Members and contact

For any questions, problems or comments please contact us. The best way is to talk to one of our members, otherwise send an email to: or visit our facebook page: SILS PhD/PD Council Facebook page




Anoeska van de Moosdijk (chairman & communications, 2014-)

Anoeska is a PhD student in the department of Molecular Cytology. She works on identifying the mammary stem cell niche. In addition, she uses CRISPR technology to modify genes implicated in Wnt signal transduction with the goal of visualizing Wnt signalling in real time.

Gerrald Lodewijk (vice-chairman & events, 2012-)

Gerrald is a PhD student in the Molecular Neuroscience group of Prof. Marten Smidt.

Edward de Koning

Edward de Koning ( 2015- )

Edward is a PhD student in the Bacterial Cell Biology & Physiology group of Prof. Leendert Hamoen.


Marc Galland

Marc Galland (seminars, 2014-)

Marc is a postdoctoral researcher in the Department of Plant Physiology at the SILS (group of Dr. Petra Bleeker). He is trying to improve insect resistance of cultivated tomatoes by introducing genes from wild tomato species. These wild tomatoes grow in South America and are naturally producing insect-toxic secondary metabolites. Introducing these 'natural insecticides' into cultivated tomatoes should help to protect them against insects without the use of chemical insecticides. As a member of the PhD/PD council, he gathers people from different fields at seminars and special scientific events.

Ruud Korver

Ruud Korver (Webmaster, 2016 - )

Ruud is a PhD student in the group of Plant Cell Biology. His research focuses on the mechanism behind the directional growth changes in the plant root upon encountering salt.

Ruy Kortbeek

Ruy Kortebeek (2016 - )

Ruy is a PhD student in the Plant Physiology group. His passion lies in deciphering the secrets of the Plant trichomes.

Till Bey (minuteman, 2015- )

Till is a PhD student in the group Plant Development and (Epi)genetics of Ronald Koes. Under supervision of Paul Fransz he investigates the relation between nuclear organisation and flower development in the model plant Arabidopsis thaliana




Maryam Soleimani Dodaran (2016 - )

Yorick van de Grift (2017 - )

Former Members:

Christian Linke (webmaster, 2014-2016)

Christian is a postdoc in the Synthetic Systems Biology and Nuclear Organisation group. His major research  focus is to unravel the role of forkhead transcription factors in the regulation of cell cycle in Saccharomyces cerevisiae. Specifically, he investigates origin activity which is a crucial step for the replication of genetic material in S-phase.

Paula van Kleeff (Events, 2014-2016)

Ada Anna Dattoli (Communication & Events, 2012-2014)

Ada is a developmental biologist and her primary interest is learning about the relationship between embryonic development and tumorogenesis. It is known that many of the genes utilized during embryonic morphogenesis are also active during cancer metastasis. Her research uses the small translucent sea anemone, Nematostella vectensis to investigate the role of these genes in an evolutionary framework.

Sacha Stelder (Secretary & Events, 2012-2014)

Sacha is combining the fields of two research groups within SILS by studying members of the pathogenic food-spoilage bacteria of the Bacillus cereus group on a proteome level. These bacteria can form a dormant cell type called endospores which are extremely resistant to common techniques used in food processing such as heat or acid treatment.

S. Andreas Angermayr (vice-Chairman & Webmaster, 2013-2014)

Andreas was investigating metabolic engineering principles in cyanobacteria towards direct CO2 based bulk chemical (and biofuel) production via photosynthesis. He did this by modifying the cyanobacterium Synechocystis, employing synthetic biology. He was a PhD student in the Molecular Microbial Physiology group of Klaas Hellingwerf.

Sofia Kanatsou (chairman, communications & SILS-seminars, 2012-2014)

Sofia was a PhD student in the department of neuroscience and pharmacology at the university of Utrecht as well as in the department of cellular plasticity of the nervous system at the University of Amsterdam. Her doctoral research is focused on elucidating the effects of stress hormones on the brain. Using a transgenic mouse model, she is particularly interested in how stress hormones affect neurogenesis and learning and memory capabilities under stressed and non-stressed conditions.

Clemens J. Heilmann (Chairman & Communication, 2010-2012 )

Clemens worked on his PhD thesis in the Mass Spectrometry (MS) Group and the Molecular Biology and Microbial Food Safety (MBMFS) Group of SILS. He investigated the wall proteome of the human fungal pathogen Candida albicans and hoped to identify new targets for vaccines and antifungals as well as new diagnostic markers.

