Fascinated by the complexity of biological systems, my research aims at bringing understanding on how microbes respond to their environment and at using this knowledge to turn cells in powerful factories. My research focuses on the fantastic model eukaryote and industrial yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae, with a growing interest for ‘non-conventional’ yeasts. My research is articulated around two major themes, the study of central carbon metabolism and its regulation, and uncoupling growth from product formation. My projects integrate a broad range of approaches (e.g. quantitative physiology, genomics, cell biology) and of techniques either from our own section (e.g. molecular biology toolbox, cultivation in bioreactors, transcriptome analysis, fluorescence microscopy, FACS, etc.) or in collaboration (e.g. proteomic, metabolomics). Realizing that the limited genetic accessibility of S. cerevisiae was hampering the study of its central carbon metabolism, I ventured in the field of synthetic biology a few years ago. I developed a new research line aiming at constructing yeast platform that enable to rapidly and easily remodel essential pathways. This ambitious research line has recently gained momentum thanks to the support of an ERC Consolidator grant.
To animate the Dutch Biotech community I chair the joint Microbial Biotechnology section of the KNVM and Microbial Physiology workgroup of the NBV. With a group of motivated board members we organise a one-day fall meeting on the theme of Microbial Biotechnology, taking place on a yearly basis on the first Monday of November.
Since 2014 I am senior editor at the international journal FEMS Yeast Research.