Douwe van Sinderen APEX

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Douwe van Sinderen






1988                 BSc Biochemistry, RijksUniversiteit Groningen (RUG), The Netherlands

1990                 MSc Molecular Biology, RUG, The Netherlands

1994                 PhD degree in Molecular Genetics, (RUG), The Netherlands

Present and previous positions:

2016-present     Full Professor, Personal Chair of Molecular Microbiology, School of Microbiology, UCC

2007-2016         Professor, School of Microbiology, UCC

2004-2007         Senior Lecturer, Department of Microbiology, UCC

1998-2004         College Lecturer, Department of Microbiology, UCC

1996-1998         EMBO long-term Fellow, Department of Microbiology, UCC

1994-1996         Senior Research Scientist, National Food Biotechnology Centre, UCC

1994                 Postdoctoral scientist, Department of Molecular Genetics, RUG.

Research outputs: Co-authored over 350 peer-reviewed publications (of which two co-authorships in Nature, eight in PNAS USA and two in ISME Journal), contributed to 17 book chapters, was co-editor of 2 books, and am listed as inventor on 12 patents/patent filings.

h-index, according to Web of Science: 61 (using ‘core data bases’, and ‘van sinderen d or vansinderen d’ as author search terms); according to Google Scholar: 69.

RESEARCH INTERESTS: Broadly speaking my interests in research are:

  • Bacteriophage-host interactions, in particular virion structure-function and its relevance to host recognition and DNA injection
  • Bacteriophages and their impact on gut microbiota (in particular the infant gut)
  • Molecular details of microbe-host interactions in the human gut, and their impact on health, with specific emphasis on bifidobacteria
  • Carbohydrate metabolism of bifidobacteria and its relevance to the development of novel functional foods
  1. OF GRADUATE STUDENTS COMPLETED: 31 PhD and 12 MSc students have graduated under my (co-)supervision, while I am currently listed as a (co-)supervisor for 12 registered PhD students.


PhD thesis was awarded the distinction “cum laude” (in the Dutch system only ~2% of these receive this distinction); PhD thesis was awarded the SNS-bank/RUG dissertation prize.

Awarded long term EMBO fellowship

Science Foundation Ireland (Principal) Investigator Award (since 2004, renewed in 2008 and again in 2014).


  • Former member of the Novel Foods Subcommittee which was established by the Irish Food Safety Authority to advise on matters relating to the use of novel food products.
  • Former member of the Health and Life Science panel of the Technology Foresight Committee, Irish Council for Science, Technology and Innovation
  • Associate Editor of the scientific journal Microbiology 2000-2005
  • Member of the editorial board of the scientific journal Microbial Biotechnology 2007-2016
  • Former member of the editorial board of the scientific journal PeerJ 2012-2015
  • Have acted as member of over 20 PhD examination committees (in a variety of countries: The Netherlands, Belgium, France, Italy, Sweden, Norway, South-Africa, and Spain).
  • Member of the Executive Management Group of the APC Microbiome Institute (overall research budget in excess of €75M) [which meets (nearly) every week]


Since 1996 a total grant income (to directly fund my research group) of over €20M has been secured from a wide range of funding sources (national, EU, industry, philantropic) over 80 different grants/awards).


I have given over 80 research seminars at international conferences and symposia in various capacities (invited speaker, key note, plenary speaker), acted as a chairperson at several scientific meetings/conferences, while my scientific work has been represented through a large number of posters/abstracts (>200). I have recently acted as the organizer and Chair of the 4th Propiobifido Symposium (Cork, Sep 20-23, 2016;

Contact details: E-mail:; Tel: +353 21 4901365