Welcome to Tessa Sinnige

On September 1st 2020, Tessa Sinnige has started at MBB as Assistant Professor.
Tessa studies protein aggregation using C. elegans as a model organism.
You can read more about her research on Tessa's MBB profile page and the website of the Sinnige lab.

Three vacancies are avaliable at the Sinnige lab for the C. elegans project:
Vacancy for Analist (in Dutch)
Two vacancies for PhD candidate (in English)

Welcome to master students Odette Lijding and Rogier Morsen

Odette is supervised by Adrian Kopf in the Nanodisc project.
Rogier from is supervised by Barend Elenbaas in the Amyloid Membrane Interaction project.

Odette and Rogier both started in September 2020 at MBB.

Visit Eveline Koch primary school

Eveline Koch, MBB’s research technician, visited primary school Fatima in IJsselstein last February 2020. Eveline entertained the youngest classes with various fascinating chemical experiments. The visit was organized because of the school theme ‘Laboratory & Experiments’. The children were incredibly enthusiastic and impressed.

Welcome to Maik Derks

In February 2020, PhD candidate Maik started working on the 'Optimization of antibiotics targeting Lipid II' research under supervision of Eefjan Breukink (MBB) and Markus Weingarth (NMR).
Via determining the structure of antibiotic-Lipid II complexes to the atomic detail, information on the mechanism of action is gained. This will lead to novel ideas how to optimize the structure either chemically or via modern chemoenzymatic or bioconjugation methods, such that novel and improved antibiotics are obtained.

ICBL2020 in Utrecht - October 2020 - CANCELED due to the Coronora virus restrictions

The 61st International Conference on the Bioscience of Lipids will be held in Utrecht from Sunday October 18 till Wednesday October 21, 2020.
The theme of ICBL2020 is: "Emerging Lipid Technologies – from molecular species to health and disease".
The meeting will include plenary lectures by established and young scientists, the Van Deenen lecture, poster presentations and opportunities for networking.

ICBL2020 Conference website

Chinese New Year 2020

On January 24th 2020, MBB celebrated Chinese New Year!
Our colleagues Yang, Min, Xiaoqi and Xue prepared delicious Chinese dishes. We had a very nice meal where everyone could taste Chinese specialties.

Joao Medeiros Silva defended his PhD thesis cum laude

On Wednesday November 13th 2019, Joao successfully defended his PhD thesis cum laude with the title: "Towards the physiologically relevant state with high-resolution solid state NMR". Congratulations Joao!
Joao had a close collaboration with Eefjan Breukink during his PhD research.

Welcome to master students Roy van Beekveld , Mick van der Weijde and Ronald Dennis Siaden Ortega in November 2019

Roy will be supervised by Eefjan Breukink and his research subject is "Identification and structural characterization of antibiotics from fungi that act at the level of Lipid II".
Mick is supervised by Joseph Lorent and his research subject is "Effect of plasma an reactive oxygen species on membranes".
Ronald will be supervised by Adrian Kopf in the "SMALP project".

Mike Renne defended his PhD thesis

On Wednesday June 26th 2019, Mike successfully defended his PhD thesis with the title: "On the role of lipid sysnthesis and transport in dictating acyl chain composition in yeast".

Welcome to Barend Elenbaas

In July 2019, PhD candidate Barend started working on SMALP and amyloids at MBB group.

Succesful Biomembrane Advanced Lecture Course - June 2019

Eefjan Breukink ands Linda Kumeling have organized a succesful edition of the FEBS-EMBO lecture course on "Molecular Organization, Function and Dynamics of Biomembranes" from June 10th till June 20st 2019 at Cargèse Corsica.

Welcome to Joseph Lorent

On May 1st 2019, Joseph started working at MBB as assistant professor on the plasma project.

