Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam - Physics of Living Systems Section

The laboratory is located at the Vrije Universiteit, Amsterdam. Our microscope facility consists of five optical tweezers integrated with fluorescence microscopes, equipped with multicolor laser illumination and multichannel detection (http://www.gijswuite.com/). Two of them have STED capabilities and one system is equipped with a quadruple trap. My lab is embedded in the Physics of Living Systems Section, together with two experimental single-molecule biophysicists with complimentary expertise. Moreover, a theoretical biophysicist has recently joined our team We share lab space, facilities and a (department-provided) running budget, including two part-time technicians for general biochemical support. The section is part of the LaserLaB, the institute of Lasers, Life and Biophotonics. This interdisciplinary research center is specialized in cutting-edge laser applications and has an excellent national and international reputation. LaserLaB Amsterdam is part of Laserlab Europe, a European network (EC funded) that brings 33 leading organizations together in laser-based inter-disciplinary research. Local expertise at LaserLaB will be very valuable to realize my planned instrumental developments. Our section has also access to an expert mechanical and electronics machine shop.

Role in the AntiHelix project

The action mechanism of DNA helicases of interest will be analysed at the single-molecule level using Correlated Tweezers Fluorescent Microscopy (CTFM). For these studies recombinant proteins will be fluorescently labelled. Functionality of the labelled DNA helicases will be verified. DNA binding/unwinding by the DNA helicase of interest will be directly visualised and measured using the CTFM apparatus to find the kinetics and exact mechanisms involved.

The AntiHelix Team

Gijs J.L. WuiteESR7 supervisorg.j.l.wuite@vu.nl
Iddo Heller I.Heller@vu.nl
Guido LeerdamAdministratorg.leerdam@vumc.nl

Gijs J.L Wuite

Gijs Wuite obtained his PhD in biophysics in 2000. Since 2001 he leads his own group at the VU University Amsterdam and in 2009 was appointed to full professor. In his research he has successfully applied quantitative physical tools to investigate fundamental problems in biology, and to search for the unification of apparently unrelated biological phenomena. Moreover, he has been at the front of recent new and fast developments of biophysical techniques that have enabled visualization, manipulation and control of complex biological reactions. In 2014 he co-founded LUMICKS, a fast growing company specialized in dynamics single molecule instruments and in 2018 he won the Dutch Physics Valorisation prize & in 2019 the Amsterdam Impact Award, for successfully launching of this company. In 2020 he was awarded a ERC Advanced Grant.

Within the AntiHelix consortium he has a role as supervisor of ESR7, leader of WP3 and organiser of Hands-on practical classes.

This project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under the Marie Skłodowska-Curie grant agreement No 859853