prof.dr.ir. P. Jonkheijm (Pascal)

Adjunct Professor Organic Chemistry

About Me


2010: University teaching qualification certificate for academic teaching (University Lecturer).
2005 : PhD, Cum laude (highest grade possible, granted <5%). Title thesis: Nanoscopic supramolecular architectures based on π-conjugated oligomers. Thesis Advisor: Prof. Dr. E.W. Meijer, Eindhoven University of Technology, Faculty of Chemical Engineering and Chemistry, The Netherlands (NL). Thesis received the Dutch Houwink Award, ASML 2nd Prize and DSM Award Laureate.
2001: Master in Macromolecular and Organic Chemistry, Faculty of Chemical Engineering and Chemistry, Eindhoven University of Technology, NL.

Current positions

Since 2013: Adjunct Professor: affiliated to the MIRA Institute for Biomedical Research and Technical Medicine and MESA+ Institute for Nanotechnology, University of Twente, Enschede, NL.
2017/8: Visiting Professor on 1yr sabbatical stay at the Institute of Biomaterials and Biomedical Engineering, University of Toronto, Canada.
2016: Guest Professor: Beijing University of Chemical Technology, China.
2015: Guest Professor: School of Materials and Technology, China University of Geosciences Beijing, China.                                        

Previous positions

2011-2013: Associate Professor Supramolecular Chemistry, University of Twente, NL. 2008-2011: Assistant Professor, University of Twente, NL.
2006 -2008: Alexander von Humboldt fellow at the Max Planck Institute for Molecular Physiology, Department of Chemical Biology, Dortmund, Germany, Advisor: Prof. Dr. H. Waldmann.
2005: Post-doc: Eindhoven University of Technology, NL, Advisor: Prof. Dr. E.W. Meijer.

Personal honours

2013-2018: Vidi Innovational Research Incentive Scheme (career development grant for experienced researchers), Dutch Science Foundation (NWO), project “Molecularly engineering cell-material interfaces” (800 k€).
2013: Faculty of Science and Technology Teaching Award, University of Twente, NL
2010-2016: ERC Starting Grant, European Research Council, project “Supramolecular cell manipulation” (1.5 M€).
2010-2014: Biomedical Materials (BMM) Young Investigator Award, awarded to young investigators that lead a public-private consortium “Supramolecular substrates for dynamic cell studies” (1.8 M€).
2008-2010: Veni Innovational Research Incentive Scheme (early career development grant), NWO  project “Molecular nanoscale cell manipulation” (220 k€).
2006-2008: Alexander von Humboldt Research Fellowship, Germany, 60 k€ support of post-doctoral stay at the Max Planck Institute for Molecular Physiology.


Lipid Bilayers
Lipid Bilayers


Many fundamental issues of how cells sense and react to their environment are just beginning to be understood and tools that enable precise control over the molecular scale interfaces with and between living cells are at the forefront of these advances. In my group I aim to develop a materials-based platform to establish control over living cells on the molecular level. I probe the dependence of cell signalling on the microenvironment in the context of integrin- and cadherin-mediated adhesion. My overarching strategy builds on the success of existing live cell-supported supramolecular host-guest and membrane interfaces. Key is the incorporation of biological signalling ligands into synthetic supramolecular materials and interfaces. I greatly extend this concept by defining the mechanics of ligands displayed to cells within an integrated format. I integrate my materials technology into a microwell formats allowing precise 3D control of the cellular microenvironment in ways never before achieved with synthetic systems. By engaging the cell’s natural signalling machinery, these structures will enable a variety of future quantitative cell-based assays and diagnostic tools with academic, industrial and clinical value.


Other Contributions

Key group publications:

  • Functionalizing the glycocalyx of living cells with supramolecular guest ligands for cucurbit[8]uril-mediated assemblyCavatorta E, Verheijden ML, van Roosmalen W, Voskuhl J, Huskens J, Jonkheijm PChem. Commun. 52, 7146-7149 (2016).


  • Incorporating bacteria as a living component in supramolecular self-assembled monolayers through dynamic nanoscale interactions
    Sankaran S, Kiren MC, Jonkheijm P
    ACS Nano 4, 3579-3586 (2015).


  • Optical control over bioactive ligands at supramolecular surfaces
    Voskuhl J, Sankaran S, Jonkeijm P
    Chem. Commun. 50, 15144-15147 (2014).


  • A supramolecular host-guest carrier system for growth factors employing VHH fragments Cabanas-Danés J, Dooms Rodrigues E, Landman E, van Weerd J, van Blitterswijk CA, Verrips T, Huskens J, Karperien M, Jonkheijm P
    J. Am. Chem. Soc. 136, 12675-12681 (2014). IF 13.9, 17 citations.


  • Supported lipid bilayer membranes achieved using low potentials
    van Weerd J, Krabbenborg SO, Eijkel JCT, Karperien HBJ, Huskens J, Jonkheijm P
    J. Am. Chem. Soc. 136, 100-103 (2014).


  • Oriented protein immobilization using covalent and non-covalent chemistry on a thiol-reactive self-reporting surface
    Wasserberg D, Nicosia C, Tromp EE, Subramaniam V, Huskens J, Jonkheijm P
    J. Am. Chem. Soc. 135, 3104-3111 (2013).


  • A supramolecular system for the electrochemically controlled release of cells
    An Q, Brinkmann J, Huskens J, Krabbenborg SO, de Boer J, Jonkheijm P
    Angew. Chem. Int. Ed. 51, 12233-12237 (2012).


  • Reversible and oriented immobilization of ferrocene-modified proteins
    Yang L, Gómez-Casado A, Young JF, Nguyen HD, Cabanas-Danés J, Huskens J, Brunsveld L, Jonkheijm P
    J. Am. Chem. Soc. 134, 19199-19206 (2012).


  • Probing multivalent interactions in, a synthetic host-guest complex by dynamic force spectroscopy
    Gomezcasado A, Dam HH, Yilmaz D, Florea D, Jonkheijm P, Huskens J
    J. Am. Chem. Soc. 133, 10849-10857 (2011).


  • Strong and reversible monovalent supramolecular protein immobilization
    Young J, Nguyen HD, Yang L, Huskens J, Jonkheijm P, Brunsveld L
    ChemBioChem. 11, 180-183 (2010). 

UT Research Information System

Contact Details

Visiting Address

University of Twente
Faculty of Science and Technology
Carré (building no. 15), room C4205
Hallenweg 23
7522NH  Enschede
The Netherlands

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Mailing Address

University of Twente
Faculty of Science and Technology
Carré  C4205
P.O. Box 217
7500 AE Enschede
The Netherlands

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