Dr. R.D. (Romy) Zwittink

Postdoctoral researcher


  • Human microbiome
  • Next generation sequencing
  • Molecular Bacteriology


Department of Medical Microbiology

Postdoctoral Reseacher
Coordinator Center for Microbiome Analysis and Therapeutics

Research interests

The human microbiome, the collection of microorganisms in and on the human body, has been implicated in a wide variety of diseases, including infectious diseases, chronic inflammation, cancer and psychiatric disorders. The rapid advances in sequencing technology and associated computational methods facilitates assessment of  the composition, function and activity of the human microbiome by studying their DNA (metataxonomics, metagenomics), RNA (metatranscriptomics), proteins (metaproteomics) and metabolites (metabolomics). By collaborating with various departments in and outside the LUMC, we aim to better understand the relation between the microbiome and human health and disease, which may eventually result in biomarker discovery and new prevention and treatment strategies for specific diseases.  

Professional biosketch

Romy Daniëlle Zwittink (1989) obtained her Master degree in Nutrition and Health from Wageningen University in 2012, specialising in Molecular Nutrition and Toxicology. She started her PhD research in May 2013 at the Molecular Ecology group of the Laboratory of Microbiology, in collaboration with Isala and Nutricia Research. She publicly defended her thesis titled: “Gastrointestinal function and microbiome development in preterm infants” at Wageningen University in June 2018. Since May 2017, Romy works as postdoctoral researcher at LUMC’s department of Medical Microbiology, where she studies the human microbiome in health and disease, and coordinates the Center for Microbiome Analyses and Therapeutics.

Selected publications

Quinten R. Ducarmon, Romy D. Zwittink, Bastian V.H. Hornung, Willem van Schaik, Vincent B. Young and Ed J. Kuijper (2019). Gut microbiota and colonization resistance against bacterial enteric infection. Microbiology and Molecular Biology Reviews. https://doi.org/10.1128/MMBR.00007-19

Romy D. Zwittink, Bastian V.H. Hornung, Quinten R. Ducarmon, Michelle N. Bloem, Elisabeth M. Terveer and Ed J. Kuijper. (2019) Therapeutische mogelijkheden van het microbioom volop in ontwikkeling. Bijblijven. https://doi.org/10.1007/s12414-019-0027-5

Bastian V.H. Hornung, Romy D. Zwittink and Ed J. Kuijper. (2019) Issues and current standards of controls in microbiome research. FEMS Microbiology Ecology. https://doi.org/10.1093/femsec/fiz045

Jannie G. Henderickx, Romy D. Zwittink, Richard A. van Lingen, Jan Knol, Clara Belzer. (2019) The preterm gut microbiota: an inconspicuous challenge in nutritional neonatal care. Frontiers in Cellular and Infection Microbiology. https://doi.org/10.3389/fcimb.2019.00085

Vincent Bekker*, Romy D. Zwittink*, Cornelis W. Knetsch, Ingrid M.J.G. Sanders, Dagmar Berghuis, Peter J. Heidt, Jaak M.J.J. Vossen, Willem M. de Vos, Clara Belzer, Robbert G.M. Bredius, Peter J. van ‘t Hof, Arjan C. Lankester and Ed J. Kuijper. (2019) Dynamics of the gut microbiota in children receiving selective or total gut decontamination treatment during hematopoietic stem cell transplantation. Biology of Blood and Marrow Transplantation. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.bbmt.2019.01.037 

Amoe Baktash, Elisabeth M. Terveer, Romy D. Zwittink, Bastian V. H. Hornung, Jeroen Corver, Ed J. Kuijper and Wiep Klaas Smits. (2018) Mechanistic Insights in the Success of Fecal Microbiota Transplants for the Treatment of Clostridium difficile Infections. Frontiers in Microbiology. https://doi.org/10.3389/fmicb.2018.01242

Romy D. Zwittink, Ingrid B. Renes, Richard A. van Lingen, Diny van Zoeren- Grobben, Prokopis Konstanti, Obbe F. Norbruis, Rocio Martin, Liesbeth J. Groot Jebbink, Jan Knol* and Clara Belzer*. (2018) Association between duration of intravenous antibiotic administration and early-life microbiota development in late-preterm infants. European Journal of Clinical Microbiology & Infectious Diseases. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10096-018-3193-y

Romy D. Zwittink, Diny van Zoeren-Grobben, Rocio Martin, Richard A. van Lingen, Liesbeth J. Groot Jebbink, Sjef Boeren, Ingrid B. Renes, Ruurd M. van Elburg, Clara Belzer* and Jan Knol*. (2017) Metaproteomics reveals functional differences in intestinal microbiota development of preterm infants. Molecular and Cellular Proteomics. https://doi.org/10.1074/mcp.RA117.000102


Leids Universitair Medisch Centrum
Gebouw 1
Kamer E-00-200

Albinusdreef 2
2333 ZA Leiden
Tel: +31 71 526 4830

Postzone E4-P
Postbus 9600
2300 RC Leiden

E-mail: r.d.zwittink@lumc.nl