, but which also plays an important role during cell division. In pioneering experiments late last century, Dogterom was the first to measure the push and pull forces exerted by these microtubules. She is one of the pioneers who made Dutch research in biophysics, bionanoscience and synthetic biology renowned worldwide.

The exceptional quality of her research is highlighted, among other things, by the award of an ERC Synergy Grant, one of the largest European research grants, in 2013 and the Spinoza Prize, the highest award in Dutch science, in 2018. Since 1 June 2022, she has been president of the Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences (KNAW).

Besides being an excellent scientist, Marileen Dogterom is also an inspiring leader. Characteristic of Marileen Dogterom is her enormous commitment to fundamental science, her approachability and her quality to connect people and matters, nationally and internationally. From January 2014 to January 2021, she was head of the department of Bionanoscience at Delft University of Technology, which grew from a small, young department to a mature, leading department for students and scientists during that period. She is an inspiring and committed research leader and has an extensive track record in attracting and mentoring talented undergraduates, Master’s students, PhD candidates, and postdocs. Marileen Dogterom is a great role model for many of Delft University of Technology's students and researchers!