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Principal Investigator

Prof. M. (Marion) Koopmans

Head of the Erasmus MC department of viroscience

Head of the Erasmus MC department of Viroscience

  • Department
  • Viroscience
  • Focus area
  • Emerging Infectious Diseases, Foodborne Diseases, Noroviruses, Veterinary Medicine
External Profile



I focus on global population level impact of rapidly spreading zoonotic virus infections, with special emphasis on foodborne transmission. My research focuses on unravelling the modes of transmission of viruses among animals and between animals and humans, and the use of pathogenic genomic information to unravel these pathways and to signal changes in transmission or disease impact.

I am scientific coordinator of COMPARE, a large H2020 funded project (20 MEuro), exploring the potential uses of next generation sequencing techniques for outbreak detection and tracking (www.compare-europe.eu), and co-PI in the FP7 funded PREPARE project (www.prepare-europe.eu) aimed at building a pan-European operational network for rapid and large-scale European clinical research in response to infectious disease outbreaks with epidemic potential.

I am the director of the WHO collaborating centre for emerging infectious diseases at Erasmus, and Scientific Director “Emerging infectious diseases” of the Netherlands Centre for One Health (www.ncoh.nl). I received the Infectious disease award of the Dutch Association for Infectious Diseases and is the recipient of the Stevin Premium 2018. In 2019, I became a member of the KNAW (Royal Dutch Academy of Sciences). I have co-authored >500 papers that have been cited > 20.000 times.

Latest News

A new twenty-first century science for effective epidemic response

With rapidly changing ecology, urbanization, climate change, increased travel and fragile public health systems, epidemics will become more frequent, more complex and harder to prevent and contain. Here we argue that our concept of epidemics must evolve from crisis response during discrete outbreaks to an integrated cycle of preparation, response and recovery. This is an opportunity to combine knowledge and skills from all over the world—especially at-risk and affected communities. Many disciplines need to be integrated, including not only epidemiology but also social sciences, research and development, diplomacy, logistics and crisis management. This requires a new approach to training tomorrow’s leaders in epidemic prevention and response.

Read more: https://www.nature.com/articles/s41586-019-1717-y

Authors: Juliet Bedford, Jeremy Farrar, Chikwe Ihekweazu, Gagandeep Kang, Marion KoopmansJohn Nkengasong



Field(s) of expertise

  • Global population level impact of rapidly spreading zoonotic virus infections.
  • Modes of transmission of viruses among animals and between animals and humans.
  • Viral infections at the human animal interface.
  • Laboratory preparedness and response activities.
  • Foodborne viruses.
  • Molecular epidemiology.

Education and career

  • 1976: Graduated cum laude, Candidate's degree in Veterinary Medicine, Utrecht State University
  • 1979: Graduated with honors, Doctoral degree in Veterinary Medicine, Utrecht State University
  • 1983: Graduated with honors, Doctor of Veterinary Medicine, Utrecht State University
  • 29-11-1990: Ph.D., Department of Infectious Diseases and Immunology, Virology Division, Veterinary Faculty, Utrecht State University. Dissertation title: Diagnosis and epidemiology of torovirus infections in cattle"
  • 1997: Registration as veterinary microbiologists, KNMvD
  • Dec 2013 – current Head of Department of Viroscience Erasmus MC. I was recruited to this position to head the Viroscience Department of the Erasmus MC.
    The Viroscience Department is currently internationallty recognized for its standard and state-of-the-art experience.
  • Sep 2009 - 2014 National microbiology focal point for the ECDC.
    The contact point for ECDC is a senior microbiologist with excellent knowledge of the organization of microbiology and its applications in the public health arena in the country. This involves knowledge of the structure, roles and responsibilities of the different types of laboratories, of the education, and of the hurdles and possible solutions to support coordinated preparedness for and response to infectious diseases. 
  • April 2006 - Sep 2014 Member of the management team of the centre for infectious disease control.
  • My role is to advise the director of CIb and the head of LIS on strategic decisions involving the public health laboratory functions, developments in infectious diseases, interaction with relevant stakeholders inside and outside the institute, and representation of the laboratory in scientific audits and international visits.
  • April 2006 – Dec 2013 Professor of Public health Virology, Erasmus MC, Rotterdam.
    This chair was specifically created to provide an academic backing to the translational research program that has been developed in the past decade, aiming at strengthening the evidence basis in the core mission of CIb
  • Sep 2004-Dec 2013 Deputy Laboratory Director, Laboratory for Infectious Diseases.
    Recruitment to the management team by the director of LIS, to provide guidance onstrategic discussions (the director does not have a microbiology background). 
  • Jan 2002-Dec 2013 Chief of Virology, Diagnostic Lab for Infectious Diseases, (RIVM).
    I was recruited to this position to reorganize the virology deparment, which had lost contact with state-of-the-art developments in the field. The virology department currently is internationallty recognized for its standard, and particularly the translational work involving infectious disease control. This involved discussions and decisions on refocusing, career decisions for staff, transition into a more pro-active culture, transition to more applied focus.


