Antoine van Oijen led research groups at Harvard Medical School and Groningen University (the Netherlands) before moving to the University of Wollongong in 2015 as an Australian Research Council Laureate Fellow. His research revolves around the development and use of single-molecule biophysical tools to study complex biological systems. At the University of Wollongong, he is spearheading the establishment of Molecular Horizons, an $80M investment in a new molecular life sciences research institute. With Molecular Horizons, Prof van Oijen aims to create a research ecosystem that brings together scientists from biology, chemistry, physics, and medicine to use molecular visualisation approaches as a key driver for medical discovery.
Prof van Oijen has a strong interest in superbugs, bacteria that have become resistant to treatment with antibiotics. He and his research group develop molecular imaging approaches to understand how bacteria evolve resistance and use this knowledge to develop new drugs and diagnostics. Next to his efforts to understand antimicrobial resistance at the level of molecules and cells he has also established population health programs to track how superbugs travel through the community and our hospital system. These regional health programs are an integral part of OUTBREAK, a world first, high-tech decision support system that uses AI to track, trace and tackle drug-resistant infections in real-time. Within OUTBREAK, Prof van Oijen acts as Deputy Managing Director and Director of Health Programs.