Willem M. de Vos (1954) received a cum laude PhD degree at the State University of Groningen that was partly done at the Max Planck Institute in Berlin, stayed for a post-doc at the NIRD (now IFR) in the UK, and became research manager at NIZO, the research institute of the Netherlands dairy industry. Here he established a research group on lactic acid bacteria and (at the age of 32) became the first Professor of Bacterial Genetics and later Chair of Microbiology at Wageningen University, where he also served as Director of the Department of Biomolecular Sciences. While continuing his chair, in 2000 he became Programme Director Microbial Functionality and Safety at the Wageningen Centre for Food Sciences, now known as the Top Institute Food and Nutrition, a public/private centre of excellence in the Netherlands (TTI). In 2007 he was selected as Finland Distinguished Professor and also became Professor of Molecular Microbiology at Helsinki University. He has supervised more than 60 PhD students, (co)authored over 350 peer-reviewed papers, and was involved in the filing of more than 25 patents or patent applications. He received several international awards, including the Rhone Poulenc Dairy Science Award, and is among the ISI highly cited authors in Microbiology (h factor > 70).
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