SMALP User Meeting & Workshops

Antoinette Killian successfully organized the annual SMALP User Meeting held in Utrecht on Friday April 26, 2019. The latest developments were discussed in polymer chemistry, methods and applications of SMA copolymers in membrane biology, biophysics and structural biology. New alternatives for SMA were also explored.
Martijn Koorengevel and Adrian Kopf successfully organized 2 SMALP workshops for a limited number of participants in the MBB laboratory on Thursday 25th and on Monday 29th of April. The participants learned more about SMALPing and native nanodiscs.

SMALP User Meeting Website

Welcome to master student Lotte Manenschijn

Lotte started her internship at MBB in March 2019 under supervision of Eefjan Breukink.

New interdisciplinary research program on non-thermal plasmas

The strategic Alliance between Eindhoven University of Technology, Utrecht University and UMC Utrecht has funded a multidisciplinary research program involving the generation and application of non-thermal plasmas to combat bacterial infections and cancer. Within MBB the molecular mechanisms underlying the bactericidal and tumoricidal activity of cold atmospheric plasmas will be investigated with a special focus on the role of membranes. (June 2018)

Welcome to research technician Eveline Koch

On November 1st 2018, Eveline started at MBB as research technician for the plasma project.

Eefjan Breukink co-published Nature Communications article

For the first time, researchers have been able to observe the mode of action of a promising class of alternative antibiotics directly in bacterial cellular membranes. Until now, such studies could only be done in less relevant media, such as organic solvents or micelles. The approach developed could provide important clues to design drugs for combatting drug-resistant bacteria. Their findings already suggest novel clues to improve the activity of nisin, the most popular antibiotic of this class. The study, led by Markus Weingarth (NMR) and Eefjan Breukink (MBB), is published in Nature Communications.
Press Release

Welcome to PhD candidate Min Xie

On October 1st 2018, Min started her PhD research under supervision of Antoinette Killian in the plasma project.

NWO-ECHO grant for Eefjan Breukink

Eefjan Breukink has received a NWO-ECHO grant together with NMR colleague Markus Weingarth to study the “high resolution structures of novel antibiotics in their natural environment in order to overcome antibacterial resistance”. They will study the mode of action of novel antibiotics in their natural environment: the bacterial target membrane. For this they will use state of the art NMR technology available in the Bijvoet center. (May 2018)

FEBS Summer Fellowship Grant for Mike Renne

In May 2018, Mike was awarded a FEBS Summer Fellowship, which he will use to visit the lab of Dr. Christer Ejsing at the University of Southern Denmark. Mike will be trained in high resolution mass spectrometry techniques and data processing for lipidomics and work on a collaborative project to quantify the fluxes through PE and PC lipid biosynthetic pathways in yeast.

MBB moved to 8th floor of Kruyt building

The Membrane Biochemistry & Biophysics research group and lab successfuly moved within the Kuyt Building. From now on, you can find us in the South wing of the 8th floor at the Padualaan 8 in Utrecht.

Xue Bao PhD thesis defense

On Wednesday March 28th 2018, Xue successfully defended her PhD thesis with the title: "Characterization of Saccharomyces cerevisiae suppressor mutants devoid of the membrane lipid phosphatidylcholine".

Juan Dominguez Pardo defended his PhD thesis

On Monday March 19th 2018, Juan successfully defended his PhD thesis with the title: "Insights into membrane solubilization by styrene-maleic acid copolymers".

Bacterial Cell Envelope Meeting organized by Eefjan Breukink

On Thursday March 15th and Friday March 16th 2018, Eefjan Breukink organized the Bacterial Cell Envelope Meeting in Utrecht. Staff and PhD candidates from the universities of Amsterdam, Groningen, Leiden and Utrecht gave lectures and participated in the meeting.

NWO-ECHO grant awarded to Toon de Kroon

On December 20th 2017, Toon received an ECHO grant from ENW-NWO to investigate the mechanism that allows a yeast suppressor mutant to survive without the abundant and essential membrane lipid phosphatidylcholine.

