Molecular Life Sciences
The collaboration initiative 'Molecular Life Science' carries out fundamental biological research as well as technology development, offering the Swammerdam Institute the advantage of making a wide range of technical facilities available to its researchers. The 'Mass Spectrometry of Biomacromolecules' group focuses on developing methods for mass spectrometric measurement of a variety of biomacromolecules, while the 'Biosystems Data Analysis' group deals with the resulting data (amongst many other data).
Mass spectrometry is essential to characterise proteins and to analyse the relationship between the structure and function of a protein (proteomics). Bio-informatics also plays an important role in this by efficiently analysing the data streams. Bioinformatics and data analysis are essential to collect, compare and integrate all available data, and to present them to the researchers in a way that the information is summarised and the underlying biological processes are visualised.
Also participating in this collaboration are the plant groups. Plants are the world's primary source for food, raw materials for industry, and they provide the oxygen we breathe. Although the health of plants is constantly challenged in both natural and agronomic ecosystems, plants can master most challenges. In the collaboration initative 'Molecular Life Sciences' we aim to unravel the molecular mechanisms of resistance against pathogens and insects, and to study the cellular signal transduction pathways controlling stress responses in general. Knowledge of the genetics and biochemistry of these processes can be translated into improvement of agricultural crops and plant protection schemes.
The plant research groups participate in the Centre for BioSystems Genomics (CBSG), one of the four centres of excellence of the Netherlands Genomics Initiative. To further strengthen the ties in the Amsterdam area, the Amsterdam Platform for Plant Science has been launched. The plant research groups have a tradition in collaborating with industrial partners, mainly plant breeding companies. These research groups operate within the national graduate school Experimental Plant Science (EPS).
The Green Life Sciences study programme gives you the opportunity to combine training in the theoretical and practical aspects of chemical ecology, ecogenomics, biotechnology, plant breeding, phytopathology, cell biology, biochemistry and population biology. This enables students to develop an integrated view of the functioning of plants.