Research activities

At the molecular level, we use optical tweezers and single-molecule fluorescence to study how chaperones fold amino-acid chains into functional proteins, and more recently to probe the role of ribosomes and translation.

At the cellular level, we use time-lapse microscopy and image analysis to understand how multi-cellular systems self-organise, with a specific recent interest in organoids.

The group is based at the AMOLF institute in Amsterdam, and is part of the Living Matter initiative. It is headed by Sander Tans, who is also affiliated with Delft University of Technology, and the Kavli institute of Nanoscience.

If you are interested in joining our team, send us an e-mail to

See the Tans group website

Group Members

  • How do stem cells choose their identity?

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  • OrganoidNL 2023: A successful showcase of organoid research in the Netherlands

    On March 31st, 2023, the first OrganoidNL Symposium was organized at the AMOLF institute in Amsterdam. This one-day event brought together researchers from across the Netherlands with an interest in …

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  • ERC Synergy Grant for AMOLF-Heidelberg-ETH team

    A prestigious ERC Synergy Grant worth 9.4 million euros has been awarded to the research groups of Sander Tans (AMOLF), Bernd Bukau (Heidelberg University) and Nenad Ban (ETH). The team …

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  • Optimization of human small intestinal organoids

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