Industrial Microbiology



The Industrial Microbiology (IMB) section seeks to understand how micro-organisms perform in existing and novel industrial processes and, based on this understanding, to improve microbial performance and design new microbial processes.

Microorganisms are already indispensable for large-scale production of fermented food products, chemicals and biofuels. In the 21st century, the need to replace oil-based products by sustainable alternatives poses new scientific challenges to industrial microbiology. At the same time, fast progress in genomics and synthetic biology offers unprecedented possibilities to study and engineer microorganisms.  

Our research is based on integration of quantitative physiology (systems biology) with molecular techniques (genomics, synthetic biology). Our infrastructure includes over 30 bioreactor set-ups for controlled cultivation, as well as state-of-the-art molecular biology, sequencing and flow cytometry/cell sorting equipment.

Our model organisms are mostly yeasts, including laboratory and industrial strains of Saccharomyces cerevisiae, hybrid brewing strains and ‘non-conventional’ yeast species. In addition, we regularly work on other microbes, ranging from the antibiotic-producing fungus Penicillium chrysogenum to acetic acid bacteria.

Recent highlights from our research include the successful engineering of bakers’ yeast for the production of bioethanol from pentose sugars (now commercialized by DSM), development of new strategies for modular engineering of central metabolism and pioneering research on yeast physiology at near-zero growth rates.

Our collaborations involve academic partners in the Netherlands and abroad. In a number of research projects, we intensively collaborate with major biotech industries (including Heineken, DSM and Amyris).

The Industrial Microbiology section is actively involved in the Delft-Leiden BSc and MSc programmes on Life Science and Technology. We are happy that many students choose to perform their research projects in our group.


Principal Investigators

Permanent Staff

Technician Analytics

Marijke Luttik

Room 58.B0.310
+31 15 278 2410
Technician Molecular Biology

Clara Carqueija Cardoso

Room 58.B0.310
+31 15 27 86040
Technician Fermentation

Erik de Hulster

Room 58.B0.230
+31 15 27 89968
Technician Bioinformatics

Marcel van den Broek

Room 58.B0.370
+31 15 27 89895
Project technician

Philip de Groot

Room 58.B0.170
+31 15 278 7450
Research Scientist

Ewout Knibbe

Room 58.B0.230
Technician Fermentation

Cristiaan Mooiman

Room 58.C0.590
+31 15 27 84101

Jannie Kempff-Gruwel

Media and Sterilization Support staff
+31 15 27 87160

Apilena Sapioper

Media and Sterilization Support staff
+31 15 27 81219

Gea du Chatenier-de Bruijn

Media and Sterilization Support staff
+31 15 27 81219
Practical Education Coordinator

Steven Pilon

Room 58.B1.350
+31 15 27 89776
Fermentation Technician Education

David Evers

Room 58.B1.350
+31 15 27 84727

Management assistant

Management Assistant

Susan Bastiaans

Room number: 58.B1.100