John van der Oost


Spinoza winner 2018 | WUR, NL

John van der Oost obtained his PhD at the Free University (Amsterdam 1989). After postdoc positions at Helsinki University and EMBL-Heidelberg he returned to Amsterdam in 1992 with an KNAW fellowship. Since 1995 he is group leader of the Bacterial Genetics group in the Laboratory of Microbiology at Wageningen University. John was appointed Full Professor in 2005.

The first ten years, his group focussed on discovery of novel enzymes, pathways and regulatory systems, using integrated approaches of molecular genetics/genomics, biochemistry and laboratory evolution. From 2005 onwards, a new research line was initiated, addressing microbial host-virus interactions, including CRISPR-Cas and Argonaute (selected grants: NWO-VICI, NWO-TOP (2x), ERC AdG). In addition, he is PI of the NWO gravitation project (2017) that aims at Building a Synthetic Cell. He was elected as member of EMBO (2013), the Royal Netherlands Academy for Arts and Sciences (KNAW, 2017), the Royal Dutch Society for Science and Humanities (KHMW, 2019), and the Academia Europaea (2019). In addition of being an author of >300 peer-reviewed scientific papers, he is inventor of >30 patents, co-founder/advisor of NTrans Technologies and advisor of SCOPE Biosciences and Hudson River Biotechnology. In 2018 he received the Spinoza prize (NWO), and in 2020 the Lennart Philipson Award (EMBL).

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