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Prof. dr. W.J. (Willem) Stiekema

Faculteit der Natuurwetenschappen, Wiskunde en Informatica
Swammerdam Institute for Life Sciences
Fotograaf: onbekend

  • Science Park 904
  • Postbus 94215
    1090 GE Amsterdam
  • Profile

    Curriculum vitae

    Prof. dr. Willem J. Stiekema (1950) graduated in Biology in 1975 at the University of Amsterdam and defended his Ph.D thesis (Title: Maturation of Bacilli ribosomal RNA) in 1980 at the VU University Amsterdam. After a two year postdoctoral fellowship at the Biology Department of the University of Los Angeles in California, USA where he worked on light regulation of gene expression in Lemna, he accepted a postdoc position at the Laboratory of Molecular Biology at Wageningen University to start research on genes involved in nodulation of soybean.
    In 1986 he became head of the Department of Genetic Modification of Plants of the research institute ITAL and in 1989 head of the Department of Molecular Biology of Centre for Plant Breeding and Reproduction Research in Wageningen. In 1999 he accepted the position of manager of the Business unit Genomics of Plant Research International ( www.pri.wur.nl ) and became professor in Genome Informatics with special emphasis on plant genomics at Wageningen University .

    In 2002 he was appointed director of the Centre for BioSystems Genomics (CBSG; www.cbsg.nl ) which is a public private partnership involving universities, research institutes, companies and branch organisations and one of the centres of excellence of the Netherlands Genomics Initiative. CBSG focuses on the improvement of the quality and production of potato, tomato and Brassica vegetable crops to the benefit of man and the environment.

    In 2009 he moved from Wageningen back to the University of Amsterdam and VU University Amsterdam as professor of Bioinformatics and founding dean of the Amsterdam Graduate School of Science ( www.agss.nl ).

    July 1, 2010 he was appointed director of the Swammerdam Institute for Life Sciences ( www.science.uva.nl/sils ) and professor of Bioinformatics at the Faculty of Science of the University of Amsterdam.

    Other activities

    Since1986 he was coordinator of and partner in numerous EU Research Programs. In 2006 he became coordinator of the EU- SOL Integrated Research Project EU- SOL ( www.eu-sol.net ) that accomodated over 70 international partners. He was also actively involved and member of the steering committees of both the international Tomato and Potato Genome Sequencing Initiatives.

    He was member of the BBSRC Advisory Committee on Integrative and Systems Biology, the Scientific Advisory Board of the German plant genomics research program GABI ( www.gabi.de ), the Technology Platform 'Plants for the Future' ( www.epsoweb.org ), the ERA Plant Genomics Program Board ( www.erapg.org ) and the Health Council of The Netherlands  ( www.gezondheidsraad.nl/en ; 2002-2012),

    Currently he is member of the:

    • University Committee on Research of the University of Amsterdam ( www.english.uva.nl/about_the_uva/object.cfm/4E5F2FD9-4162-4ACC-872588EB59CBA5A6 )
    • Steering Committee of the Netherlands Bioinformatics Centre ( www.nbic.nl ),
    • Kerngroep Flowers & Food of the Amsterdam Economic Board ( www.iamsterdam.com/nl/economic-development-board ),
    • Steering Committee Biosolar Cells ( www.biosolarcells.nl )
    • Supervisory Board of Photanol BV ( www.photanol.nl )

    Research output
    He has over 140 scientific publications and filed 12 patent applications, three of which have been granted. His research group was an early partner in the Arabidopsis Genome Project and participated in determination of the DNA sequence of the genome of the model plant Arabidopsis thaliana that was published in 2000. His group was one of the firsts to show the potential of transposon insertion mutagenesis in Arabidopsis and was involved in cloning the first nematode resistance genesfrom sugar beet and potato. His group also cloned the first resistance gene from potato against Phytopthora infestans , the cause of the Irish famine in the 19th century, with promises for durable application in the field.

    Swammerdamn Institute for Life Sciences
  • Publications

    Key publications

    Transposon tagging of a male sterility gene in Arabidopsis thaliana. M.G.M. Aarts, W.G. Dirkse, W.J. Stiekema, A. Pereira (1993) Nature 363,715-717

    Reduced position effect in mature transgenic plants and their offspring conferred by the chicken A-element. L. Mlynarova, A. Loonen, W.J. Stiekema, J.P. Nap (1994) The Plant Cell 6, 417-426.

    Adaptation of Spodoptera exigua larvae to plant proteinase inhibitors by induction of gut proteinase activity insensitive to inhibition. M.A. Jongsma, P.L. Bakker, J. Peters, D. Bosch, W.J. Stiekema (1995) Proc Natl Acad Sci USA 92, 8041-8045.

    Positional cloning of a gene for nematode resistance in sugar beet. D. Cai, M. Kleine, S. Kifle, H-J. Harloff, N.N. Sandal, K.A. Marcker, R.M. Klein Lankhorst, E.M.J. Salentijn, W. Lange, W.J. Stiekema, U. Wyss, F.M.W.Grundler, C. Jung (1997) Science 275, 832-834

    Bacillus thuringiensis toxin mediated insect resistance in plants. Maagd, Ruud A. de, Dirk Bosch & Willem Stiekema (1999) Trends in Plant Science 4(1), 9-13.

    Homologues in a single resistance gene cluster in potato genes confer resistance to distinct pathogens: a virus and a nematode. Vossen E.A.G. van der, J. Rouppe van der Voort, K. Kanyuka, A. Bendahmane, H. Sandbrink, D. Baulcombe, J. Bakker, W.J. Stiekema, R. Klein Lankhorst. (2000) Plant Journal 23, 567-576

    The Arabidopsis Genome Initiative. Analysis of the genome sequence of the flowering plant Arabidopsis thaliana (2000)   Nature 408: 796-815

    An ancient R gene from the wild potato species Solanum bulbocastanum confers broad-spectrum resistance to Phytophthora infestans in cultivated potato and tomato. Vossen E   van der, Sikkema A, Hekkert BTL, Gros J, Stevens P, Muskens M, Wouters D, Pereira A, Stiekema W, Allefs S. (2003) Plant Journal 36: 867-882

    In plants, highly expressed genes are the least compact. Ren, X.Y., Vorst , O., Fiers, M.W.E.J., Stiekema, W.J., and Nap, J.P. (2006).Trends in Genetics 22, 528-532

    High-resolution chromosome mapping of BACsusing multi-colour FISH and pooled- BAC FISH as a backbone for sequencing tomato chromosome 6. Szinay Dóra, Chang Song-Bin, Khrustaleva Ludmila, Peters Sander, Schijlen Elio, Stiekema Willem, van Ham Roeland, de Jong Hans, Klein Lankhorst René (2008) Plant Journal 56, 627-637.

    The Tomato genome sequence ptrovides insight into fleshy fruit evolution. The Tomato Genome Consortium (2012) Nature 485, 635-641

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