For an overview of her publications please visit the Narcis-website or Scopus.

Teaching activities

  • Endowed Professor of Virological research for Public Health, especially virus infections in the gastrointestinal tract – 2006-2014 Erasmus MC
  • Professor of Virology 2014 – current Erasmus MC.

Promoter Ph.D. students

  • 21 June 2019 – Erasmus University Rotterdam
  • Marjolein Poen - Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza in wild birds - Towards evidence-based surveillance
  • 18 June 2019 – Erasmus University Rotterdam
  • Widagdo - DPP4 in MERS-CoV transmission and pathogenesis
  • 19 June 2018 – Erasmus University Rotterdam
  • Gadissa Hundie - Genetic diversity of Hepatitis B and Hepatitis C Viruses in Ethiopia
  • 11 April 2018 – Erasmus University Rotterdam
  • Janko van Beek - Norovirus Genetic Diversity
  • 3 November 2017 – Erasmus University Rotterdam
  • Seta Jahfari - Tick-borne Diseases: Opening Pandora's Box
  • 2 December 2016 – Erasmus University Rotterdam
  • Sigrid Gouma - Unravelling Factors Contributing to Mumps Outbreaks
  • 2 September 2016 – Erasmus University Rotterdam
  • Natalie Cleton - Come fly with me - Integration of travel medicine and arbovirus surveillance
  • 5 February 2016 – Erasmus University Rotterdam
  • Gudrun Freidl - Influenza Virus Serology at the Human-Animal Interface
  • 8 October 2015 – Erasmus University Rotterdam
  • Marcel Jonges - Exploring the use of influenza virus sequence diversity for the identification and characterization of transmission events
  • 25 November 2014 – VU
  • Inge Huijskens - Clinical microbiologist; the gatekeeper of informative diagnostics
  • 27 May 2014 – Erasmus University Rotterdam
  • Faizel Sukhrie - Identifying Sources and Transmission Routes of Norovirus Outbreaks : Molecular epidemiological methods as the basis for targeted prevention strategies
  • 6 January 2012 – Erasmus University Rotterdam
  • Sabine van der Sanden - Prevalence and Genetic Diversity of Human Enteroviruses in the Context of Poliovirus Eradication
  • 7 September 2011 – Erasmus University Rotterdam
  • Sanela Svraka - A Systematic Approach to Elucidate Causes of Gastroenteritis Outbreaks of Suspected Viral Etiology
  • 7 April 2011 – Erasmus University Rotterdam
  • Linda Verhoef - Identifying International Foodborne Norovirus Outbreak Events: A Combined Epidemiological and Molecular Approach
  • 9 December 2010 – Erasmus University Rotterdam
  • Kees van den Wijngaard - Is This an Outbreak? A retrospective evaluation of syndromic surveillance for emerging infectious disease
  • 17 November 2010 – Erasmus University Rotterdam
  • Joukje Siebenga - A Study of Norovirus Molecular Epidemiology: impact, prevalence, diversity and genetic adaptation.
  • Co- Promoter Ph.D. students
  • 28 October 2004 – University of Utrecht
  • Barry Rockx - Norovirus Infections
  • 08 February 2002 – University of Amsterdam
  • Matty de Wit - Epidemiology of gastroenteritis in the Netherlands
  • 25 November 1999 – University of Utrecht
  • Jan Vinjé - Molecular detection and epidemiology of human caliciviruses
  • 27 April 1999 – University of Utrecht
  • Tineke Herremans - Immunity to poliovirus after infection and vaccination
  • 22 December 1997 – University of Amsterdam
  • Mick Mulders - Molecular tools in support of the global polio eradication campaign

Other positions

  • Member International Advisory Board Graduate School WIAS Wageningen University (2019-2021)
  • Member International Advisory Board The Lancet Infectious Diseases (since 2019)
  • Member KNAW (Koninklijke Nederlandse Akademie van Wetenschappen)(2019)
  • Member Scientific Advisory Board Infravec2 -International and interdisciplinary infrastructure project on insect vectors of human and animal disease, including mosquitoes, sandflies, otherflies, and ticks(2019)
  • Member KHMW (Koninklijke Hollandsche Maatschappij der Wetenschappen ) (since 2018)
  • Member COSPAR SSAP Working Group (since 2018)
  • Vice Chairperson Committee Vaccinations Dutch Health Council of The Netherlands ( since 2018)
  • Member Dutch Health Council of The Netherlands (since 2018)
  • Member WHO EYE Strategy Laboratory working group (since 2018)
  • Member Advisory Board Centre for Infectious Disease Control Netherlands RIVM (since 2017)
  • Member KNVM Division Medical Microbiology (Koninklijke Nederlandse Vereniging voor Microbiologie) since 2017
  • Member SAB Watercycle Research Institute (since 2016)
  • Member management team EVDLabNet (since 2016)
  • Chair of the EU Global Research Collaboration for Infectious Disease Preparedness (GLOPID-R) Scientific Advisory Board (since 2015)
  • Member WHO R&D Blueprint Scientific Advisory Group (since 2015)
  • Scientific Director Theme: Emerging Infectious Diseases Preparedness, Netherlands Centre for One Health, NCOH (since 2015)
  • Director National Influenza Centre (NIC) for the World Health Organisation (since 2014)
  • Director WHO Collaborating Centre for Arbovirus and Haemorrhagic Fever Reference and Research(since 2014)
  • Member of the Alberta Provincial Pediatric EnTeric Infection Team International Scientific Advisory Committee (APPETITE) (since 2014)
  • Member of the WHO IHR Emergency Committee on MERS-Cov (since 2014)
  • Member of the Advisory Council European Society for Virology (since 2010)

