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Bram Koster

Professor Ultrastructural and molecular imaging

Prof.dr.ir. A.J. Koster
+31 71 526 9294

Abraham (Bram) Koster is Full Professor Ultrastructural and Molecular imaging. Bram Koster was Research Fellow of the Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences (KNAW) between 1999 and 2003.

More information about Bram Koster

Abraham (Bram) Koster is Full Professor Ultrastructural and Molecular imaging. Bram Koster was Research Fellow of the Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences (KNAW) between 1999 and 2003.


Microscopy is a key technology for understanding fundamental biological processes at the level of tissue and cells. Microscopy also enables to study the structure and interaction between molecules. The combination of light and electron microscopy is of importance for a better understanding of biological processes, and, if possibly, to help reveal and discover ways to combat specific diseases.

His research is aimed to improve and further develop microscopy methods to adapt, modify and further develop approaches for specific applications in collaboration with other research groups with the aim to better understand causes of diseases.

Academic career

Bram Koster studied Physics at the University of Technology in Delft. After completion of his Thesis (June 6, 1986, ‘Autotuning of a transmission electron microscopy’) he was for two years projectleader at Tietz Video and Image Processing (TVIPS GmbH, Gauting, near Munich, Germany), a company specialized  in the automation of instrumentation. Between 1991 and 1993 he was a post-doctoral fellow at the University of California at San Francisco (UCSF), where he worked on methods to image cell structures in 3D with electron microscopy. In 1993 he returned to Europe and was appointed until 1997 to the Max-Planck-Institute for Biochemistry in Martinsried (near Munich) where he worked on methods to image macromolecular structures in 3D with cryo electron tomography. Between 1998 and 2003 he was Assistant Professor at the University of Utrecht where he set up is own group for the imaging of cell biological structures in 3D. In 2004 he became Associate Professor. In 2006 he joined the LUMC and was appointed full Professor in 2008. On May 15, 2008 he gave his inaugural lecture ‘Seeing cells in a different light’ (in Dutch). Between 2015 and 2018 he was Director of the Netherlands Centre of Electron Nanoscopy (NeCEN) in Leiden.

Between 2009 and 2022 he was head of the Section Electron Microscopy which is part of the Department Chemical Cell Biology.

Since 2022 he focused his research on the development and application of cryo electron tomography to image molecular structures in the interior of cells with very high resolution using artificial intelligence and machine learning.

For more than 30 years Bram Koster is involved with electron microscopy in a variety of ways. His own scientific contributions are mainly in realm of automating the different steps required to generate 2D and 3D datasets of biological structures. The method he developed during his PhD for the automated focusing of a transmission electron microscope is used in many realizations  of software for the control of transmission electron microscopes. 

The research he carried out in collaboration with other groups is diverse and varies from high throughput data collection, the imaging of virus-induced replication organelles in the cell, the imaging of structures in kidney-organoids to the imaging of molecular components involved with the immune system.

His name is on more than 120 scientific publications and he served roles on a variety of national and international organization. He was part of a large number of national and international research projects, both related to biology as well as nanotechnology. Bram Koster is a member of the Editorial Board of the Journal Structural Biology.

Prizes and honourable appointments

Bram Koster was Research Fellow of the Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences (KNAW) between 1999 and 2003. In 1998 he was supported by the Innovation Fund of Utrecht University.

Professor Ultrastructural and molecular imaging

  • Faculteit Geneeskunde
  • Divisie 4
  • Cel en Chemische biologie

Work address

LUMC Research Building
Einthovenweg 20
2333 ZC Leiden
Room number S1-P


Professor of Nano- and bio-imaging

  • Science


  • Science
  • Leiden Inst of Advanced Computer Science

Work address

Niels Bohrweg 1
2333 CA Leiden



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