Who am I?

My name is Marco Fraaije. I am a full professor at the University of Groningen. I did my graduate studies on vanillyl-alcohol oxidase at Wageningen University under the supervision of Prof. Willem van Berkel. After an EMBO postdoctoral fellowship in protein crystallography at the University of Pavia (Prof. Andrea Mattevi) I moved in 1999 to the Department of Biochemistry of Groningen University. As an assistant professor within the Biotechnology group of Prof. Dick Janssen I initiated research on oxidative biocatalysts. Except for developing new biocatalytic tools for the production of fine chemicals, my research aims at a better understanding of sequence-function relationship of redox enzymes. In 2018 I received the Biocat award for my contributions to the field of biocatalysis. In the last few years I have hosted as main organizer several international conferences: EMBO Enzyme Mechanisms (2014), Novel Enzymes (2016), Flavins and Flavoproteins (2017), Biotrans (2019).
Although originally from the south of the Netherlands I now live with my family in Groningen. And as hobby, I like to collect fossils and am involved as board member in the geological museum (www.oertijdmuseum.nl).
Marco Fraaije

My Research

My group is interested in oxidative enzymes containing various cofactors. Research is aimed at obtaining insight in the enzymology of the transformation of synthetic compounds, and the development of improved biocatalysts for such transformations. We study catalytic mechanisms, kinetic properties, and structure-function relationships in enzymes that can be used for regio- and enantioselective synthesis reactions for preparing fine chemicals. We also investigate enzymes involved in the biodegradation of environmental pollutants. Obtaining new enzymes by genome mining, engineering and high-throughput screening are important parts of this work. Applications are developed in various programs with external partners.

My Group

There would be no research without my team. There are highly motivated professionals currently working in my group.

Research Topics

My research interests are manyfold and have expanded over the years.


In the course of my academic career I have published several hundred papers. They have appeared in high impact, peer-reviewed journals, such as Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, Journal of the American Chemical Society, and Angewandte Chemie.

Purchase of Enzymes

Our group has recently supported the start-up of the enzyme-biotech company GECCO. You can find more details on the GECCO website.

PAST events

Me and my colleague Gerrit Poelarends hosted the  BIOTRANS conference in Groningen, July 7-11th 2019. 

PAST events

In 2019 the BiocatNL initiative was started. This aims at having a yearly meeting, at a central location in the Netherlands, for everyone interested in biocatalysis and is supported by the working group Applied Biocatalysis of the Dutch Biotechnology Society (NBV). In 2020, BiocatNL was an online event. We hope that the next meeting will be a physical meeting again, scheduled for autumn 2021.