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.
Maarten Merkx is full professor at the department of Biomedical Engineering of Eindhoven University of Techology (TU/e), where he leads the research group Protein Engineering operating at the interface of chemical biology and synthetic biology. An important research theme is to develop generic engineering concepts for the development of protein-based switches, which include fluorescent sensors for intracellular imaging of metal ions, photo-switchable proteins, and protein-based sensors for antibody detection. Combining protein engineering and DNA nanotechnology the group develops intelligent biomolecular sensors and switches for applications in intracellular imaging, optogenetics, point-of-care diagnostics and antibody-based therapies.
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 and a core member of the Institute for Complex Molecular Systems (ICMS). His 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. He obtained young investigator grants from NWO (VIDI, 2006) and an ERC consolidator grant in 2011. In 2012 he received the award for the best TU/e teacher at the master's level.. Prof. Merkx has published 115+ research papers and is associate editor for ACS Sensors.
Ratiometric bioluminescent sensor proteins based on intramolecular split luciferase complementationACS Sensors (2019)
Paper-based antibody detection devices using bioluminescent BRET-switching sensor proteinsAngewandte Chemie - International Edition (2018)
Protease-activatable scaffold proteins as versatile molecular hubs in synthetic signaling networksACS Synthetic Biology (2018)
Accelerating DNA-based computing on a supramolecular polymerJournal of the American Chemical Society (2018)
First impact factor for ACS sensors - 5.711ACS Sensors (2018)
- Project Molecular biology
- Protein engineering
- Molecular biosensing
- iGEM project
- Molecular cell biology
- Chemical biology
No ancillary activities