Fleur Gawehns-Bruning (Communication & Events, 2010-2012 )

Fleur worked as a PhD-student in the Plant-Pathogen Interactions group of SILS. Here she tried to unravel the role effectors play in facilitating the infection of tomato plants through their roots by the soil-dwelling fungus Fusarium oxysporum.

Femke S. den Boon (Communication & Events, 2010-2011)

Femke worked in the Center for NeuroScience (CNS) Group of SILS. For her PhD she looked with electrophysiological tools into the role that endocannabinoids play in synaptic transmission with a particular focus on the prefrontal cortex.

Jeroen B. van der Steen (vice-Chairman & Secretary, 2010-2012)

Jeroen was a PhD student in the Molecular Microbial Physiology (MMP) group. He worked on several aspects of the general stress response (GSR) in the common soil-bacterium Bacillus subtilis. His focus was on the roles of photoreceptor proteins and a large complex called the 'stressosome' in the network that regulates the GSR.

Michael Marlatt (treasurer & events, 2010-2011 )

Michael as a PhD student working on neurobiology and neuropathology in the Center for Neuroscience. His research topics included activity and pharmacology-dependent activation of endogenous neural stem cells. His work focused on developing preventative and therapeutic strategies for treating Alzheimer disease.

Martijn Bekker (SILS-seminars & Events, 2010-2011)

Martijn worked in the Molecular Microbial Physiology Group of SILS. He investigated the physiology of catabolism in Lactococcus lactis, Escherichia coli and Saccharomyces cerevisiae.

Oskar Bruning-Gawehns (vice-Chairman, SILS-seminars & Webmaster, 2010-2013)

Oskar worke at the MicroArray Department (MAD) of SILS. His PhD work focused on finding ways to optimize  the whole pipe-line in (transcript-)omics experimentation using the role of p53 in the mechanistic response to UV radiation as a biological use case. Furthermore, he also functioned as Manager Service Unit and support bioinformatician.

Alex Ter Beek (SILS-seminars, Webmaster, 2010-2013 )

Alex was doing his second postdoc in the Molecular Biology and Microbial Food Safety (MBMFS) group. In his STW-project called: Targeted Inhibition of Bacterial Spores (TIBS), he tried to better understand the molecular mechanisms that are important for germination & outgrowth of spores under (mild) stress conditions. With this insight it is possible to identify new targets that help to prevent the germination & outgrowth of food-spoilage Bacilli in food-products using milder preservation techniques.

Reuben Smith (Inter-council liason & Communication, 2012-2013 )

As a PhD candidate in the group Molecular Biology and Microbial Food Safety (MBMFS) Reuben studied stress and toxicity induction by therapeutic drugs. Mitochondrial dysfunction is a common consequence of drug use, especially with drugs used to treat HIV infected individuals. To address fundamental questions he applied Caenorhabditis elegans as a model organism.

He assisted in the PhD freshman course ‘Mastering your PhD’ and is also a member of the FNWI PhD council, where he strives to improve education of PhDs.

Marijn Schouten (Events, 2011-2013)

Marijn was a PhD student in the group of Prof.Dr. Paul J. Lucassen under the supervision of Dr. Carlos P. Fitzsimons at the Center for Neuroscience, University of Amsterdam. His PhD project is entitled: Glucocorticoids and molecular control of adult hippocampal neurogenesis.

Iris Hövel (Inter-council liason & Communication, 2012-2014)

Iris was a PhD student in the Synthetic Systems Biology and Nuclear Organization Group (SSB-NOG) of Hans Westerhoff. Under supervision of Maike Stam and Paul Fransz she investigates genome organization in the model plants Thales cress and maize. Her studies focus on the relationship between chromosomal interactions and gene expression throughout plant development.

Dorota Kawa (events, 2013-2014 )

Dorota was a PhD student in the Plant Physiology group.

Philipp E. Savakis (secretary & events, 2013-2014)

Philipp was a PhD student in the Molecular Microbial Physiology group of Prof. Klaas Hellingwerf. His research topic is: The ‘Photanol approach’: using cyanobacteria to produce butanol.

Ricardo Paap (vice-chairman & events, 2012-2015)

Ricardo was a PhD student in the Molecular Neuroscience group of Prof. Marten Smidt. His extraordinary skills in organizing events were greatly appreciated.


Published by  Swammerdam Institute

16 June 2017