If you made any changes in Pure these will be visible here soon.

Personal profile

Quote

Proteins are highly efficient and sophisticated macromolecular machines that run life. By engineering new proteins with new functions we go beyond the already impressive functional diversity of natural proteins, critically testing our understanding of protein function and developing new applications for proteins in therapy and diagnosis.

Research profile

Maarten Merkx is full professor at the department of Biomedical Engineering of Eindhoven University of Technology (TU/e), where he leads the research group Protein Engineering operating at the interface of chemical biology and synthetic biology. His research group combines approaches from protein engineering, chemical biology, and synthetic biology to develop biomolecular sensors and actuators for applications in intracellular imaging, point-of-care diagnostics, optogenetics, and antibody-based therapies. An important research theme is the engineering of biomolecular switches, which include fluorescent and bioluminescent sensor proteins for intracellular imaging, photo-switchable proteins, and protein- and DNA-based sensors for antibody detection and actuation.

Academic background

Maarten Merkx studied physical organic chemistry and biochemistry at the Radboud University Nijmegen (1995, cum laude). He did his PhD with Prof. Averill (1999, University of Amsterdam) working on purple acid phosphatases, and was an HSFP post-doctoral fellow with Prof. Lippard (MIT, 1999-2001). Currently he is a professor in protein engineering at the Eindhoven University of Technology, a core member of the Institute for Complex Molecular Systems (ICMS) and dean of the department of Biomedical Engineering.

 

He obtained young investigator grants from NWO (VIDI 2006), an ERC Consolidator grant in 2011, and an ERC Proof of Concept grant in 2014 and 2017. As the only Dutch scientist he was invited in 2015 to speak at the World Economic forum in a session on the future of synthetic biology. In 2017 he reached the media with his expertise on DNA computing, amongst others an article on wired.com. In 2019 he received an NWO Take Off grant to map the commercial possibilities of his glow-in-the-dark paper-based assays for point-of-care diagnostics. Furthermore, he was awarded multiple times as best teacher in the master’s program, and received the award for the best TU/e teacher at the master level in 2012. In November 2019, he became the dean of the TU/e department of Biomedical Engineering.

External positions

associate editor ACS Sensors, American Chemical Society

1 Oct 2016 → …

Network Recent external collaboration on country level. Dive into details by clicking on the dots.

Research Output 1999 2019

2 Citations (Scopus)

DNA-functionalized supramolecular polymers: dynamic multicomponent assemblies with emergent properties

Wijnands, S. P. W., Meijer, E. W. & Merkx, M., 2019, In : Bioconjugate Chemistry. 30, 7, p. 1905-1914

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articleAcademicpeer-review

Open Access
File
Polymers
DNA
Hybrid systems

Optical control of antibody activity using photocleavable bivalent peptide-DNA locks

Wouters, S., Wijker, E. & Merkx, M., 10 May 2019, In : ChemBioChem. 20, 19, p. 2463-2466 4 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

Open Access
File
Peptides
Antibodies
DNA
Ligands
Light
2 Citations (Scopus)

Ratiometric bioluminescent sensor proteins based on intramolecular split luciferase complementation

Ni, Y., Arts, R. & Merkx, M., 25 Jan 2019, In : ACS Sensors. 4, 1, p. 20-25 6 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

Open Access
File
Luciferases
proteins
Proteins
sensors
Sensors

Too creative for our own good: reframing sensors as chemical clickbait

Merkx, M., 28 Jun 2019, In : ACS Sensors. 4, 6, p. 1452-1452 1 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalEditorialAcademicpeer-review

Open Access
8 Citations (Scopus)

Accelerating DNA-based computing on a supramolecular polymer

Engelen, W., Wijnands, S. P. W. & Merkx, M., 1 Aug 2018, In : Journal of the American Chemical Society. 140, 30, p. 9758-9767 10 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

Open Access
File
Polymers
DNA
Benzene
Networks (circuits)
Molecular Computers

Prizes

Engineering protein switches: sensors and regulators for biology and diagnostics

Maarten Merkx (Recipient), 2011

Recognition: ERCStartingScientific

Protein Engineering
Proteins
Antibodies
Synthetic Biology
Ligands

Exploring the diagnostics market for simple and fast point-of-care antibody detection

Maarten Merkx (Recipient), 2013

Recognition: ERCProof of conceptScientific

Antibodies
Enzymes
Assays
Sensors
Allergies

Therapeutic antibody drug monitoring using bioluminescent sensors proteins and a smartphone

Maarten Merkx (Recipient), 2016

Recognition: ERCProof of conceptScientific

Luminescent Proteins
Drug Monitoring
Antibodies
Point-of-Care Systems
Biosimilar Pharmaceuticals

Courses

Biochemistry

1/09/12 → …

Course

DBL Entering the lab

1/09/13 → …

Course

DBL Entering the lab

1/09/13 → …

Course

iGEM project

1/09/14 → …

Course

Molecular biosensing

1/09/15 → …

Course

Student theses

19F MRI : methods and applications for quantitative molecular imaging

Author: Abdurrachim, D., 31 Oct 2008

Supervisor: Nicolaij, K. (Supervisor 1), Grüll, H. (Supervisor 2), Merkx, M. (Supervisor 2), Strijkers, G. (Supervisor 2), Lamerichs, R. M. (External coach), Yildirim, M. (External person) (External coach) & Kok, M. (Supervisor 2)

Student thesis: Master

Antibody detection based on a switchable reporter enzyme

Author: Aper, S., 29 Feb 2012

Supervisor: Banala, S. (Supervisor 1) & Merkx, M. (Supervisor 2)

Student thesis: Master

Antibody detection using FRET-based sensor proteins

Author: Kruis, I., 29 Feb 2012

Supervisor: Merkx, M. (Supervisor 1)

Student thesis: Master

Aß-dendrimer complexes as well-defined amyloid oligomers

Author: IJsselstijn, L., 31 Jan 2006

Supervisor: van Baal, I. (Supervisor 1), Merkx, M. (Supervisor 2), Meijer, E. (Supervisor 2), van Genderen, M. (Supervisor 2) & Scheper, W. (External person) (Supervisor 2)

Student thesis: Master

Bioluminescent antibody conjugates for direct detection of analytes in solution

Author: van Aalen, E., 28 Mar 2019

Supervisor: Ni, Y. (Supervisor 1) & Merkx, M. (Supervisor 2)

Student thesis: Master