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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.

We are recruiting at multiple levels!!
–> More information at the bottom of this page

Key publications

Translation and Replication Dynamics of Single RNA Viruses

Boersma S, Rabouw HH, Bruurs LJM, [...] van Kuppeveld F*, Tanenbaum ME*

Cell: 183, 1–16


A public-private partnership model for COVID-19 diagnostics

Krijger PHL*, Hoek TA*, [...] de Laat W#, Tanenbaum ME#

Nat Biotechnol. 39(10):1182-1184


Antiviral responses are shaped by heterogeneity in viral replication dynamics

Bruurs LJM, Müller M, [...] van Kuppeveld F, Tanenbaum ME

Nature microbiology 8(11):2115–2129


Dynamics of translation of single mRNA molecules in vivo.

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

Cell; 165(4):976-89


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

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

Cell 178(2):458-472


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

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

Molecular Cell 75(2):324-339


Other publications

Zero-Mode Waveguide Nanowells for Single-Molecule Detection in Living Cells

Yang S*, Klughammer N*, Barth A*, [...] Tanenbaum ME#, Dekker C#

ACS Nano 17(20):20179-20193


mRNA structural dynamics shape Argonaute-target interactions

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

Nat Struct Mol Biol. 28(6):533


Pharmaceutical-Grade Rigosertib Is a Microtubule-Destabilizing Agent

Jost M, Chen Y, [...] Tanenbaum ME*, Weissman JS*

Mol Cell. 79(1):191-198


Quantification of mRNA translation in live cells using single-molecule imaging

Khuperkar D*, Hoek TA*, Sonneveld S, [...] Tanenbaum ME

Nat Protoc. 15(4):1371–1398


Group leader

Marvin Tanenbaum

Marvin Tanenbaum is senior group leader at the Hubrecht Institute, Investigator at Oncode Institute and Professor in the department of Bionanoscience at the TU Delft. His group studies the molecular mechanisms of gene expression control at the single-molecule level, both for humans and in viruses, 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. They are using the SunTag system to visualize and quantify regulation of single mRNA molecules in living cells to study the dynamics and regulation of each individual mRNA in time and space. Adaptation of the SunTag imaging system to RNA viruses has enabled live observation of viral infection and gene expression regulation, which is uncovering exciting new mechanisms in viral infection and host response to replicating viruses. In addition to his research activities, Marvin has also co-developed a major new medical diagnostics platform which was widely used during the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic. Marvin also leads a new initiative at the Hubrecht Institute, the Hubrecht Talent Program (HTP), that aims to support minority students in science (see

Scientific training and positions


Group members

Marvin Tanenbaum

Group Leader

Leonie Apperloo


Lucas Bruurs


Huib Rabouw


Dhanushika Ratnayake


Sora Yang


Bernhard Kramer


Bram Verhagen

PhD Student

Max Madern

PhD Student

Micha Müller

PhD Student

Marloes van Drimmelen

PhD Student

Janin Schokolowski

PhD Student

Jakob Puschel

PhD Student

Freek Tiel Groenestege

MSc Student

Garik Galustjan

MSc Student

Henry Marmol

MSc Student

Matthijs Baars


Show all group members

Lab alumni

Open positions

Open positions for Master Students

Tools and reagents