About us

Our lab is composed of a multidisciplinary team of international scientists with backgrounds in quantitative biology, (bio)chemistry, or (bio)physics. We are hardworking, passionate people that work efficiently together to unravel how the molecular process of replication happens in real time. If you want to know who is who in the lab, scroll down and get to meet us…

(@[TUD] must be transcribed as @tudelft.nl ; @[STU-TUD] must be transcribed as @student.tudelft.nl)

Group Leader

Prof. Dr. Nynke Dekker

Principal investigator – Physics and Biophysics

Nynke Dekker obtained her B.Sc. cum laude from Yale University (with majors in both physics and in applied mathematics), an MSc cum laude in physics from Leiden University, and a prestigious PhD in physics from Harvard University. This was followed by a postdoctoral period at the Ecole Normale Supérieure in Paris in which she transitioned into her present passion, biological physics. She became faculty at TU Delft in 2008, where she rapidly rose from Assistant Professor to Full Professor. Her main research focus lies on understanding the dynamics of DNA and RNA replication at the molecular level by combining single-molecule biophysical and biochemical approaches. (see more)

Room F1.490
+31-(0)15-27 83219

Administrative support

Tracey de Ruijter

Management Assistant

Room F1.020
+31-(0)15-27 82416

Research and technical staff

Dr. Theo van Laar

Staff scientist – Molecular Biology and biochemistry

Theo’s (PhD Leiden University) background is in biochemistry, molecular biology and cell biology. Before joining the Nynke Dekker lab in 2013, he had been working in fundamental cancer research in the University of Leiden, the Netherlands Cancer Institute, Utrecht University Medical Center and Leiden University Medical Center. In between, he spent  three years in Zambia at the Chilonga Mission Hospital(Mpika) where he was involved in training and supervision local laboratory staff.

Room E0.540
+31-(0)15-27 86489

Dr. Humberto Sánchez

Staff scientist – Biochemistry and biophysics

Humberto obtained his PhD in Molecular Biology and Biochemistry from the ‘Centro de Biología Molecular Severo Ochoa’ in Madrid. Before joining the Nynke Dekker Lab, he was a  postdoctoral researcher at the  ‘National Center for Biotechnology’ in Madrid and Marie Curie fellow at the ‘Erasmus Medical Center’ in Rotterdam. (see more)

Room E0.500
+31-(0)15-27 83552

Dr. Kaley McCluskey

Postdoc – Molecular Biology  and biophysics

Kaley received her PhD from the University of St. Andrews, Scotland, where she used single-molecule Förster Resonance Energy Transfer (FRET) to study the ligand recognition mechanism of the lysine riboswitch. She joined the Nynke Dekker Lab in 2017 to study the assembly and activation of the eukaryotic replisome. In 2018, she received the prestigious Marie Curie Fellowship to further investigate the forces and torques involved during the DNA replication process.


Room E0.500
+31-(0)15-27 83552

Dr. Dorian J. Mikolajczak

Postdoc – Chemistry

Dorian received his PhD in chemistry from Freie Universität Berlin, Germany, where he developed and studied peptide-gold nanoparticle conjugates as artificial enzymes for green chemistry applications. He then joined the Nynke Dekker lab in 2020 to focus primarily on the advancement of surface modifications and tethering strategies for single molecule experiments.

Room E0.520
+31-(0)15-27 85394

Dr. Zhaowei Liu

Postdoc – starting fall of 2021

Dr. Belén Solano Hermosilla

Staff scientist – Biophysics, engineering, and management

Belén obtained a MSc in Physics by the University of Zaragoza, Spain, a PhD in Microsystems Engineering by the University of Durham, UK, and was a postdoctoral researcher at the French Atomic Commission, France. After holding different positions in both industry and academy, ranging from hands-on research work and lecturing to management, she became lab manager in the Nynke Dekker lab in 2015.

Room E0.540
+31-(0)15-27 86489

Dr. Edo van Veen

Staff scientist – Physics and biophysics

Edo received his PhD in computational condensed matter physics from Radboud University Nijmegen, the Netherlands, focusing on large-scale simulations of 2D materials such as graphene. He then worked as a data scientist for one year in industry, before joining the Nynke Dekker Lab as programmer and data analyst.

Room E0.520
+31-(0)15-27 83552

Dr. Richard Janissen

Postdoc / lecturer – Molecular biology and biophysics

Richard studied Molecular Biology and obtained his PhD in Physical Chemistry in the lab of Prof. Claus Seidel, Germany, developing single-molecule methods to probe biomolecular interactions and enzyme dynamics. He then studied the interplay between bacterial cellular and molecular processes in the Cotta lab in Brazil. In the Nynke Dekker Lab, Richard achieved breakthroughs in bacterial transcription, RNA virus recombination, and chromosome phase separation. He currently also lectures in the TUD/EMC Nanobiology program. (see more)

Room E0.520
+31-(0)15-27 85394

Dr. Serge Vincent

Postdoc – Physics and biophysics

Serge received his PhD in Physics from the University of Exeter, researching techniques to characterise single molecules at the Living Systems Institute. There he focused on light-matter interactions at the nanoscale mediated by photonic-plasmonic resonators. He joined the Nynke Dekker lab in 2020, where he is now exploring de novo nucleosome formation in the context of chromatin replication at the single-molecule level.

Room E0.540
+31-(0)15-27 86489

PhD candidates

M.Sc. Daniel Ramirez Montero

PhD candidate – Biochemistry and biophysics

Daniel completed his B.Sc in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology at Brown University (Providence, USA). He then worked for AstraZeneca Pharmaceuticals (Waltham, USA) for two years before doing his M.Sc. in Biology at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (Cambridge, USA), where he discovered his passion for single-molecule biophysics. At the Nynke Dekker Lab, Daniel combines ensemble biochemical approaches, correlative single-molecule force and fluorescence spectroscopy and single-molecule TIRF microscopy to study eukaryotic DNA replication. Outside the lab, Daniel is a classical singer and pianist, and loves to explore the natural wonders of his native Mexico. 

Room E0.500
+31-(0)15-27 83552

M.Sc. Louis Kuijpers

PhD candidate – Artificial virology and biophysics

Louis obtained a B.Sc. in Life Science and Technology studying the chromosomal organization of E. coli. After that he graduated with an M.Sc. in Life Science & Technology, which included an honours programme, a double specialization in Cell Factory and Biocatalysis, and the winning design in the LST Design competition (2016). During his M.Sc. thesis project in the Nynke Dekker Lab in TU Delft, he performed biophysical characterization of an RNA-dependent RNA polymerase (RdRp). The latter sparked his interest in the field of virology from both a biophysical and a biochemical point of view. The main goal of his PhD project, realized jointly with the Institute for Translational Vaccinology (Intravacc), is to develop and biophysically characterize poliovirus-like particles for vaccine purposes.

Room E0.520
+31-(0)15-27 85394

BEP and MEP students

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Jelle van Keimpena

University of Wageningen MEP Student

jelle.vankeimpema ‘at’ wur.nl

Simona Lu

LST MEP Student 


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Katinka Ligthart

Hogeschool Rotterdam BEP Student


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Dennis Kenbeek

Nanobiology BEP Student 


Elise Perton

Nanobiology BEP Student


Thomas de Ruijter

Hogeschool Rotterdam BEP Student

Xiao Niu

LST MEP Student


Lars van den Biggelaar 

Nanobiology BEP Student 


Elena Radul

Exchange Student

E. Radul@[STU-TUD]

Fiona Horne

Nanobiology BEP Student 


Georgiana Spătariu

Nanobiology BEP Student


Vincent Kruit

Nanobiology BEP Student