Andre Holzer

Andre Holzer

  • Alumni
  • Germany
  • 2016 PhD Plant Sciences
  • Christ's College

Summary biography:

Andre completed a BSc degree in Molecular Biotechnology before he focused towards computational biology during his MSc. After graduating from Heidelberg University in 2017, he started his PhD at Cambridge where his research is investigating open questions in the evolution of B vitamin dependencies, microbial interactions as well as the role of transposable elements in algae by applying multi-genomic approaches. In parallel, he is co-leader of the citizen science project PuntSeq ( which is employing novel real-time DNA sequencing to monitor microbial composition of freshwater sources. Andre became a Gates Cambridge Scholar in 2016.

Philosophy & Research:

Our world is facing many threats including pollution, climate change, world hunger, etc.. It is my conviction that decisive action must be taken by us in order to influence how the world will change and to provide an acceptable future for our descendants. Thus, I understand my passion in natural sciences as a mission to understand nature's bigger concepts, to develop new techniques and helpful applications that will improve the future. I was born in a small town in Germany and ever since grammar school I feel a strong interest in natural sciences. As a BSc and MSc student studying Molecular Biotechnology at Heidelberg University, I gained profound education in the fields of modern life sciences and obtained intensive research experiences in the interdisciplinary areas of bioinformatics, biophysics and drug discovery. I joined many international labs and conducted diverse studies covering topics such as optical nanoscopy, cancer research, bacterial signalling and algal ecology. Subsequent to our recent discovery of vitamin B12 remodelling in algae, my PhD at Cambridge will continue existing work on algal-bacterial interaction. My dissertation aims to significantly improve the understanding of algal metabolism and bacterial signalling in order to gain fundamental insights in B12 cycling, algal-bacterial symbiosis and complex microbial ecosystems which is essential for many biotechnological purposes such as the production of renewable energy sources or B12 supplying medicine.

Previous Education

University of Heidelberg