de Vries

Renko de Vries graduated in theoretical physics at Utrecht University in 1993. In 1998 he got his doctoral degree (cum laude) at the Technical University in Delft, with professor Theo Odijk, with a thesis on the theory of fluid membranes. Afterwards he went to the United States for a post-doc at the group of professor Eric Kaler (Department of Chemical Engineering, University of Delaware) where he did experimental and theoretical research on the polymerization reactions in microemulsions. In 2000 he started at Wageningen University as an assistant professor in the group Physical Chemistry and Soft Matter. At the moment he is an associate professor in the same group. Together with his research team, he focuses on understanding and designing soft materials made out of biopolymers.


te Brinke

Dana obtained her master’s in Molecular Life Sciences from the Radboud University in Nijmegen. In 2018, she started her PhD in Wageningen in the departments of Food Chemistry and Physical Chemistry and Soft Matter. She studies the physical processes that control creaming of emulsions. These processes are affected by the addition of food fibres, such as β-glucans from oat. By comparing mathematical predictions with experimental results, Dana aims to improve our ability to predict the effects of food fibres on emulsion stability.


Nicolò obtained his master’s degree in Plant Biotechnology from Wageningen University in 2017. Shortly after, he started his PhD in Wageningen at the departments of Physical Chemistry & Soft Matter and Organic Chemistry. In collaboration with the Eindhoven University of Technology, Nicolo’s research focuses on designing protein polymers with antifouling properties for biosensing applications. His long-term goal is to design a multifunctional polymer brush exploitable in newly designed marketable biosensors.


Huy has a background in Materials Science, he achieved his master degree from the University of Trento, in Italy. Being inspired by the beauty of nature, he is interested in the potential of using biomaterials for replacing fossil-based materials. He works mainly on the exploration of new class of solvent, so-called Natural Deep Eutectic Solvent (NADES), which have been widely investigated for a wide range of industrial applications, for example electrodeposition, pharmaceutical and biomass processing. Specifically, in his PhD project he is trying to utilize this useful solvent to solubilize cellulose fibers and regenerate it into more value-added cellulosic materials through an anti-solvent approach.


Qiuhuizi (Evelen) earned her master’s degree in Ingredient Functionality of Food Technology from Wageningen University in 2017. Afterwards, she started her PhD and work on investigating mung bean proteins. This project is a collaboration between the deparment of Physical Chemistry & Soft Matter and Physics and the department of Physical Chemistry of Foods. It is focused on developing an approach to track plant protein bodies quantitively during the extraction process. Ultimately, her aim is to formulate a liquid or semi-solid plant protein ingredient that can be applied in food products.

de Haas

Rob obtained his master’s in Biotechnology and Molecular Life Sciences from Wageningen University in 2019. In his PhD project he works on computational design of DNA-binding proteins to achieve programmable protein assembly on DNA. One of his long-term goals is to display immunogenic proteins on the surface of these fibers for antigen display. Rob also works on the design of de-novo surface binding proteins and development of pH sensitive fluorescent switches for in vivo nanoparticle tracking in cells.

Chuanbao Zheng

Chuanbao obtained his master’s in Physics from Xiamen University, Xiamen, China in 2019. In his PhD project he works on computational design of solid-binding proteins, both ice-binding proteins for biomedical applications (with Rob) and gold-binding proteins for biosensing applications.

Nirzar Doshi

Nirzar received his MSc – Food Technology (Ingredient functionality) in 2020 at Wageningen University. During his master thesis, he focussed on Virial theory-based phase separation models. Nirzar’s current PhD project focuses on developing novel structuring solutions using the inherent properties of biopolymers. These biopolymer ingredients are developed from spontaneous phase properties of biopolymers and have a potential application for biotech & pharma (Transport mechanism, coating & capsules), flavours (encapsulation), food (structuring & nutrition), and adhesives. The project is part of a consortium with industrial and university partners.

Contact: Linkedin,

Read more: Thesis/Internship topics, Project details and consortium

Senna Janssen

Senna received her master’s degree in Food Technology (Specialization Ingredient Functionality) in 2020 at Wageningen University. In her PhD project she works on Clean label solutions for structuring plant-based foods. This project will focus on exploring synergies between plant proteins form different sources and evaluating process conditions (including the use of enzymes) to improve the inherent functionality and gelation capacity of plant proteins. The project is part of a consortium with industrial and university partners and in collaboration with other PhD projects (Nirzar Doshi).


Guest PhDs

Amanda Goncalves

…details coming soon…

Lab alumni

Fabiola Gutierrez
Xiufeng Li, Lione Willems, Armando Hernandez-Garcia, Yunus Saricay, Monika Golinska, Luben Arnaudov, Esio Bessa, Saskia Lindhoud, Yuan Li, Kathelijne Wintraecken, Dilek Saglam