Koen VenemaMSc, PhD
Koen Venema received his PhD in Natural Sciences at the University of Groningen, The Netherlands, on the antimicrobial activity of bacteriocins produced by LAB. He pursued the health-beneficial activity of these microbes as a PostDoc at North Carolina State University, Raleigh, USA, where he studied the potential of LAB to function as carrier for vaccines. Thereafter he was employed by TNO for 15 years, where he used the sophisticated, dynamic, computer-controlled in vitro models of the gastro-intestinal tract developed by TNO (nick-named TIM) to study the effect of functional foods and drugs on bioavailability and effects on the colonic microbiota. In the period 2004-2015 he has been project leader within the Public Private Partnership ‘Top Institute Food & Nutrition’, of which TNO is a partner. He ran two multidisciplinary projects that were devoted to the effect of the activity of the microbiota on gut health and obesity using stable isotopes, and the molecular interaction of probiotics and prebiotics with the host. In January 2014 he founded a consultancy company: Beneficial Microbes Consultancy, of which he is CEO. Since Sept. 2014 he is also Head Nutritional Research at the Maastricht University - campus Venlo. Here, he continues working on the TIM-systems, primarily studying the role of the gut microbiota in health and disease; since Nov 2015 as Full Professor. Prof. Venema is the organizer of the TNO Beneficial Microbe Conference-series and is Editor-in-chief of the journal Beneficial Microbes.