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Dr B.H. ter Kuile (1956) has been named professor by special appointment of Microbial Food Safety and Antibiotic Resistance in the Food Chain at the University of Amsterdam’s (UvA) Faculty of Science. The chair was established on behalf of the Netherlands Food and Consumer Product Safety Authority (NVWA). Dr Ter Kuile will combine this chair with his position as scientific officer at the NVWA.

Prof Benno ter Kuile
Credits: Dirk Gillissen

For a number of years now, the Netherlands Food and Consumer Product Safety Authority and the UvA have been doing collaborative research on antibiotic resistance. The resistance of micro-organisms to antibiotics is steadily growing as a result of the increasing use of antibiotics in humans and meat production animals. Ultimately, this could lead to certain types of infectious diseases being untreatable because the sources of the infection have grown resistant to all available antibiotics.

In his capacity as professor by special appointment at the UvA, Benno ter Kuile will investigate the development of resistance due to exposure to various concentrations of antibiotics over time. He will also focus on the influence of external circumstances on the spread of resistant genes and the selection of resistance within food chains (e.g. livestock production). Ter Kuile will use his research to develop new dosage regimes, in which veterinary objectives (disease treatment and prevention) are achieved while at the same time ensuring that the development of resistance is kept to a minimum. Together with the department of Medical Microbiology at the Academic Medical Center (AMC), Ter Kuile is working on a similar theme applied to antibiotic treatment in people. Alongside his research work, Ter Kuile will lecture within the Bachelor’s and Master’s programmes in Biomedical Sciences.

Since 2001, Ter Kuile has worked as a scientific officer at the Netherlands Food and Consumer Product Safety Authority. He has been a visiting researcher and visiting lecturer at the UvA’s Swammerdam Institute for Life Sciences (SILS) since 2007. Prior to this, he was, among other things, a researcher at Leiden University and an assistant professor at The Rockefeller University in New York.