Tanenbaum: Gene expression dynamics

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The Tanenbaum group uses cutting-edge live-cell single molecule microscopy and new types of genetic engineering to uncover the molecular mechanisms of gene expression control in individual cells.

Our work focuses both on regulation of human genes in health and disease and on gene regulation of RNA viruses. Using our single-molecule approaches, we aim to uncover how the dynamics and heterogeneity in gene expression affects cell fate. In addition, we are developing new imaging technologies to visualize gene expression dynamics with ever increasing resolution to achieve a deep molecular understanding of these processes.

Key publications

Translation and Replication Dynamics of Single RNA Viruses

Boersma S, Rabouw HH, Bruurs LJM, [...] Tanenbaum ME

Cell: 183, 1–16


Single-molecule imaging uncovers rules governing nonsense-mediated mRNA decay

Hoek TA*, Khuperkar D*, Lindeboom RGH, [...] Tanenbaum ME

Molecular Cell 75(2):324-339


Multi-color single-molecule imaging uncovers extensive heterogeneity in mRNA decoding

Boersma S*, Khuperkar D*, Verhagen BMP, [...] Tanenbaum ME

Cell 178(2):458-472


Dynamics of translation of single mRNA molecules in vivo.

Yan X, Hoek TA, Vale RD and Tanenbaum ME.

Cell; 165(4):976-89


mRNA structural dynamics shape Argonaute-target interactions

Ruijtenberg S*, Sonneveld S*, Cui TJ, [...] Tanenbaum ME

Nat Struct Mol Biol. doi: 10.1038/s41594-020-0461-1


Cell 159(3):635-46


Group leader

Marvin Tanenbaum

Marvin Tanenbaum is group leader at the Hubrecht Institute. His group studies the molecular mechanisms of gene expression control at the single cell level and aims to understand how control of gene expression affects important cellular decisions. The Tanenbaum group has developed several new techniques, including the SunTag fluorescence imaging system. Using the SunTag system they can directly visualize and quantify translation of single mRNA molecules in living cells to study the dynamics and regulation of each individual mRNA in real time. In addition, the SunTag was re-purposed to create an artificial transcription factor to precisely modulate gene expression of endogenous genes.

Scientific training and positions


Current other activities

Group members

Marvin Tanenbaum

Group Leader

Ive Logister


Lucas Bruurs


Rupa Banerjee


Huib Rabouw


Dhanushika Ratnayake


Sora Yang


Stijn Sonneveld

PhD Student

Sanne Boersma

PhD Student

Bram Verhagen

PhD Student

Max Madern

PhD Student

Iris Bally

PhD Student

Micha Müller

PhD Student

Aida Danesh

MSc Student

Roos van ‘t Spijker

MSc Student

Kees van de Sanden

MSc Student

Demi van der Galiën

MSc Student

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Lab alumni

Open positions for PhD students and Postdocs

Open positions for Master Students

Tools and reagents