Research output per year

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Personal profile


Erwin Peterman is interested in understanding how life works at the fundamental, single-molecule level. With his experiments he strives to provide quantitative insights in life processes that can be rigorously tested using physical models. To this end, he applies a multidisciplinary approach including elements from molecular and cellular biology, biochemistry, statistical physics and optics. The techniques used in his lab are (single-molecule) fluorescence microscopy, fluorescence spectroscopy and optical tweezers.

Current research focuses on the cooperation of motor proteins in intracellular transport in C. elegans cilia, on the mechanics of DNA and DNA-processing proteins, on the dynamics of membrane proteins in living bacteria, and on the development of new instrumentation and approaches to study life at the single-molecule level.



Peterman teaches several courses at the bachelor's and master's level to students in Physics, Medical Natural Sciences, and Biomolecular Sciences, in particular "Microscopy and Spectroscopy" and "Mechanics and Thermodynamics in the Cell". He frequently supervises BSc and MSc research projects.


Prizes and Awards

In 2003 Peterman received a five-year VIDI grant from the Netherlands Organization for Scientific Research (NWO), in 2011 a VICI grant. In 2013, he was appointed as full professor on a University Research Chair. In 2017 he was awarded the NWO Physics Valorization prize (together with Gijs Wuite). In 2018 Peterman received an ERC Advanced grant.



B.Sc. & M.Sc.: Molecular Sciences, Wageningen University, 1988-1993.

Ph.D.: Chlorophylls and Carotenoids in Oxygenic Photosynthesis, VU University Amsterdam, Promotors: van Grondelle & van Amerongen, 1993-1998.


Ancillary activities

  • Epifluorescence B.V. | Amsterdam | Directeur/eigenaar | 2018-04-15 - present
  • LUMICKS B.V. | Amsterdam | Founder / share holder / adviser | 2018-04-15 - present

Ancillary activities are updated daily

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Research Output

Constructing arrays of nucleosome positioning sequences using Gibson Assembly for single-molecule studies

Spakman, D., King, G. A., Peterman, E. J. G. & Wuite, G. J. L., 18 Jun 2020, In : Scientific Reports. 10, 1, p. 1-11 11 p., 9903.

Research output: Contribution to JournalArticleAcademicpeer-review

Open Access
  • Cutting off ciliary protein import: intraflagellar transport after dendritic femtosecond-laser ablation

    Mijalkovic, J., Girard, J., van Krugten, J., van Loo, J., Zhang, Z., Loseva, E., Oswald, F. & Peterman, E. J. G., 1 Mar 2020, In : Molecular Biology of the Cell. 31, 5, p. 324-334 11 p.

    Research output: Contribution to JournalArticleAcademicpeer-review

    Open Access
  • 25 Downloads (Pure)

    Imaging unlabeled proteins on DNA with super-resolution

    Meijering, A. E. C., Biebricher, A. S., Sitters, G., Brouwer, I., Peterman, E. J. G., Wuite, G. J. L. & Heller, I., 6 Apr 2020, In : Nucleic acids research. 48, 6, p. 1-8 8 p., e34.

    Research output: Contribution to JournalArticleAcademicpeer-review

    Open Access
  • Motor Proteins: It Runs in the Family, but at Different Speeds

    Mitra, A. & Peterman, E. J. G., 23 Mar 2020, In : Current Biology. 30, 6, p. R282-R285 4 p.

    Research output: Contribution to JournalArticleAcademicpeer-review

  • The crowding dynamics of the motor protein kinesin-II

    Kushwaha, V. S., Acar, S., Miedema, D. M., Denisov, D. V., Schall, P. & Peterman, E. J. G., 13 Feb 2020, In : PLoS ONE. 15, 2, p. 1-16 16 p., e0228930.

    Research output: Contribution to JournalArticleAcademicpeer-review

    Open Access
  • Activities

    • 2 Lecture / Presentation

    Nucleotide dependent (dis)order in the kinesin-tubulin interaction

    E.J.G. Peterman (Speaker)
    13 Sep 2000

    Activity: Lecture / PresentationAcademic

    Nucleotide dependent (dis)order in the kinesin-tubulin interaction

    E.J.G. Peterman (Speaker)
    4 Oct 2000

    Activity: Lecture / PresentationAcademic