Dr Mark Van Der Giezen
Senior Lecturer in Evolutionary Biochemistry


In princple, my laboratory is a molecular parasitology lab which originally focused on the metabolic adaptations of microbial eukaryotes to low oxygen or complete lack of oxygen (see for examples: Nature (2003) 426, 172-176, Current Biology (2008) 18, 580-585 and Current Biology (2014) 24, 1176-1186). Research includes major human pathogens such as Entamoeba histolytica, Trichomonas vaginalis and Blastocystis and our aim is to understand their unusual biochemistry as these might lead to new drug targets. New parasites in the group are those from the genus Aphanomyces. These parasites include causative agents of two notifyable diseases: crayfish plague and epizootic ulcerative syndrome in fish.

In addition, we study microbial eukaryotes found in low-oxygen environments such as the rumen and termite hindgut as these micro-organisms have an extended repertoire of active enzymes that are useful for biofuel and other industrial purposes. Rumen microbes also play a major role in animal nutrition so this work has importance for food security as well.

A recent new research direction involves the use of algae to regenerate mine waste, this is an extension of my involvement in the genome of Emiliania huxleyi (Nature (2013) 499, 209-213).

My lab uses a variety of techniques to answer our research questions. Molecular biology, cell biology, biochemistry, bioinformatics and next-generation sequencing methods are routinely used.


2007 Certificate in Academic Practice, Queen Mary, University of London
1992-1997 PhD in Mathematical and Natural Sciences, University of Groningen
1988-1992 Drs Molecular Biology & Immunology, University of Groningen


2009 Visiting Scholar at the Institute for Protein Research, University of Osaka, Japan
2007-present Senior Lecturer in Evolutionary Biochemistry, School of Biosciences, University of Exeter
2004-2007 Lecturer in Microbiology, School of Biological and Chemical Sciences, Queen Mary, University of London
2002-2004 Postdoctoral Research Fellow, School of Biological Sciences, Royal Holloway, University of London
1998 EMBO Fellow
1997-2002 Postdoctoral Research Fellow, Department of Zoology, The Natural History Museum, London
1996 Visiting Scientist, Centre for the Study of Metals in Biology and Medicine, King‘s College, London
1992 Erasmus Studentship, Laboratoire de Microbiologie et Génétique Moléculaires, University Paul Sabatier, Toulouse


Contact details

Internal tel3483
Tel+44 (0) 1392 723483
AddressBiocatalysis Centre
University of Exeter
The Henry Wellcome Building for Biocatalysis
Stocker Road

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