Marileen Dogterom was trained as a theoretical physicist at the University of Groningen. She was a PhD student in Paris and Princeton until 1994 and then a postdoc at Bell Labs. In 1997 she started her own independent research group in experimental biophysics at the FOM Institute AMOLF in Amsterdam, where she was a group leader and later department head until 2014. Since then she has been professor and chair of the department of Bionanoscience at the TU Delft. Her main interest is in the reconstitution of cellular machineries in artificial confinement, with the ultimate goal to build a synthetic cell.