Scholarships, grants, and awards

  • HHS invention award, 1993. Diagnostic diaper for identifying congenital infection with CMV and other pathogens. J.G. Dobbins, M.P. Koopmans, J.A. Stewart, and P.E. Pellett.
  • Nucleic acids encoding human astrovirus serotype 2 and uses thereof. 1997. S.S. Monroe, R.I. Glass, M.P.G. Koopmans and B. Jiang.
  • RIVM, Department for Infectious Diseases: Topscientist award per 1-5-1998.
  • Wolinsky award for the best publication in Clinical Infectious Diseases, 2002.
  • W.R.O. Goslingsprijs, Nederlandse Vereniging voor Infectieziekten, 2004.
  • Honorary Doctorate Æresdoktor 2017’ Technical University of Denmark, 2017.
  • Simon StevinLaureaat 2018, Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research, 2018
  • International Patent Application No. PCT/NL2019/050283 Treatments and biomarkers for the prognosis of zika virus infection.

Research Projects

  • Preparing for vector-borne virus outbreaks in a changing world: a One Health Approach total project value € 10.000.000, Viroscience share € 2.602.558, funded by NWO-NWA (2019-2024) – Project Coordinator.
  • ECRAID-plan (825715) total project value € 2.994.560, Viroscience share € 158.850, funded by EU H2020 (2019-2022) – Project Collaborator, Coordinator Prof. dr. Herman Goossens.
  • RECODID (825746) total project value € 5.960.025, Viroscience share € 741 212, funded by EU H2020 (2019-2022) – WP Leader, Coordinator Dr. Thomas Jaenisch.
  • SHARP JA (848096) total project value € 9.874.948, Viroscience share € 332.211 funded by EU DG SANCO (2019-2022) – WP co-leader, Coordinator Prof dr. Mika Salminen.
  • TOP Respiratory health risks from intensive livestock production, risk estimation and prevention value € 600.000 Viroscience share € 383.000 funded by ZonMW (2018-2022) – Co-applicant, CoordinatorProf dr. Dick Heederik.
  • EFSA NGS Noro total project value € 5.960.025, Viroscience share € 76.903, funded by EFSA (2019-2021) – WP Leader, Coordinator Dr. Soizick Le Guyader.
  • DUCAMID total project value €600.000 Viroscience share € 400.000 funded by NWO Caribbean (2017-2021) - Main applicant.
  • ZikaRisk total project value € 500.000 Viroscience share € 237.500 funded by ZONMW Non-alimentaire Zoonosen (2017-2021) – Project Collaborator.
  • PREPARE (602525) total project value € 23.992.000 Viroscience share € 1.426.432 funded by EU FP7 (2014 2021) – WP Leader, Coordinator Prof dr. Herman Goossens.
  • ZIKAlliance (734548) total project value € 11.964.209 Viroscience share € 634.867 funded by EU H2020 (2016-2020) – WP Leader, Coordinator Prof dr. Xavier de Lamballerie.
  • ZAPI (115760) total project value € 9.538.688 Viroscience share € 967.400 funded by FP7 IMI (2015-2020) – WP Leader, Coordinator Jean-Christophe Audonnet.
  • METASTAVA total project value Viroscience € 416.250 funded by EU H2020 One Health EJP (2018-2019) – Project Collaborator, Coordinator Steven Van Borm.
  • EMERGE (677066) total project value € 3.499.873 Viroscience share € 218.530 funded by EU DG SANCO (2015-2019) – WP Leader, Coordinator Prof dr. Roland Grunow.
  • EVAg (653316) total project value € 10.792.869 Viroscience share € 539.345 funded by EU H2020 (2015 2019) – Participant, Coordinator Prof dr. Jean-Louis Romette.
  • COMPARE (643476) total project value € 20.000.000 Viroscience share € 2.403.500 funded by EU H2020 (2014-2019) – Co-coordinator, Coordinator Prof dr. Frank Aarestrup.
  • FLUCOP (115672) total project value € 6.100.000 Viroscence share € 329.748 funded by H2020 IMI (2014-2019) – Participant, Coordinator Patricia Londono-Hayes.
  • Emerging Infections funded by RIVM (2014-2019) - Principal Investigator.

My Groups