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The University of Southampton
Biological SciencesPostgraduate study

 Pauline Annemarie Caroline van Haastrecht BCs, MCs

Postgraduate Research Student

  Pauline Annemarie Caroline van Haastrecht's photo

Pauline van Haastrecht is a Postgraduate Research Student in Microbiology at the University of Southampton.

Her current research project aims to investigate prokaryotic defence and bacteriophage anti-defence systems.

Pauline graduated from the Master of Biomedical Sciences at the University of Amsterdam, focusing on biochemistry and biotechnology. Her last year she spent studying computational science and developed a strong interest in phage biology.

Academic qualifications

2018-2020: MSc Biomedical Sciences. University of Amsterdam, NL.

Research interests

Bacteria and their viruses, known as bacteriophages, have co-evolved for millions of years. As a result of their co-evolution, microbes developed multiples lines of defence to withstand the predatory attacks of phages, and phages responded with multiple forms to overcome these barriers. Microbial defence systems such as restriction-modification (RM), abortive infection (Abi), and CRISPR-Cas have been known for years, but the field has recently bloomed with the discovery of tens of completely novel defence systems that microbes encode to protect from phage predation. With the realization that the arsenal of microbial defences is much more diverse than previously perceived, came exciting new questions.

Furthermore, the discovery of new defence systems in microbes suggests that phages also carry anti-defence systems to help them overcome these prokaryotic barriers. This may help reconcile the number of proteins of unknown function in phage genomes that have been found to be dispensable for infection of permissible hosts.

The microbial interactions lab

PhD supervision:

Dr. Franklin Nobrega

Dr. Bas E. Dutilh

PhD research title

Investigating prokaryotic defence and bacteriophage anti-defence systems

PhD Funding

Research Studentship from the Faculty of Environmental & Life Sciences – School of Biological Sciences

Research group


Affiliate research group

Institute for Life Sciences (IfLS)

Pauline Annemarie Caroline van Haastrecht
School of Biological Sciences
Faculty of Environmental and Life Sciences
Life Sciences Building 85
University of Southampton
Highfield Campus
SO17 1BJ

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