Personal profile


Dr. Bert van Loo studied Molecular Sciences at Wageningen University (1994-1999) and obtained his PhD in Biochemistry from the University of Groningen in 2006 (Supervisor: Prof. Dick Janssen). In 2005 he moved to the department of Biochemistry of the University of Cambridge to work as a post-doc in the lab of Prof. Florian Hollfelder. After a short stay at Uppsala university in Sweden in 2013 he moved to the institute for Evolution and Biodiversity at the University of Münster in Germany where he was a post-doctoral project leader within the Molecular Evolution and Bioinformatics group of Prof. Erich Bornberg-Bauer until 2019. In January 2020 he joined the department of applied sciences at Northumbria University as a senior lecturer in Biochemistry.

His main interests are within the wider theme of adaptive enzyme evolution and harnessing knowledge from in vivo adaptation to inform protein engineering strategies. He is studying the evolution of substrate specificity between phospho- and sulfohydrolases, as well as the evolution of enzymes that degrade environmental pollutants.

Research interests

Dr. Bert van Loo’s main interests are within the wider theme of adaptive enzyme evolution. He studies both natural and artificial laboratory enzyme evolution, with particular interest in the adaptive evolutionary processes in relation to substrate specificity. He uses several model systems for these studies, most prominently the divergent evolution of phospho- and sulfohydrolases in the alkaline phosphatase and metallo-β-lactamase superfamilies. In addition to the latter, he is also looking into the evolution of enzymes that degrade xenobiotic compounds, in particular man-made environmental pollutants such as halogenated hydrocarbons and plastics. In addition to studying the evolution of these enzymes, both in nature and in the laboratory, he aims to harness the knowledge from in vivo adaptation to inform protein engineering strategies.

Education/Academic qualification

Biochemistry, PhD, Molecular Engineering of Epoxide Hydrolase for Biocatalytic Application, University of Groningen

1 Apr 199913 Oct 2006

Award Date: 13 Oct 2006

Biochemistry, MSc, Wageningen University & Research

1 Sept 199431 Mar 1999

Award Date: 31 Mar 1999

External positions

University of Münster

1 May 201330 Apr 2019

Uppsala University

1 Feb 201330 Apr 2013

University of Cambridge

1 Apr 200531 Jan 2013


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