Sabine Oppedijk defended PhD thesis

On Wednesday October 25th 2017, Sabine Oppedijk succesfully defended her PhD thesis with the title: "Identification, purification and elucidation of the mode of action of (novel) antimicrobial substances".

Welcome to PhD candidate Adrian Kopf

Adrian Kopf started his PhD reserach on synthetic polymers that can solubilize membranes in the form of nanodisks per October 1st 2017.

Presentation Prize Mike Renne

PhD candidate Mike Renne has won the prize for best presentation at the Science4Life conference on 25 September 2017 with the title "Crosstalk between membrane lipid unsaturation and inter-organelle lipid transport".

NWO-ECHO grant for Antoinette Killian

Antoinette Killian has been awarded with a NWO ECHO grant for research on synthetic polymers that can solubilize membranes in the form of nanodisks.

FEBS EMBO Lecture Course by Eefjan Breukink

Eefjan Breukink succesfully organized the FEBS-EMBO lecture course on "Molecular Architecture, Dynamics and Function of Biomembranes" from June 12th till June 21st 2017 at Cargèse Corsica. You can read more about the course at this webpage.

Kees van Walree in the media

Kees van Walree did research for the Dutch television program Radar about the placebo effect of `irradiated water` that bio energetic therapists sell to their clients. Video from minute 12:37.

PhD Defense for Jonas Dörr

Jonas Dörr succesfully defended his thesis on Wednesday the 22nd of March 2017 at the University Utrecht. His thesis is titled: `Membrane solubilization by styrene-maleic acid copolymers: towards new applications in membrane protein research.

Cover picture of recent paper by Inge van't Veer

The inside cover picture shows a schematic representation of the creation of a protein with a site specifically incorporated unnatural amino acid containing an azide functionality by using nonsense suppression mutagenesis. For this work Inge won the poster price at a recent Bijvoet Symposium.
-cf E. Breukink et al. (DOI: 10.1002/cbic.201600461).

Phd Defense for Stefan Scheidelaar

We congratulate Stefan Scheidelaar, who defended his thesis succesfully on Wednesday the 26th of October 2016 at the University Utrecht. His thesis was titled: Solubilization of lipids and membrane proteins into nanodiscs. Mode of action and applications of SMA copolymers.

Yang Xu started in our group

We welcome Yang Xu to our group as a new CSC grant student. He will be working under the supervision of Eefjan Breukink on the topic of antibacterial compounds that act specifically at the outer membrane of Gram-negative bacteria.

We congratulate Yao Liu, who defended her thesis succesfully on Monday 30th of May at the University Utrecht

Thesis title: 'Towards novel antibacterial development – from peptidoglycan to lipoprotein biogenesis'

Joost Ballering successfully defended his thesis in the Academiegebouw of the University Utrecht.

Title thesis: 'Molecular insights into the mechanism of sensing and signal transduction of the thermosensor DesK'

Eefjan Breukink is featuring in a article of C2W life science and Medicines

In C2W life sciences edition 5 (18 March 2016) and Medicines edition 1 (February 2016), Eefjan Breukink is featuring in an article: The Achilles heel of the cell membrane of bacteria , written by Tim Vernimmen. In these articles Eefjan explains what the benefits are for exploring and understanding the workings of the cel membranes of the bacteria; for instance in the discovery of new antibiotics.

Inge van 't Veer defended her thesis succesfully on Wednesday 16th of March 2016 in the 'Academiegebouw' at Utrecht

Title thesis: 'Peptidoglycan synthesis in Escherichia coli from a PBP1b perspective'


Membrane Biochemistry and Biophysics is part of the Department of Chemistry of Utrecht University, The Netherlands. It is part of both the Institute of Biomembranes and the Bijvoet Center

Please feel free to contact us if you have any questions or if you would like to participate in our research. Please visit the specific PI or contact our secretary to help you on your way.

Get in Touch

  • Phone:
    0031 30 253 3966
  • Email:
    Secretariaat MBB
  • Address:
    Padualaan 8
    3584 CH Utrecht