P.T. (Paulien) van Bentum MSc

Education Coordinator 
Victor J. Koningsbergergebouw
Budapestlaan 4B
Kamer 6.22
3584 CD Utrecht

P.T. (Paulien) van Bentum MSc

Education Coordinator
Education Institute Chemistry
+31 30 253 7659
Areas of expertise
Research areas

Since November 2015 I am working as an education coordinator at the Education Institute Chemistry, where I organize activities for secondary education (VWO). Furthermore, I am alumni relations officer for chemistry. As an education coordinator, I am involved in the organization of orientation days and open days for Chemistry and Molecular Life Sciences. Furthermore, I organize school visits for several chemistry practicals and I coordinate the traveling practical Gaschromatography & Catalysis (www.gcindeklas.nl), which travels to schools throughout the Netherlands.



Furthermore, I am finishing my PhD project at the Membrane Biochemistry & Biophysics group, under the supervision of Dr. Eefjan Breukink. Some keywords that define my research interests are biochemistry, bacteria, lipids, membranes, bacterial cell wall synthesis and protein secretion. Some of the techniques that I use are: thin-layer chromatography (TLC), in vitro cell wall synthesis assays, membrane (lipid) isolation and quantification, high performance liquid chromatography (HPLC), fast protein liquid chromatography (FPLC), mass spectrometry, (ultra)centrifugation and biochemical assays. Below you can find a short description of my research project.


Lipid engineering and modulation to improve protein secretion by Bacillus subtilis

Bacillus subtilis is a popular organism for the industrial production of enzymes (for example amylases in washing powder). It is a common, non-pathogenic bacterium found in soil. Its ability to naturally release proteins in its environment makes it an interesting enzyme producer for industry. This capability circumvents all the problems with breaking open cells to get your protein of interest out. By changing certain properties of the bacterium, Paulien hopes to enhance the protein secretion efficiency. The focus will be on the membrane and cell wall, because these are the two main hurdles that a protein has to overcome in order to get secreted. To investigate the role of membrane lipids on secretion, a series of mutants with a changed lipid composition will be constructed and the protein secretion efficiency will be determined.