Koen Venema, PhD

Address:Johan Karschstraat 3, 6709 TN, Wageningen, The Netherlands
Tel:+31 622435111

Professional info

Below I briefly list my work experience and education, from recent (at the top) to past (at the bottom).

At the right side, you can find some additonal info.

If you scroll down, you can find an overview of my publications, including number of citations and h-factor. If you are interested in any of these, do not hesitate to contact me

Work experience

Professor of Gut Microbiology at Maastricht University – campus Venlo

Sept 2014 – present

I am setting up a new group at campus Venlo focusing on Gut Microbiology, i.e., probiotics, prebiotics, functional foods, …. the lot! Amongst others using the sophisticated in vitro models developed by TNO. We simulate humans (babies, adults, elderly), dogs, pigs, and chickens.

Top Institute Food & Nutrition [TIFN], Wageningen, the Netherlands (previously Wageningen Centre for Food Sciences [WCFS])

Feb 2004 – 2014

Project leader; of 2 projects:

  1. “Microbe-mediated gut metabolism” from 2004-2010; Using stable isotope technology and clinical trials the microbial metabolism of the microbiota in the gut was investigated.
  2. “Molecular interaction of probiotics and fibers with the host” from 2011-2014; Using high-throughput cell-based assays the interaction of probiotics, or cell-surface mutants thereof, and dietary fibers or microbiota-derived fermentation intermediates thereof, with the host epithelial and immune cells is established.
Editor-in-chief of the journal “Beneficial Microbes”

Jan 2010 – present

Initiator and main organizer of the Beneficial Microbes Conference series

held in 2008, 2010, 2012, 2015, 2017, 2018, 2020, 2022 (virtual) and 2023.

Originally organized from within TNO, now independent of TNO, organization by Bastiaanse Communication; scientific organizers Dr. K. Venema and Guus Roeselers.

TNO Earth & Environmental Life Sciences, Zeist, the Netherlands (previously TNO Food and Nutrition, and TNO Quality of Life)

​Sept 1998 – Dec 2013

Throughout the years many roles:

Project leader, product manager, coordinator Gut Health, team leader, key opinion leader.

Specialization: Lactic acid bacteria, Intestinal microbiology, TNO in vitro gastro intestinal models (TIM), Functional Foods, Probiotics, Prebiotics, Gut Health, Barrier function, Immunology.

Wageningen University, the Netherlands

May 1997 – Oct 1998

PostDoc; Department of Phytopathology, lab of Pierre de Wit
Project: “The role of ABC transporters in pathogenicity and sexual reproduction of Mycosphaerella graminicola, the causal agent of septoria tritici leaf-blotch of wheat.” (EC Biotechnology Programme 1994-1998)

North Carolina State University, Raleigh, NC, USA

​Feb 1996 – May 1997

PostDoc; Department of Food Science, lab of Todd Klaenhammer
Project: “In ovo immunization of chickens with Lactobacillus as a vaccine carrier.”

University of Groningen, the Netherlands

​Sept 1995 – Feb 1996

PostDoc; Department of Genetics, lab of Gerard Venema
Project: “Secretion of bacteriocins using the sec machinery.”


University of Groningen, the Netherlands

​Sept 1990 – Sept 1995

PhD Faculty of Mathematics & Natural Sciences

  • PhD research at the Mathematics and Natural Sciences Faculty, subfaculty Biology, Department of Genetics, University of Groningen. This project was financed by the European Community from funds of the BRIDGE T-project on Lactic Acid Bacteria. Title PhD thesis: Bacteriocins from lactic acid bacteria: Lactococcins from Lactococcus lactis and pediocin PA-1 from Pediococcus acidilactici. Promotor Prof. Dr. Gerard Venema (no relative), co-promotor Dr. Jan Kok.
  • PhD graduation date 01 Sept 95
University of Groningen, the Netherlands

Sept 1986 – Sept 1990

MSc Life Sciences

  • Major: Biochemistry
  • Minors: Genetics; Chemical Didactics
  • Two research-projects: 
    1. “Cloning of the gene coding for an X-prolyl- dipeptidylaminopeptidase from Lactococcus lactis subsp. cremoris P8-2-47″, at the Department of Genetics, University of Groningen, supervisors Dr. Baltasar Mayo Perez and Dr. Jan Kok;
    2. “In vitro transcription of the liver-specific apoVLDL II gene using the system of the G-free cassette”, at the Department of Biochemistry, University of Groningen, supervisor Dr. Geert AB. 
  • Graduated Cum Laude


# of publications (double refereed and book chapters):207
# of publications with citations:185
total # of citations (Google scholar):19331
h-index (Google scholar):64
i10-index (Google scholar):144

last updated on November 07, 2023 

Click here for my Publications




Un poco de espanol

Noch weniger Deutsch

​Pratiquement pas de français


Beneficial microbes




Gut microbiota composition

Gut microbiota activity

Gut health

Barrier function

Host-microbe interaction


Dietary fiber

Glycosyl hydrolases



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