Meet iGEM TU Eindhoven 2018!

Team Members

Tim van der Hek

Team Manager

Tim is the team manager for this team. This means that he is responsible for the general atmosphere of the team and keeps track of all of our deadlines. To keep everything running smoothly as a student team, he is also communicating with our university together with Sander. In the lab, Tim is part of the Cloning team of our lab squad and he is also part of acquisition. 70% of the time we know where he is and we can see him. The other 30%? Try looking in the vicinity of the coffee booth and you will find him.

Mick Verhagen


Also known as Mr Secretary, Mick keeps track of all of our mails and updates our agendas with the average four to six meetings we have per week of our various subgroups. When he is not writing lovely letters, Mick can be found in the lab as a part of the Adhesion team of the lab squad. However, not only the lab squad is happy with Mick, also our Human Practices team is happy to have Mick on the team. And how do we achieve all of our lovely collaborations with other teams? Via Mick, the Collaboration Captain.

Yahav Rave

Finance Manager

Yahav is the Treasurer of our team. He is responsible for all of our money, which allows us to go to Boston! In the lab, Yahav leads with Mick the Adhesin squad. Aditionally, we have elected him to present at the Giant Jamboree. He travels on his motorcycle every day to Eindhoven for the team and we are very happy that he does that because we are glad to have him on the team!

Bruno Eijkens

Safety Manager

The guy that is keeping us all alive, it is our own Safety Officer Bruno. Bruno is responsible for all of the paperwork that allows the team to work with the biological materials required. Also he has done the Interlab studies for us. Right now, he is assisting Pim with Modeling and is part of our Human Practices squad.

Mariska Brüls

Biobrick Captain

Mariska is our Biobrick Captain. This means that she is responsible for all of the biobricks that we are handing in. Obviously, she is part of the Biobrick subgroup of our lab squad. She is also very fond of going to the gym and drinking tea.

Guido Oerlemans

Lab Captian

Guido is one of our two Lab Captains in charge of managing the lab work. He is almost never in the office but can always be found in the synthesis lab working on the hydrogel or the biolab working on the biobricks and protein expression.

Maxime van den Oetelaar

Lab Captain

Maxime, the other one of the two Lab Captains, is also in charge of managing all lab work. When not working on the planning of all experiment, she can be found in both the synthesis lab or in the biolab. Except for managing the lab work, she also plays an important role for the hydrogel synthesis, biobrick design, and protein expression experiments.

Laura van Hazendonk

Human Practices Manager

Laura is our lovely vegan Human Practices Manager. When she is not in the lab for the Cloning team, she can be found either at her desk on her laptop typing, or she is traveling to somewhere in the Netherlands to talk to a stakeholder or expert on the field that we are working on. She is the smallest person on the team but that does not matter, we love her anyway and is our favorite lawnmower.

Simone Twisk

Sponsor Coordinator

A project like iGEM would be nowhere without funding, and that’s what we have Simone for. Simone is our Sponsor Coordinator and is thus coordinating the Acquisition team to fund our project. She is also part of the Cloning team, Human Practices squad and is one of our two bachelor students. Side note, will eat Nutella without mercy and cookies are not safe around her either.

Weizhou Xing

Wiki Manager

Weizhou (or Tony as we call him) is our Wiki Captain. Without him, creating our wiki would have been much more difficult. Staying up late is daily business for Weizhou as the wiki requires a lot of time. Nonetheless we are very happy with him on the team!

Pim Joostens

Modeling Captain

Pim is our Modelling Captain and is therefore usually found behind his laptop. He is also helping Weizhou design the wiki and is in charge of the design of logos and banners. If Pim is not behind his laptop, he will either be at the coffee both next to Tim, or studying the science of nuclear fusion. In the lab he is assisting Maxime and Guido in the hydrogel team.

Sander Keij

Public Relations

To promote our project and organize events, we have Sander who is in charge of Public Relations. Organizing a Mini Jamboree, talking to newspapers and communicate between the University, our team and the other student teams Daily tasks for our PR guy. Next to PR, he is part of the Acquisition team and in the lab he can be found in the Cloning team. As Vice-Chairman he is also assisting Tim in managing the team. However on Thursday he can be found in the bar to serve beers to the rest of team. Thanks for that Sander, we need to relax as well!


Dr. E. (Emilien) Dubuc

Emilien is a Postdoc in the department of Biomedical engineering and the Institute for Complex Molecular Systems (ICMS). His research focuses on the development of novel regulatory gene networks using in vitro transcription-translation systems. Emilien is a meticulous and systematic researcher and an enthusiastic instructor. During the many hours he has spent with us in and outside of the lab we have gained the skills and knowledge necessary to accomplish our project. Click to read his biography.

Dr. Emilien Dubuc (1987) was born in Talence, France, and studied biochemistry and biophysics at the University of Bordeaux. In 2017, he received his PhD under the supervision of Pr. Wilhelm Huck at the Radboud University Nijmegen, The Netherlands. His work in cell-free synthetic biology focused on the development of novel regulatory networks using ribonucleases and repressor proteins. Currently performing his postdoctoral research in the group of Tom de Greef, he is interested in using the dCas9 protein as a universal repressor for the development of complex regulatory functions in vitro and in bacteria.

Dr. Shuaiqi Guo (Phil)

Phil is a Postdoc in the chemical biology group and the Institute for Complex Molecular Systems (ICMS). His research focuses on the Ice Binding Protein. His work on these proteins formed the foundation of our project. We spent a lot of time in the lab together and Phil has spent countless hours supervising and guiding us in and outside of the lab. We got to know Phil as a creative scientist with many innovative ideas. A more detailed description can be found here. Click to read his biography.

