Maarten Merkx studied physical organic chemistry and biochemistry at the Radboud University Nijmegen (1995, cum laude). He did his PhD with Prof. Averill (1999, University of Amsterdam) working on purple acid phosphatases, and was an HSFP post-doctoral fellow with Prof. Lippard (MIT, 1999-2001). Currently he is a professor in protein engineering at the Eindhoven University of Technology and a core member of the Institute for Complex Molecular Systems (ICMS). His group combines approaches from protein engineering, chemical biology, and synthetic biology to develop biomolecular sensors and actuators for applications in intracellular imaging, point-of-care diagnostics, optogenetics, and antibody-based therapies. An important research theme is the engineering of biomolecular switches, which include fluorescent and bioluminescent sensor proteins for intracellular imaging, photo-switchable proteins, and protein- and DNA-based sensors for antibody detection and actuation. He obtained young investigator grants from NWO (VIDI, 2006) and an ERC consolidator grant in 2011. Prof. Merkx has published 125+ research papers and is associate editor for ACS Sensors.