Nynke Dekker

Nynke Dekker profile pic

Nynke Dekker

Professor of Biophysics



Research group

Dekker Lab


My research group focuses on probing biological function at the single-molecule level, and has explored closely related topics such as viral replication, bacterial transcription, and bacterial and eukaryotic replication. We have predominantly focused on the activity of molecular motors engaged in these processes. The research is highly inter-disciplinary, encompassing biological physics, biochemistry, and molecular biology, which makes it challenging but simultaneously very interesting and rewarding. The questions that we ask are biological in nature, but the biophysical concepts, analysis, and instrumentation that we develop to answer them are solidly based in physics. This allows us to generate a precise and mechanistic biophysical description of biological processes.


Professor Nynke Dekker has been appointed to the Professorship of Biophysics in the Department of Physics since February 2024. Professor Dekker comes to the University of Oxford from Delft University of Technology in the Netherlands, where she was Professor of Molecular Biophysics. She holds a BSc cum laude from Yale (with a double major in physics and applied mathematics), an MSc cum laude in physics from Leiden University, and a PhD in physics from Harvard University. She was a postdoctoral fellow at the Ecole Normale Supérieure in Paris, where she switched to biological physics, before joining the faculty of TU Delft in 2002. Professor Nynke Dekker is internationally renowned for her pioneering research on single molecules of DNA and RNA and their interactions with proteins, in particular molecular motors. Her research is at the interface of physics, chemistry and biology, and she has been awarded prestigious prizes, appointments and fellowships in all three disciplines.


St Peter's College