Alexander van Oudenaarden

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Alexander van Oudenaarden
Born (1970-03-19) March 19, 1970 (age 45)
Zuidland, The Netherlands
Residence The Netherlands
Citizenship The Netherlands
Fields Biophysics, Systems biology, Synthetic biology
Institutions Hubrecht Institute
Alma mater Delft University of Technology (M.S.,M.S.,Ph.D.)

Alexander van Oudenaarden (19 March 1970) is a Dutch biophysicist and systems biologist. He is a leading researcher in systems biology and synthetic biology, specialising in stochasticity in gene networks and actin dynamics. In 2012 he started as director of the Hubrecht Institute and was awarded an ERC Advanced Investigator award and NWO VICI award. In 2014 he became a member of the Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences (KNAW).


Alexander van Oudenaarden was born 19 March 1970, in Zuidland, a small town in the Dutch province of South Holland. He studied at the Delft University of Technology, where he obtained a Masters of Science in Materials Science and Engineering (cum laude) and a Masters of Science in Physics in 1993, and a Ph.D. in Physics (cum laude) in 1998 in experimental condensed matter physics, under the supervision of Prof. J.E. Mooij. He received the Andries Miedema Award (best Ph.D.-research in the field of condensed matter physics in the Netherlands) for his thesis on "Quantum vortices and quantum interference effects in circuits of small tunnel junctions". In 1998 he moved to Stanford, where he was a postdoctoral researcher in the departments of Biochemistry and of Microbiology & Immunology, working on force generation of polymerising actin filaments in the Theriot lab and a postdoctoral researcher in the department of Chemistry, working on Micropatterning of supported phospholipid bi-layers in the Boxer lab. In 2000 he joined the department of Physics at MIT as an assistant professor, was tenured in 2004 and is now a full professor. In 2001 he received the NSF CAREER award, and was both an Alfred Sloan Research Fellow and the Keck Career Development Career Development Professor in Biomedical Engineering. In 2012 Alexander became the director of the Hubrecht Institute as the successor of Hans Clevers.

He is married and has three children.


During his time at MIT his lab started with parallel lines of research in actin dynamics[1][2] and noise in gene networks,[3][4][5] and then focused on stochasticity in gene networks[6][7][8][9] biological networks as control systems,[10][11][12] and the evolution of small networks.

Today, Van Oudenaardens work at the Hubrecht Institute focuses on stochastic gene expression,[13][14] developing new tools for quantifying gene expression in single cells [15][16] and MicroRNAs [17][18]


