Professor Marjan van der Woude


Professor of Microbiology

Role at Hull York Medical School

Professor van der Woude is a Professor of Microbiology, based at the University of York. She is part of the York Biomedical Research Institute (YBRI) and the Experimental Medicine and Biomedicine group at Hull York Medical School, with labs integrated with those of EMB and Biology colleagues.

Her research programme focuses mainly on Gram-negative pathogens, and includes local, and international collaborations, and both initiates and supports colleagues’ interdisciplinary work.

Professor van der Woude teaches on Phase I MBBS programme and the BSc and iMSC Biomedical Sciences programme at York, which is jointly owned between Hull York Medical School and Biology. She is currently the Director of Postgraduate Research Studies at Hull York Medical School. She is active nationally and internationally as editor, reviewer and research council panel member.


Marjan is a member of the Experimental Medicine and Biomedicine research group.

The success of a bacterial species depends on its ability to grow and survive in a changing and potentially hostile environment. This requires adaptation at both the single cell and population level. We are particularly interested in understanding the success of populations of bacterial pathogens and how that is impacted by phenotypic heterogeneity. This also has led to an interest in the role and structure/function relationship of proteins impacting phenotypic heterogeneity, including enzymes that modify surface carbohydrates like LPS. Our work is collaborative, working with immunologists, physicists, mathematicians, biochemists, and clinical researchers, both internal and external to the University. The lab’s microbiology knowledge and expertise supports a range of research activities across the University and disciplines, including on novel diagnostics, antimicrobial targets and antimicrobial therapies.

Further information is available from the York Research Database.


For Hull York Medical School I provide lectures in microbiology in Phase I and a Phase I SSIP on bacterial pathogens. I welcome enquiries to supervise research projects for students intercalating in biology at York.

I contribute to the Biomedical Sciences BSc and iMSc programmes at York, which is a jointly owned programme between Hull York Medical School and Biology. I provide lectures on bacterial infection in Stage 3 (H level); tutorials and am supervisor for independent research project supervisor for BSc and iMSc students. I also am an academic supervisor.

I adhere to research led teaching, focusing on introducing concepts both classical and new, disseminating factual knowledge, and providing insight and background to research papers/experiments. In the small group teaching, as in tutorials (Biosciences) or SSIPs (Hull York Medical School), allow students to explore a subject in depth. Students’ participation is key and their interests help shape the direction of the sessions. We use the sessions as a platform to discuss science and scientific processes, practice critical thinking, study cutting edge research and novel findings, and explore how science works. Broader issues like research ethics, what science graduates can offer society or the cost of research have also been explored. Research projects for intercalating, undergraduate and Masters students are aligned with the research activities that are on going in the lab at the time. Please see the research tab for an overview of current research activities.


Visit Professor van der Woude's profile on the York Research Database to see a full list of publications, browse activities and projects, explore connections, collaborations, related work and more.

Postgraduate research supervision

Professor van der Woude has supervised or co-supervised more than 10 PhD students, and multiple MSc by Research. She is currently the Director of PGR studies. She was previously the Director of the interdisciplinary Wellcome Trust CIDCATS PhD programme, and is currently on the York leadership team for the MRC DiMEN2 Doctoral Training Programme. She continues to be on TAPs, and is regularly invited to be an external PhD examiner within and outside of the UK.

Professor van der Woude welcomes supervision enquiries from prospective students interested in undertaking postgraduate research - either a PhD or a 12 month MSc by thesis/research.