I performed my PhD research under the guidance of Prof. Peter Davies At Queen’s University in Canada. My research focused on determining the structure of a giant 1.5-MDa protein that facilitates the bacterial biofilm formation. My postdoctoral research in the Voets' group involves the use of protein engineering and synthetic biology approaches to study ice-nucleation/ antifreeze proteins/materials. In addition, I am also conducting research related to bacterial adhesins which are required for the formation of bacterial biofilms. Biofilms cause over 80% of the chronic bacterial infections. I am using a structure-guided approach to rationally design small molecules to block biofilms formed by these pathogens.

Supervisors L. (Luc) Brunsveld

Prof. dr. ir. Luc Brunsveld is a professor at our university. His main fields of research are mainly concerning chemical biology, like Biochemistry or Molecular Cell Biology. Besides lecturing students, he conducts research concerning protein-protein interactions. He also advises us during our iGEM project, which we are more than happy with! Click to read full biography.

Luc (Lucas) Brunsveld (1975) received his PhD degree in 2001 under supervision of prof. Bert Meijer at the Eindhoven University of Technology. Topic of the thesis was the self-assembly of designed molecules into helical architectures in water. Subsequently, he moved as a Humboldt fellow to the Max Planck Institute of Molecular Physiologie, Dortmund, to work on the protein semi-synthesis and evaluation of lipidated Ras GTPases in the group of prof. Herbert Waldmann. From 2003-2004 he worked as a group leader in the medicinal chemistry department of Organon (now Schering-Plough) in Oss, on nuclear receptor medicinal chemistry.
End of 2004 Luc Brunsveld received the Sofja Kovalevskaja Award from the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation, with which he established his own research group at the MPI of Molecular Physiologie, Dortmund, beginning 2005. He worked on the combination of supramolecular chemistry with protein biochemistry and cellular biology, generating new approaches to modulate biological processes. In 2006 he became group leader at the Chemical Genomics Centre of the Max Planck Society, Dortmund. Here he was working on the chemical biology of nuclear receptors to understand and modulate the nuclear receptor-cofactor interaction, in close collaboration with Bayer-Schering Pharma, Merck-Serono, and Schering-Plough. In the middle of 2008 Luc Brunsveld received an ERC starting grant and became full professor in chemical biology in the Department of Biomedical Engineering at the Eindhoven University of Technology. In his research Luc Brunsveld uses chemical biology approaches to study protein-protein interactions. Two general themes are: 1) Supramolecular Architectures are being pursued as instruments to modulate protein-protein interactions and 2) the Nuclear Receptor – Cofactor interaction is being investigated as a specific protein-protein interaction with many unsolved questions, possibly amendable via chemical biology.

Prof.dr. M. (Maarten) Merkx

Prof. dr. Maarten Merkx is an expert on protein sensors and leads the research group Protein Engineering operating at the interface of chemical biology and synthetic biology This year he is giving our team critical advice on how to achieve the goals we strive for. Click to read full biography.

Maarten Merkx studied physical organic chemistry and biochemistry at the Radboud University Nijmegen (1995, cum laude). He did his PhD with Prof. Averill (1999, University of Amsterdam) working on purple acid phosphatases, and was an HSFP post-doctoral fellow with Prof. Lippard (MIT, 1999-2001). Currently he is a professor in protein engineering at the Eindhoven University of Technology and a core member of the Institute for Complex Molecular Systems (ICMS). His group combines approaches from protein engineering, chemical biology, and synthetic biology to develop biomolecular sensors and actuators for applications in intracellular imaging, point-of-care diagnostics, optogenetics, and antibody-based therapies. An important research theme is the engineering of biomolecular switches, which include fluorescent and bioluminescent sensor proteins for intracellular imaging, photo-switchable proteins, and protein- and DNA-based sensors for antibody detection and actuation. He obtained young investigator grants from NWO (VIDI, 2006) and an ERC consolidator grant in 2011. In 2012 he received the award for the best TU/e teacher at the master's level.. Prof. Merkx has published 115+ research papers and is associate editor for ACS Sensors. T.F.A. (Tom) de Greef Tom de Greef is an expert at modelling dynamic systems and synthetic circuits. Tom assisted us with the modelling part, gave us feedback and helped us find the information we need for our project. This often results in enough reading material to fill your day. Click to read full biography.

Dr. Ir. Tom de Greef (1980) was born in Eindhoven, the Netherlands, and studied at the University of Eindhoven (TU/e), where he received his MSc degree in Biomedical Engineering cum laude in 2004. He completed his PhD at the Department of Chemistry at the same university in 2008 with professors E. W. Meijer and R. P. Sijbesma, working on novel polymeric materials based on quadruple hydrogen bonding motifs. Subsequently, he moved to the Biomodeling and Bioinformatics group headed by prof. P. A. J. Hilbers at the Department of Biomedical Engineering (TU/e), studying self-assembling systems from a computational perspective. He also became assistant professor at this department in 2010. In 2013, Tom de Greef was a visiting scholar in the group of Prof. D. Weitz (Harvard) working on protein affinity screening using droplet microfluidics. Current research themes are centered on the engineering of artificial cellular systems (bottom-up synthetic biology) with the aim to rationalize physicochemical design principles of biological systems and to develop novel biotechnological applications. In this multidisciplinary work he combines his fascination for (bio)chemistry, mathematical modeling, microfluidics and complex systems. In 2012 and 2013 he was awarded a VENI and an ECHO-STIP grant respectively by the Netherlands Organization of Scientific Research (NWO). He is also core member of the Institute for Complex Molecular Systems (ICMS).