Science - March 12, 2015

Research prize for microbiologist

Rob Ramaker

Microbiologist Daan Swarts has won the triennial research prize. During the Dies Natalis celebration on Monday 9 March, the PhD researcher received a small statue and a cheque from rector Martin Kropff.

Swarts won the prize for his discovery  of a defence mechanism in bacteria that  is entirely new to science. This mechanism  recognizes hereditary material  from an enemy virus and de-activates it.  He published his findings in September  2014 in Nature. The new systems could  be useful in the future for a targeted adaptation  of DNA in both bacteria and human  cells. Three years ago the prize was  won by a microbiologist too – Stan  Brouns.