Westerdijk Award

The KNVM/NVMM science committee awards up to three prizes for the best PhD thesis, one in each category: "general microbiology", "medical microbiology", and "microbial ecology". Candidates, whom are society members and students at Dutch universities or research institutes, should submit their PhD thesis on the condition that it was defended less than a year ago. The prizes are annually awarded during the KNVM/NVMM Scientific Spring Meeting. The jury consists of members of the KNVM/NVMM science committee.

Please send, before January 15, a digital copy of your thesis to secretariaat@nvmm.nl or four printed copies of your thesis to the NVMM:

P.O. Box 21020
8900 JA Leeuwarden
The Netherlands

The prizes, which are awarded since 2009, are named after Johanna Westerdijk. She was appointed professor at the University of Utrecht in 1917 and was the first female professor in the Netherlands. She was director of the phytopathology laboratory Willie Commelin Scholten and showed that the elm disease (generally known as Dutch elm disease) was caused by the fungus Ceratocystis ulmi.

Prof. Johanna Westerdijk



  • Pengfei Li Tackling emerging viral diseases with epidemic potential
  • Heike Becker Microbial perturbations in Crohn’s disease
  • Sergio Tomas Martinez Extracellular polymeric substances of Vandidatus Accumulibacter; composition, application and turnover


  • Georg Wolff Cellular cryo-tomography of nidovirus replication organelles
  • Quinten Ducarmon Microbiome-mediated colonization resistance: defense against enteropathogens and multi-drug resistant organisms


  • Robert A. Schmitz Metabolic versatility of verrrucomicrobial methanotrophs
  • Laura E. de Vries Steepen the Curve, the potential of pantothenamides in malaria control
  • Dennis J. Doorduijn How complement forms pores in bacterial membranes


  • Michiel in 't Zandt Microbial methane cycling in a warming world


  • Dani Heesterbeek How complement kills bacteria
  • Charlotte Melia Endomembrane mutiny: how picornaviruses hijack host organelles to support their replication
  • Arthur Gorter de Vries Genome analysis and engineering of industrial lager brewing yeasts


  • Maarten Verhoeven Novel genetic parts and cultivation strategies for yeast-based conversion of lignocellulosic feedstocks
  • Anne Voor in ’t Holt Risk factors and transmission of healthcare-related pathogens
  • N.W.M. de Jong Immune evasion by Staphylococcus aureus: expanding the repertoire


  • Robert van de Weerd Mysteries beyond the mycomembrane
  • Manouk Vrieling Host adaptation of staphylococcal leukocidins
  • Daan Speth Metagenomics of microbial communities involved in nitrogen cycling


  • Muriel van Tesseling Cell biology of anammox Planctomycetes and methanotrophic Verrucomicrobia: the cell envelope of anammox Planctomycetes
  • András Spaan Staphylococal leukocidin receptor identification: hiding in plain sight


  • Lilly Verhagen Respiratory infections in Venezuelan children: interplay between host, pathogen and environment
  • Walter Bronkhorst Small RNA-based antiviral defense in insects


  • Edze Westra Adaptive & Heritable Immunity in Bacteria - On the Regulation and Mechanism of CRISPR defense 


  • Maria Daleke Tail(or)-made protein secretion in pathogenic mycobacteria


  • Marne Hagemeijer Dynamics of the Coronavirus replicative structures


  • Katharina Ettwig Nitrite-dependent methane oxidation


  • Corine Geurts van Kessel Division of labor between dendritic cell subsets in the lung during influenza virus infection


  • Marieke Emonts Polymorphisms in immune response genes in infectious diseases and autoimmune diseases