The Netherlands

Wageningen University & Research, Plant Sciences Group, Bioinformatics Chair Group

Assistant Professor, Bioinformatics

Bioinformatics Group
Wageningen University
Droevendaalsesteeg 1
6708 PB Wageningen




Background and expertise of the representative

Marnix Medema is an Assistant Professor in Bioinformatics at Wageningen University. His group develops and applies computational tools to accelerate natural product discovery. During his PhD studies, Medema developed antiSMASH, which has become the de facto standard software for natural product biosynthetic gene cluster (BGC) identification (±80k downloads, ±375k web server jobs and >2,200 citations since 2011 for all four papers combined). During a period at the University of California, San Francisco, he co-initiated a systematic analysis of BGCs across prokaryotes, published in Cell in 2014. During postdoctoral work at the MPI for Marine Microbiology in Bremen, aided by a prestigious NWO Rubicon grant, he coordinated a major community effort, involving >80 research groups worldwide, to standardize and systematize BGCs for known natural products (published in Nature Chemical Biology). In 2015, he set up his group in Wageningen, supported by an NWO Veni and several other grants. Medema has received several prizes for his work, including the NBIC Young Investigator Award. He is a member of the editorial board of Natural Product Reports (IF: 10.7), has functioned as guest editor for MDPI Computation and FEMS Microbiology Letters, co-chaired an international workshop on ‘Genomes to Secondary Metabolites’ at the DOE Joint Genome Institute, and is a member of the scientific advisory board of Hexagon Bio (Menlo Park, CA). His current research group consists of 3 postdoctoral researchers, 5 PhD students and 5 MSc students. He has published 54 papers since the start of his PhD studies in 2009 (23 until the end of his PhD in 2013 and 31 as postdoc and PI since 2014), which result in a current h-index of 27 (Google Scholar). In the past three years, Dr. Medema has acquired around 2 million euros of funding for his group, and he functions as coordinator of two international research consortia (±1M EUR budget and 5 partners each) in the area of natural product discovery.

Organisation profile

Wageningen UR has a global reputation for its ground-breaking research and innovative education in the fields of food and health, sustainable agrosystems, the rural environment, and societal development - all of which make an essential contribution to the quality of life, i.e. the supply of safe and healthy food and drink, on the one hand, and the chance to live, work and play in a balanced ecosystem with a large variety of plants and animals on the other.

Within Wageningen UR, the Plant Sciences Group (PSG) brings together science education and scientific, strategic and applied research in the fields of biology, of plants in relation to their environment, of plant-related organisms and of plant production.

The Bioinformatics Group within PSG is a rapidly expanding research group, which focuses on fundamental and applied bioinformatics research in the life sciences. In particular, they develop and apply novel computational methods for the analysis and integration of –omics data. The group has a strong track record in genome analysis, algorithm development and tool construction. There are many national and international collaborations with researchers studying microbial and plant metabolism, biotechnology and genomics.

Contribution to the network

Marnix Medema will actively participate in the network, and will contribute particularly by providing his expertise regarding bioinformatics technologies that support the antibiotic discovery process.