• Nijenborgh7, Gebouw 5172, ruimte 0734

    9747 AG Groningen


Personal profile


Tessa Quax is a molecular microbiologist (PhD awarded 2013), who is interested in viruses infecting archaea, ubiquitous microorganisms that form a separate domain of life. Some archaea survive under extreme conditions (such as high salinity), while others play important roles in biochemical cycles or are present in the human gut. Archaeal viruses are known for their high structural diversity and studying them is important to understand the origin and evolution of viruses in general. Tessa aims to gain insight into the molecular mechanisms underlying the interaction between viruses and archaea. She uses haloarchaeal viruses as model, due to the availability of well developed molecular and cell biology tools for this system. With a combination of genetics, infection assays, light and electron microscopy, Tessa studies the infection mechanisms of archaeal viruses. Her main research areas include:

  • The interaction between archaea and their viruses, with a special focus on processes occurring at the cell envelope, such as viral entry and egress.
  • Method development to study archaeal cell biology, such as genetics and temperature-adapted light microscopy.
  • The archaeal cell surface, and its role in motility and colonization of environments.

Tessa Quax has published >40 peer-reviewed scientific papers. Her scientific achievements have been awarded with the Research Career Development Award by the Hector Fellow Academy, the KNAW Early Career Award and the KNAW Beijerinck Premium. She received various (personal grants) including an ERC starting grant, a Young Investigator Program Grant from the Human Frontiers in Sciences Program, a DFG grant (as part of the Priority Program on prokaryotic viruses), and an Emmy Noether Independent Junior Research Group Grant. Tessa is member of the GBB board, Chair of the Scientific Advisory Board of the International Society for Viruses of Microbes, and Speaker of the Special Group on Microbial Viruses of the German Microbiology Society (VAAM). Annually, she provides ~5 plenary or keynote lectures.

Collaborations and top research areas from the last five years

Recent external collaboration on country/territory level. Dive into details by clicking on the dots or