  1. ^ Upadhyaya, A; Chabot, J. R.; Andreeva, A.; Samadani, A.; van Oudenaarden, A. (2003). "Probing polymerization forces by using actin-propelled lipid vesicles". Pnas USA 100 (8): 4521–6. Bibcode:2003PNAS..100.4521U. doi:10.1073/pnas.0837027100. PMC 153588. PMID 12657740. 
  2. ^ Upadhyaya, A; A. van Oudenaarden (2003). "Biomimetic systems for studying actin-based motility". Current Biology 13 (18): R734. doi:10.1016/j.cub.2003.08.051. PMID 13678615. 
  3. ^ Thattai, M; A. van Oudenaarden (2001). "Intrinsic noise in gene regulatory networks". Pnas USA 98 (15): 8614–9. Bibcode:2001PNAS...98.8614T. doi:10.1073/pnas.151588598. PMC 37484. PMID 11438714. 
  4. ^ Ozbudak, E.; Thattai, M.; Kurtser, I.; Grossman, A. D.; van Oudenaarden, A. (2002). "Regulation of noise in the expression of a single gene". Nature Genetics 31 (1): 69–73. doi:10.1038/ng869. PMID 11967532. 
  5. ^ Thattai, M; A. van Oudenaarden (2002). "Attenuation of noise in ultrasensitive signaling cascades". Biophysical Journal 82 (6): 2943–50. Bibcode:2002BpJ....82.2943T. doi:10.1016/S0006-3495(02)75635-X. PMC 1302082. PMID 12023217. 
  6. ^ Pedraza, J M; A. van Oudenaarden (2005). "Noise propagation in gene networks". Science 307 (5717): 1965–9. Bibcode:2005Sci...307.1965P. doi:10.1126/science.1109090. PMID 15790857. 
  7. ^ Becskei, A; B. B. Kaufmann; A. van Oudenaarden (2005). "Contributions of low molecule number and chromosomal positioning to stochastic gene expression". Nature Genetics 37 (9): 937–44. doi:10.1038/ng1616. PMID 16086016. 
  8. ^ Acar, M; A. Becskei; A. van Oudenaarden (2005). "Enhancement of cellular memory by reducing stochastic transitions". Nature 435 (7039): 228–32. Bibcode:2005Natur.435..228A. doi:10.1038/nature03524. PMID 15889097. 
  9. ^ Chabot, J R; J. M. Pedraza; P. Luitel; A. van Oudenaarden (2007). "Stochastic gene expression out-of-steady-state in the cyanobacterial circadian clock". Nature 450 (7173): 1249–52. Bibcode:2007Natur.450.1249C. doi:10.1038/nature06395. PMID 18097413. 
  10. ^ Thattai, M; A. Becskei; A. van Oudenaarden (2005). "A system of counteracting feedback loops regulates Cdc42p activity during spontaneous cell polarization". Developmental Cell 9 (4): 565–71. doi:10.1016/j.devcel.2005.08.014. PMID 16198298. 
  11. ^ Tsang, J; J. Zhu; A. van Oudenaarden (2007). "MicroRNA-mediated feedback and feedforward loops are recurrent network motifs in mammals". Molecular Cell 26 (5): 753–67. doi:10.1016/j.molcel.2007.05.018. PMC 2072999. PMID 17560377. 
  12. ^ Mett, J; D. Muzzey; C. Gomez-Uribe; A. van Oudenaarden et al. (2008). "The frequency dependence of osmo-adaptation in Saccharomyces cerevisiae". Science 319 (5862): 482–4. Bibcode:2008Sci...319..482M. doi:10.1126/science.1151582. PMC 2916730. PMID 18218902. 
  13. ^ Junker, Philipp; Alexander. "Every cell is special: genome-wide studies add a new dimension to single-cell biology". Cell 157: 8–11. doi:10.1016/j.cell.2014.02.010. 
  14. ^ Ji, Ni; Middelkoop, Teije; Mentink, Remco; Betist, Marco; Tonegawa, Satto; Mooijman, Dylan; Korswagen, Hendrik; Alexander (2013). "Feedback control of gene expression variability in the Caenorhabditis elegans Wnt pathway". Cell 155: 869–880. doi:10.1016/j.cell.2013.09.060. 
  15. ^ Grün, Dominic; Kester, Lennart; Alexander (2014). "Validation of noise models for single-cell transcriptomics". Nature Methods 11: 637–640. doi:10.1038/nmeth.2930. 
  16. ^ Klemm, Sandy; Semrau, Stefan; Wiebrands, Kay; Mooijman, Dylan; Faddah, Dina; Jaenisch, Rudolf; Alexander (2014). "Transcriptional profiling of cells sorted by RNA abundance". Nature Methods 11: 549–551. doi:10.1038/nmeth.2910. 
  17. ^ Dong; Kim, Dominic Grün; Alexander (2013). "Dampening of expression oscillations by synchronous regulation of a microRNA and its target". Nature Genetics 45: 1337–1344. 
  18. ^ Mukherji, Shankar; Ebert, Margaret; Zheng, Grace; Tsang, John; Sharp, Phil; Alexander (2011). "MicroRNAs can generate thresholds in target gene expression". Nature Genetics 43: 854–859. doi:10.1038/ng.905. 

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