Prof. Dr. Berend Snel
Theoretical Biology & Bioinformatics
Faculty of Science, Utrecht University
Padualaan 8
3584 CH  Utrecht
The Netherlands
Tel. +31-(0)30-253 8102
Fax +31-(0)30-253 2837

Curriculum Vitae

Berend Snel studied biology at the university of Utrecht specializing in Theoretical Biology and Bioinformatics. He did his PhD project on comperative genome analysis and genome evolution in the group of Peer Bork at EMBL (Heidelberg, Germany). Subsequently he worked first as a normal post-doc and then as a VENI post-doc in Martijn Huynen’s Comparative Genomics group at the CMBI / NCMLS in Nijmegen, Holland. In 2006 he moved to the Utrecht University as associate professor. In Utrecht he leads his the Evolutionary Genomics and Integrative Bioinformatics group as part of Theoretical biology and Bioinformatics in the Department of Biology at Utrecht University. As of June 2014 he was appointed as professor in bioinformatics and chair of the executive board of the Utrecht Bioinformatics Center. In 2016 Berend Snel was awarded a VICI grant. Berend has co-authored more than 110 peer reviewed papers which have been cited more than 15.000 times resulting in an H-index of 52.

Research summary

I have played a pioneering role in the study of prokaryotic genome content evolution, being the first to reconstruct a tree of life based on the shared genes of genomes and the first to present a reconstruction of  ancestral genome contents as well as a mapping of the processes shaping it. I have been exploiting comparative genomics methods for the prediction of gene function for poorly characterized genes, resulting in me being one of the three initiators of  the STRING database which provides high confidence interaction predictions for most proteins from all complete genomes. Currently I study the evolution of genomes at the functional network and pathway level, I was for example the first to publish the first cross-organism comparison of phophorylation events as derived from phosphoproteomics.

For more information, visit the group website at

Lab members

Ph.D. Students and Postdocs

  • Eelco Tromer
  • Jolien van Hooff
  • Eva Deutekom
  • Leny van Wijk
  • John van Dam

Selected Publications

Koster MJ, Snel B Timmers HT. (2015) Genesis of Chromatin and Transcription Dynamics in the Origin of Species. Cell. 161:724-736.

Schneider A, Seidl MF, Snel B.(2013) Shared protein complex subunits contribute to explaining disrupted co-occurrence. PLoS Comput Biol. 9:e1003124

Berke L, Sanchez-Perez GF, Snel B. (2012) Contribution of the epigenetic mark H3K27me3 to functional divergence after whole genome duplication in Arabidopsis. Genome Biol. 13:R94.

Suijkerbuijk SJ, van Dam TJ, Karagöz GE, von Castelmur E, Hubner NC, Duarte AM, Vleugel M, Perrakis A, Rüdiger SG, Snel B, Kops GJ. The vertebrate mitotic checkpoint protein BUBR1 is an unusual pseudokinase. Dev Cell. 2012 Jun 12;22(6):1321-9. PubMed PMID: 22698286.

van Wageningen S, Kemmeren P, Lijnzaad P, Margaritis T, Benschop JJ, de Castro IJ, van Leenen D, Groot Koerkamp MJ, Ko CW, Miles AJ, Brabers N, Brok MO, Lenstra TL, Fiedler D, Fokkens L, Aldecoa R, Apweiler E, Taliadouros V, Sameith K, van de Pasch LA, van Hooff SR, Bakker LV, Krogan NJ, Snel B, Holstege FC. Functional overlap and regulatory links shape genetic interactions between signaling pathways. Cell. 2010 Dec 10;143(6):991-1004. PubMed PMID: 21145464; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC3073509.