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Special Chairs

We have several professors by special appointment. They combine a function outside SILS with their work here as part of a long term research collaboration between SILS and their respective companies or research institutes. These special chairs provide a valuable contribution to the teaching and research at SILS.

  • Roderick Beijersbergen: Functional Genomics

    NKI, Amsterdam (the Netherlands)

    Group leader Signaling networks in cancer at the Netherlands Cancer Institute, Amsterdam, the Netherlands

    Roderick Beijersbergen's research group focuses on the development and application of large-scale screening technologies for the identification of novel targets for cancer therapy. With the development of the pooled screening technology, originally for RNA interference and more recently implemented for CRISPR/CAS9 screening, it is now possible to manipulate all genes in the human genome to study their role in cancer cell behaviour and therapy response. The use of these screening platforms has yielded important findings including novel cancer drug targets, insights in mechanisms of resistance and the identification of enhancers of response to targeted therapy. This has led to new oncology drug combinations currently tested in the clinic.

  • Sander Bohté: Cognitive Neurobiology

    Centrum Wiskunde & Informatica (CWI), Amsterdam

    Scientific Staff Member at CWI. Sander Bohté's research focuses on the interface of artificial intelligence and neurobiology. He researches deep neural networks and machine learning from a biological perspective and develops computational models in order to gain a better understanding of the underlying mechanisms of information processes in biological neural networks.

    Affiliated to: Cognitive and Systems Neuroscience

    Prof. dr. S.M. (Sander) Bohte

    Special chair: Cognitive Neurobiology, specialising in Computational Neuroscience

  • Jaap van Buul: Molecular Cell Biology of Cell Migration

    Sanquin, Amsterdam (the Netherlands)

    Group leader at Sanquin. Research interests: Signalling pathways that facilitate leukocyte passage across endothelial monolayers. The current focus is directed to small GTPases, such as Rac1, RhoA and RhoG that play an important role in the integrity of the endothelial monolayer.

    Affiliated to: Molecular Cytology

    Prof. dr. J.D. (Jaap) van Buul PhD

    Special Chair: Molecular Cell Biology of Cell Migration

  • Saskia Hogenhout: Molecular Plant-Microbe-Insect Interactions

    John Innes Centre, Norwich (UK)

    Project leader at the John Innes Centre, Norwich, UK

    Saskia Hogenhout’s research focuses on understanding the mechanisms that drive interactions between plants and insects and the role of microbes in these interactions. She is particularly interested in aphids, whiteflies, leafhoppers and other sap-feeding insects of the order Hemiptera. The saliva of these insects contains virulence factors (effectors) that modulate plant responses and aid insect colonisation. The research focuses on the identification and functional analysis of these insect effectors and on finding their targets in the plant.

    Prof. dr. S.A. (Saskia) Hogenhout

    Special Chair: Molecular Plant-Microbe-Insect Interactions

  • Jeroen Hugenholtz: Industrial Molecular Microbiology

    CTO/Co-founder NoPalm Ingredients

    Founded in 2020, NoPalm Ingredients is on a mission to help companies and product manufacturers around the globe work with a sustainable, circular alternative to palm oil. They invest in knowledge and quality and constantly test and improve their product to deliver the highest standard possible. 

    "Jeroen is our fermentation guru. With career long expertise in academia and commercial organizations, he helps the R&D team to make giant strides."

    Affiliated to: Molecular Biology and Microbial Food Safety

    Prof. dr. J. (Jeroen) Hugenholtz

    Special chair: Industrial Molecular Microbiology

  • Inge Huitinga: Neuroimmunology

    NIN and Hersenbank, Amsterdam (the Netherlands) 

    Group leader at NIN. Inge complements the research of SILS with research into neuroimmunology and immune reactions in the central nervous system during the development, health and pathological conditions of the brain, with the focus on human brain research and MS.

    Prof. dr. I. (Inge) Huitinga

    Special chair: Neuroimmunology

  • Kees Jalink: High-Resolution Microscopy
  • Benno ter Kuile: Microbial Food Safety and Antibiotic Resistance in the Food Chain

    NVWA (the Netherlands)

    Senior advisor microbiology at the Netherlands Food and Consumer Product Safety Authority, Ministry of Economic Affairs

    All bacteria, pathogenic commensal or environmental, that are exposed to non-lethal concentrations of antibiotics acquire resistance to these compounds. Antibiotic resistance causes considerable extra costs and suffering in human patients. Some of the resistance encountered in human pathogens has originally been selected for in the agricultural sector. Our group studies in laboratory models such as chemostats how bacteria become resistant to antibiotics, what exposure regimes lead to how much resistance and how therapeutic goals can be reached while creating minimal resistance.

    Affiliated to: Molecular Biology and Microbial Food Safety 

    Prof. dr. B.H. (Benno) ter Kuile

    Special Chair: Microbial Food Safety and Antibiotic Resistance in the Food Chain

  • Marcel Prins: Phytopathology

    Keygene, Wageningen (the Netherlands)

    Vice President Vegetable Crops at KeyGene, Wageningen, The Netherlands

    "In my research chair, I focus on the interplay between plants and plant viruses. How can tiny viruses - often encoding not more than five proteins - carry out all the many complex functions that are needed for their own reproduction and spread and deal with plant defenses at the same time?"

    Affiliated to:  Molecular Plant Pathology

    Prof. dr. M.W. (Marcel) Prins

    Special Chair: Phytopathology (in particular Plant virology)

  • Titia Sijen: Forensic Human Biology

    Netherlands Forensic Institute (NFI), Den Haag

    Titia is teamleader Research at NFI. As professor at the UvA, Sijen will be conducting research into human forensic biological traces. This will include DNA research methods for searching, selecting, securing and identifying biological traces, including mixed biological traces. One of the main focuses will be on developing methods for clearly identifying crime-related cellular material, with epigenetic profiling possibly playing an important role. The ultimate goal is to be able to apply the research results in forensic practice.

    Dr. ir. L.M.T. (Titia) Sijen

    Special chair: Forensic Human Biology