Dr M. Rep (1968) has been appointed professor of Phytopathology at the University of Amsterdam’s (UvA) Faculty of Science, effective 1 June.
Martijn Rep’s research focuses on the interaction between plants and pathogens (phytopathology). His research group leads the international field in uncovering the molecular basis of the pathogenicity of the plant-pathogenic fungus Fusarium oxysporum. This fungus causes wilt disease or root-and/or bulb rot in many plant species that are important for agriculture and horticulture. His research includes the identification and characterisation of the genes and chromosomes that are necessary for pathogenicity, as well as the identification and molecular analysis of effectors: proteins that are secreted during host plant colonisation. In addition, his research seeks to unravel the effect of plant immune receptors at the molecular level and has recently grown in scope to include a better understanding of the interactions of plants with viruses and bacteria.
Rep co-created and developed the Bachelor’s course Molecular Cell Biology at the UvA. Earlier this year he obtained an Advanced University Teaching Qualification and now coordinates The Living Cell, a first-year’s course which forms part of the Bachelor’s programme in Biology.
As professor, Rep will focus on the dynamics of interactions between plants and microorganisms. The fundamental scientific focus is on the evolution of these interactions, which have given shape to both the genomic composition of plant-pathogenic microorganisms and plant immune systems. In addition, he will look to use his obtained insights to contribute, together with commercial partners and organisations, to a more efficient and environmentally friendly management of plant diseases.
Rep has been affiliated with the UvA since 2000. In 2010 he was appointed associate professor. Prior to this, he was, among other things, a fellow of the Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences (KNAW). Rep is the recipient of various grants, including a Vici Grant from the Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research (NWO).