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CV Antoine van Oijen

Name: van Oijen, Antoine M. (updated August 2014)

Office Address: Zernike Institute for Advanced Materials

Centre for Synthetic Biology

University of Groningen

Nijenborgh 4, room 5115.0108

9747 AG Groningen

Work Phone: +31-50-363-9883

Work E-Mail:


1996 MSc Physics Leiden University, the Netherlands

2001 PhD Physics Leiden University, the Netherlands

(Cum laude; top 5%) (Adv.: Prof. Jan Schmidt)

Postdoctoral Training

2001-2004 Postdoctoral Research Fellow Chemistry and Chemical Biology Harvard University

(Adv.: Prof. X. Sunney Xie)

Faculty Academic Appointments

2004-2010 Assistant Professor Biological Chemistry and Harvard Medical

Molecular Pharmacology School

2010-present Full Professor Zernike Institute for Advanced Groningen University

Materials & Centre for Synthetic Biology

2015- Full Professor School of Chemistry University of Wollongong,


Other Professional Positions

2008-2010 Scientific Advisory Board Ion Torrent Systems (subsidiary of Life Technologies)

2012-present Council member (elected) Biophysical Society

2013-2014 Chairman of the Board Zernike Institute for Advanced Materials, Groningen Univ.

Honors and Prizes

2001 Postdoctoral fellowship Niels Stensen Foundation, the Netherlands

2002 Long-term postdoctoral fellowship Human Frontier Science Program

2002 C.J. Kok award for best doctoral thesis in sciences Leiden University, the Netherlands

2005 Armenise-Harvard Junior Faculty Award Giovanni Armenise-Harvard Foundation

2005 Searle Scholar Kinship Foundation

2006 CAREER Award National Science Foundation

2007 Research Scholar Award American Cancer Society

2011 Vici Award Dutch Science Foundation

2011 Young Researcher Award Dutch Society for Biochemistry and Mol. Biology

2011 ERC Starting grant European Research Council

2013 Physics Instructor of the Year Award University of Groningen, Physics

2015 Australian Laureate Fellow Australian Research Council

Editorial Boards

2008-present Advisory Board Molecular BioSystems

2010-present Editorial Board BMC Biophysics

2011-present Editorial Board Cell Reports

2013-present Editorial Board Biophysical Journal

2013-present Faculty member Faculty of 1000

Peer Reviewed Publications

67 articles, average impact factor 10.1

Including 4 articles in Nature, 2 in Science, 2 in Cell, 9 in PNAS, and 4 in Nature sister journals

Total citations: 4415, h-index: 31 (June 2014)

Research statement

Antoine van Oijen’s research centers on the development and use of single-molecule biophysical tools to study complex biochemical systems, an area in which he has made pioneering contributions. As a PhD student, he provided the first experimental demonstration of the ability to use the fluorescence of individual molecules to beat the classical diffraction limit (Chem. Phys. Lett. 1998). More than a decade later, this approach has become a key ingredient of single-molecule based PALM and STORM super-resolution techniques. Further, he performed the first high-resolution spectroscopic study of an individual protein (Science 1999). Since then, his research has focused on the development of single-molecule methods and their application to unravel biological mechanisms. He has developed tools to massively parallelize mechanical experiments on DNA (Science 2003), to combine mechanical experiments on DNA with the fluorescence imaging of single, DNA-bound proteins (PNAS 2011, PNAS 2014), and to visualize single molecules under conditions of high fluorophore concentration (Nature Meth. 2012).

Van Oijen has successfully utilized these techniques to address a large number of mechanistic questions related to DNA replication. Using viral and bacterial model replication systems, he studied how priming of DNA synthesis on one of the two product strands influences the progression of the synthesis on the other (Nature 2006; Nature Struct. Mol. Biol. 2008) and investigated the molecular mechanisms controlling the dynamics of so-called “replication loops” during the duplication of DNA (Nature 2009). Further, he used single-molecule fluorescence imaging methods to visualize DNA replication in eukaryotic cellular extracts (Mol. Cell 2010) and used this approach to end a longstanding controversy on how eukaryotic replicative helicases work (Cell 2011, Nature 2012). Currently, he is developing the tools to visualize the behavior of individual, fluorescently labeled molecules inside living cells. Using these approaches, he aims to understand the spatiotemporal relationships between DNA replication and repair.

Besides DNA replication, van Oijen is interested in a number of other biological problems and has developed single-molecule approaches towards the study of viral fusion (PNAS 2008, eLife 2013) and membrane transporters (Nature 2013). Finally, he has been closely involved in the development of next-generation DNA sequencing technology. He is co-inventor on the key patents underlying highly scalable semiconductor sequencing technology that is commercialized by Ion Torrent, a Life Technologies subsidiary (now Thermo Fisher). He made essential contributions to the concepts underlying the detection of the chemical signatures of nucleotide incorporation and their conversion into digital signals. This platform has been a remarkable success; it currently provides a significant portion of the volume of bases sequenced worldwide.