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Dr Marc Van der Kamp

Dr Marc Van der Kamp

Dr Marc Van der Kamp
M.Sc.(Wageningen), PhD(Bristol)

Senior Lecturer

Office C52
Biomedical Sciences Building,
University Walk, Clifton BS8 1TD
(See a map)

+44 (0) 117 331 2147


Research in my group involves the use of biomolecular simulation to investigate and predict the behaviour of biomolecules. Of particular interest are enzymes and their specificity, catalysis and dynamics. The main techniques used are combined quantum mechanical / molecular mechanical modelling (QM/MM) and molecular dynamics simulation. The current primary area of interest is the use and development of biomolecular simulation protocols to aid development of biocatalysts.

As a BBSRC David Phillips Fellow (affiliated with the BrisSynBio research centre), I will investigate biosynthetic enzymes that are responsible for a wide range of natural products, such as terpene and polyketide synthases. To efficiently tackle the chemical and structural complexity involved in the catalytic cycles of these enzymes, new simulation protocols and methods will be developed. By modifying enzymes according to predictions from simulation, in collaboration with experimentalists, the aim is to develop new biocatalysts for the sustainable production of high-value chemicals.

Other research interests are: enzymes involved in antibiotic resistance, computational simulation methods to aid drug design and fundamental principles of enzyme catalysis.


Marc van der Kamp's research involves understanding biomolecules - in particular enzymes - through biomolecular simulation. He is an expert in combined quantum mechanical / molecular mechanical (QM/MM) modelling as applied to studying enzyme reactions. As a BBSRC David Phillips Fellow, he is developing and applying QM/MM and other methods to redesign enzymes as biocatalysts to help with the sustainable production of desired molecules. 

Marc obtained a first-class (cum laude) MSc in Molecular Sciences at Wageningen University in the Netherlands. During two MSc research projects, he gained experience with both computational and experimental biochemical methods. He subsequently specialized in computational modelling during an internship at a pharmaceutical company. After a short period as a pre-doctoral research assisstant, he took up a Marie Curie Early Stage Research Fellowship with Adrian Mulholland at the University of Bristol, to work on applying a range of QM/MM techniques to enzyme reactions. After extending his postgraduate research with an IBM Research Fellowship, he obtained his PhD in 2008. Then, he moved to the University of Washington to work with Valerie Daggett on applying molecular dynamics simulation to study protein dynamics in general and specifically prion protein misfolding.

After 2 1/2 years in the Daggett lab, he moved back to Bristol and worked as a senior postdoc in the Mulholland group from 2011-2015. During this period, he worked on a variety of projects (often in collaboration with experimentalists) related to enzyme dynamics, catalysis and design, again using QM/MM and molecular dynamics methods. For most of 2015, Marc was a senior Research Associate with the BrisSynBio research centre. He then took up his David Phillips Fellowship to start his own research group in the School of Biochemistry and the BrisSynBio research centre, and affiliated with the Centre for Computational Chemistry.


Biophysics and Molecular Life Sciences II

Synthetic Biology


Computer simulation of proteins and enzymes, particularly focussing on combined quantum mechanics/molecular mechanics (QM/MM) simulation of enzyme reactions and protein dynamics through molecular dynamics simulations. Application of these methods in practical problems and in collaboration with experimentalists.

  • molecular modelling
  • molecular dynamics
  • enzyme reactions
  • quantum mechanics / molecular mechanics
  • QM/MM
  • Memberships


    School of Biochemistry

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