Klaas van Wijk

Klaas Van Wijk


332 Emerson Hall
(607) 255-3664

After completing his B.Sc. and M.Sc. at the Agricultural University Wageningen (Netherlands), van Wijk obtained a PhD at the University of Groningen (The Netherlands). This was then followed by postdocs at the Dept. of Biochemistry, Stockholm University, Sweden and at the Carnegie Institute at Stanford University (CA). He then became assistant professor in 1997 at the Dept. of Biochemistry, Stockholm University and moved his lab in 2001 to Cornell University. In 2005 he was promoted to tenured associate professor level. In 2007 he became DGS for the Field of Plant Biology

Research Focus

Plastids are essential organelles of prokaryotic origin present in nearly every plant cell containing an estimated 3000-4000 different proteins. Chloroplasts are the best known green plastids and carry out photosynthesis and also synthesize various primary and secondary metabolites. The van Wijk lab is focused on i) bundle sheath and mesophyll cell specific differentiation of chloroplasts in leaves of the C4 plant maize, and ii) in chloroplast biogenesis and protein homeostasis in Arabidopsis thaliana, with a particular focus on the Clp protease machinery. We use a multi-disciplinary approach, with emphasis on large scale comparative proteomics and mass spectrometry, bioinformatics and reverse genetics. Protein identifications with associated information are uploaded into the Plant Proteome Data Base (http://ppdb.tc.cornell.edu/), building a foundation for systems biology of the Arabidopsis and maize proteomes. Our proteomics and mass spectrometry infrastructure and expertise are also used in collaborations with colleagues at Cornell University and elsewhere.

Outreach and Extension Focus

Outreach is focused on multi-disciplinary training in quantitative plant biology and biochemistry, as well as bioinformatics and statistics at the undergraduate, graduate and post-doctoral levels. Through the successful summer internship NSF sponsored plant genome, we involve undergraduates from under-represented groups in our research.

Teaching Focus

Van Wijk`s class room teaching is focused on Plant Biochemistry (BioPL462), Plant Genomics Tools and Techniques (BioPL641) and Plant Proteomics and Mass Spectrometry (BioPL482/483 series). In addition, van Wijk frequently participates in Workshops on Plant Genomics, where he typically teaches proteomics and mass spectrometry. Research advising occurs at the undergraduate, graduate and post-doctoral levels and is oriented towards training in multi-disciplinary research with the objective to understand plastid differentiation and protein homeostatis/proteolysis.

Awards and Honors

  • Research Award from the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation (2012) Humboldt Foundation
  • Guest research summer fellowship (2009) WennerGren Foundation, Stockholm, Sweden
  • Roger E. Koeppe Lecture (2006) Oklahoma State University
  • Melvin Calvin Award (2004) International Society for Photosynthesis Research

Selected Publications

Journal Publications

Presentations and Activities

  • The plastid protein life-cycle and the plastid peptidase network in Arabidopsis. Gordon Conference on Chloroplast Biotechnology . January 2017. GRC. Ventura, CA.
  • Chloroplast protein maturation and N-terminal stability. Gordon Conference on Chloroplast Biotechnology. January 2015. GRC. Ventura, CA.