Dr. Bianca van Tol


My research project focuses on the development and application of analytical techniques for glycan profiling on antibodies, specifically immunoglobulin A.


I studied Molecular Science and Technology (BSc) and Chemistry (MSc) at the University of Leiden and obtained my MSc degree in June 2016, cum laude. In 2015, I joined the lab of Prof. Dr. Huib Ovaa at the NKI for my MSc internship where I developed synthetic FRET-based probes to study the activity and specificity of deubiquitinating enzymes. After a short break, which I filled with teaching Chemistry in high school, I started my PhD in the Ovaa group at the Leiden University Medical Center  in April 2017, where I worked on the development of ubiquitin tools to study the ubiquitin system. I  combined my organic chemistry knowledge with chemical biology techniques to study the ubiquitin system in vitro. I synthesized fully synthetic linear diubiquitin to complete the set of all eight fully synthetic diubiquitin isomers. Afterwards, I synthesized all eight different diUb molecules with neutron-encoded amino acids incorporated in the sequence, yielding all eight diUb molecules with a different mass. This set I used to study the kinetics of DUBs in the presence of all eight linkages, which are potentially in competition which each other. A mass spectrometry (MS) read-out was used to analyze and later quantify the processing of Ub chains by DUBs. In the last stage of my PhD, we tried to use this multiplexed assay with MS read-out to study the chain building capacity of ubiquitin conjugating enzymes. After my PhD, I started as a postdoctoral researcher in the glycomics group of Prof. Dr. Manfred Wuhrer.


  • Native chemical ligation at methionine bioisostere norleucine allows for N-terminal chemical protein ligation

    Xin, B.T.* ; van Tol, B.D.M.*, Ovaa, H. ; Geurink, P.P.

    Org Biomol Chem. 2018, 16, 6306-6315, doi.org/10.1039/C8OB01627E

  • Molecular basis of Lys11-polyubiquitin specificity in the deubiquitinase Cezanne

    Mevissen, T.E.T.; Kulathu, Y.; Mulder M.P.C.; Geurink, P.P.; Maslen, S.L.; Gersch M.; Elliott, P.R.; Burke, J.E.; van Tol, B.D.M.; Akutsu, M.; Oualid, F.E.; Kawasaki, M.; Freund, S.M.V.; Ovaa, H.; Komander, D.

    Nature, 2016, 538(7625), 402-405, doi.org/10.1038/nature19836

  • Development of diubiquitin-based FRET probes to quantify ubiquitin linkage specificity of deubiquitinating enzymes

    Geurink, P.P.; van Tol, B.D.M.; van Dalen, D.; Brundel, P.J.; Mevissen, T.E.T.; Pruneda, J.N.; Elliott, P.R.; van Tilburg, G.B.; Komander, D.; Ovaa H.

    ChemBioChem. 2016, 17 (9), 816-820, doi.org/10.1002/cbic.201600017

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