Research Groups

Toward the end of your LST bachelor and master, most students do their thesis at research groups connected to the TU Delft or Leiden University. Below you can find some of the research groups, who they are and what they do, where our students do their BEP and/or MEP.

Please note that this list is not complete and that there are more research groups available for LST students to pursue their BEP/MEP.



The section Biocatalysis brings together scientists in the area of biocatalysis, enzymology, organic chemistry and molecular imaging.

Our research on fundamental understanding of enzymes and the application thereof in organic chemistry, forms the basis for the application of enzymes in industrial processes. Green Chemistry is one of our leitmotivs.

Our research projects range from fundamental insight into enzymatic principles, to engineering of enzymes and integration of these enzymes into novel synthetic procedures. The search for novel enzymes and novel activities through a combination of smart concise library design, screening with generic assays and bioinformatics modelling, denoted as molecular enzyme evolution, is a growing area. In particular for the future of biomass utilization, novel enzymes are expected to make a major contribution as catalysts.

In the area of molecular imaging, nanoprobes are designed and synthesized for imaging and therapy applications.

More information can be found here.

Bioprocess Engineering

The section Bioprocess Engineering (BPE) aims at designing and developing novel concepts for compact, clean, and efficient biotechnological manufacturing processes, starting from fundamental and quantitative mechanistic knowledge, and integrating advanced technological, theoretical, and experimental methods. 

The research covers several physical scales:    

  1. Molecular/cellular scale:  Measurement and modelling. 
  2. Equipment scale:  Development of bioreactors and associated process equipment, including the use of computational methods for design and operation.  
  3. Process scale: Integration of the bioreactor with upstream and downstream processes.

 Products that are addressed include: 

  • Biofuels
  • Bio-based chemicals and polymers
  • Food and feed ingredients
  • Biopharmaceuticals
  • Cells and tissue

The section has a principal role in BSc and MSc programmes Life Science & Technology and in the post-master two-year education programme Designer in Bioprocess Engineering.

More information can be found here.

Environmental Biotechnology

Information about this group can be found here.

Industrial Microbiology

Information about this group can be found here.

Biotechnology and Society

Information about this group can be found here.


Macromolecular Biochemistry

The Macromolecular Biochemistry section harbors five research groups with distinct research interests, employing biochemical, biophysical, structural, and genetic approaches to understanding peptide, protein & nucleic acid structure, function and interactions. Particular interests comprise protein-protein interactions & enzyme function (Prof. Ubbink), protein-DNA interactions relevant to genome organization and gene regulation (Prof. Dame), peptide/protein-metal interactions, application of designed metallo-peptides and proteins (Dr. Boyle), protein-nanoparticle interactions for applications in light-driven redox catalysis (Prof. Jeuken) and protein aggregation in neurodegenerative diseases (Dr. Wentink).

More information can be found here

Chemical Immunology

The chemical immunology group works on understanding the immune system at the molecular level. The particular focus of the group at present is looking at how T-cells, the killers and master regulators of your immune system, get activated and how this activation leads to them clearing, and sometimes, causing disease. To study the phenomena associated with T-cell activation, we use click chemistry (forming bonds in a live cell), unclick chemistry (breaking bonds in a live cell), and a variety of imaging techniques such as super resolution, flow cytometry and EM. An LST master project in the group will likely involve the use of the latter, the growing and assaying of immune cells, and even the expression and purification of proteins.

Molecular Physiology

Molecular Physiology is a research group at the Leiden Institute of Chemistry dedicated to the design, synthesis and application of chemical tools to study important biological and biomedical questions. The group is headed by Prof. Dr. Mario van der Stelt and includes the research lines of Assistant Professors Dr. Stephan Hacker, Dr. Anthe Janssen and Dr. Tom van der Wel. We use techniques from different fields, including chemical biology, computational chemistry, medicinal chemistry and molecular biology, to determine and predict the interaction of small molecules with proteins in physiological and disease processes. Our long-term aim is to discover drug candidates to treat cancer, (drug-resistant) infections and brain disorders. The Molecular Physiology group is part of Oncode Institute and the Leiden Early Drug Discovery & Development network.

More information can be found here.

Biophysical Structure Chemistry

The Department of Biophysical Structural Chemistry excels in elucidating the molecular intricacies of biological systems through advanced structural biology techniques. Our expertise in cryo-electron microscopy and X-ray crystallography serves as the cornerstone of our investigative approach, allowing us to visualize and understand complex biochemical processes at an atomic level.

The group led by Sebastian Geibel delves into the world of pathogenic bacteria, focusing on mycobacteria, the culprits behind tuberculosis. Our research is dedicated to uncovering the mechanisms of transport of toxins and nutrients across the cell envelopes of Mycobacteria and Corynebacteria. By mapping these pathways, we aim to reveal potential targets for therapeutic intervention. Additionally, we're exploring the role of bacterial lectins in cancer, seeking to understand their involvement in disease progression and potential as novel drug targets.

Steffen Brünle’s group studies human G protein-coupled receptors (GPCRs), which are pivotal in cellular signaling implicated in various diseases including cancer, and the number one drug targets. Our work strives to shed light on the molecular basis of receptor activation and regulation and seeks to identify new avenues for cancer therapy. Our approach combines structural analysis via the above-mentioned techniques with functional assays to combine molecular structure and biological function.

Sebastian Geibel: – Gorleus Building DM2.14

Steffen Brünle: – Gorleus Building DM2.14

Bio-organic Synthesis

Information about this group can be found here

Biophysical Organic Chemistry

Information about this group can be found here.

Catalysis and Surface Chemistry 

Information about this group can be found here.

Medical Biochemistry 

Information about this group can be found here.

Supramolecular & Biomaterials Chemistry 

Information about this group can be found here.

Theoretical Chemistry

Information about this group can be found here.