New professor to build bridges between biology and physics

Bela Mulder appointed Professor by Special Appointment in Theoretical Biophysics

Bela Mulder

As of 1 January, Prof. Bela Mulder has been appointed Professor by Special Appointment in Theoretical Biophysics. Mulder is an internationally renowned theoretical physicist with an impressive track record. With his appointment, the Faculty of Science wants to build bridges between the departments of Biology and Physics. The chair was established by the Stichting ter Bevordering der Atoom- en Molecuulfysica.

Bela Mulder has long maintained fruitful collaborations with Utrecht biologists and physicists. For example, he is collaborating with Prof. Anna Akhmanova (Institute for Biodynamics and Biocomplexity) on the development of an artificial cell. In the field of liquid crystals and soft matter, he has a number of very long-term collaborations with Utrecht physicists, including Prof. René van Roij (Institute for Theoretical Physics) and Prof. Marjolein Dijkstra (Debye Institute for Nanomaterials Science).


In addition to his research, Mulder will also contribute to the teaching of existing courses with a (theoretical) biophysics component. He will also be involved in the development of new educational programmes, such as the new faculty-wide Bachelor’s programme Molecular and Biophysical Life Science.

Mulder’s research falls within the Utrecht research themes Life Sciences and Foundations of Complex Systems.

Bela Mulder

Bela Mulder received his Master’s degree cum laude in 1981 in theoretical physics with a minor in mathematics at Utrecht University. After a PhD and research appointment in Utrecht, he worked in Greece for several years, after which he returned to the Netherlands in 1992 for an appointment at the research institute AMOLF, supplemented in 2002 by a part-time position as Professor at Wageningen University.