Micro-organisms and underground marketplaces

11 April 2019 from 16:10 to 17:30 hrs
+31 20 551 0782
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Two lectures about micro-organisms, their genetic material, and their clever trade and cooperation strategies.

Public part of programme (starting at 4.10 p.m.)


  • John van der Oost, Professor of Molecular Biology / Bacterial Genetics at Wageningen University & Research – CRISPR/Cas and its revolutionary  profits for science and society
  • Toby Kiers, Professor of Evolutionary Biology, VU Amsterdam – Microbial markets and their parallel with economic markets

Microbiologist John van der Oost and his research group were the first to explain the mechanism behind the CRISPR-Cas immune system in bacteria a decade ago. Van der Oost’s findings are helping to drive the development of gene therapy, i.e. the repair of genetic disorders.

Evolutionary biologist Toby Kiers studies how fungi and plant roots in the soil cunningly apply the laws of supply and demand. She examines how they develop ‘underground marketplaces’ that are very similar to our own market economy.


This afternoon event is being organised by the Academy’s Natural Sciences and Engineering Domain. The programme is divided into two parts: a private part (3.30 - 4.00 p.m.) and a public part (4.10 -5.30 p.m.). 

The language of communication during the public portion is English.