John van der Oost

Wednesday 3rd July, 15:15-16:15
- CRISPR-Cas – from evolution to revolution

John van der Oost (1958) is a molecular microbiologist who obtained his PhD at the Free University of Amsterdam (1989). After postdoc positions at Helsinki University and EMBL-Heidelberg he returned to Amsterdam in 1992 with a KNAW fellowship. Since 1995 he is group leader of the Bacterial Genetics group in the Laboratory of Microbiology at Wageningen University. Initially the group focused on the discovery of unique metabolic features of Archaea and Bacteria. Apart from biochemical characterization of key enzymes and regulatory proteins, genomics research was initiated of selected hosts and their viral invaders (genomics, transcriptomics and proteomics). When John was appointed Full Professor (2005), 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, ERC-PoC). In addition, he is PI of the NWO gravitation project (2017) that aims at Building a Synthetic Cell. He has been coordinator of an EU project and a Marie Curie Research Training Network. John 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). He is author of >350 peer-reviewed scientific papers (>49,000 citations), and has an H-index of 97. He is inventor on >35 patent-applications, co-founder/advisor of NTrans Technologies (human gene therapy), advisor of SCOPE Biosciences (pathogen diagnostics), and advisor of Hudson River Biotechnology (plant biotech). In 2018 he received the Spinoza prize (NWO), in 2020 the Lennart Philipson Award (EMBL), and in 2022 the Outstanding Achievement Award of the Neth. Soc. Gene & Cell Therapy (NSGCT). With respect to outreach, John is Chair of the "Microben Club" and member of the Editorial Board of Microcanon/Mighty Microbes, popular books on the beauty of microbiology (freely distributed to NL High-schools). John actively participates in debates on genome editing in food crop applications and in human gene therapy.


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