skip to primary navigationskip to content

Molecular mechanisms of multidrug transporters: from bacteria to man


Dr Hendrik W. van Veen - Group leader

NST IB Pharmacology Course Organiser


Tel: +44 1223 765295/334073
Fax: +44 1223 334100



Antibiotic resistance mechanisms (ARM), antimicrobial resistance (AMR), anticancer drug resistance, membrane transporters, multidrug transporters, drug efflux, molecular basis of drug recognition, mechanisms of transport, bioenergetics, inhibitors

Investigator biography

Hendrik van Veen earned his B.Sc. and M.Sc. degrees in Biochemistry and PhD degree in Microbiology (supervisors Profs. Alex Zehnder and Wil Konings) cum laude at Wageningen University, the Netherlands. In 1996, his thesis on solute transport in bacteria was awarded the Kluyver Award of the Netherlands Society of Microbiology. After post-doctoral work at the Universities of Groningen (Prof. Wil Konings) and Oxford (Prof. Chris Higgins), he received a research fellowship from the Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences (KNAW) to work on bacterial multidrug resistance at Groningen University. During this time, he obtained a Max Gruber Award in Biochemistry from the University of Groningen. In 2001 he became associated with the University of Cambridge, Department of Pharmacology, first as a University Lecturer (2001) and University Senior Lecturer (2004) and currently as Reader in Molecular Pharmacology (2013). He is a teaching fellow at Clare College, a regional fellow of the Royal Society of Medicine, and leader of a research group aiming at the mechanisms of antibiotic and anticancer drug recognition and transport by multidrug transporters in pro- and eukaryotic cells. He was a member of the College of Experts of the Medical Research Council from 2004 to 2009, and serves on various editorial boards, and committees of funding agencies and societies.

Lab members

Dr Kelvin Agboh  -  -   Dr Lisa Fagg 


Selected publications

Van Veen, H.W., Venema, K., Bolhuis, B., Oussenko, I., Kok, J., Poolman, B., Driessen, A.J.M., and Konings, W.N. (1996) Multidrug resistance mediated by a bacterial homolog of the human drug transporter MDR1. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA 93: 10668-10672.

Van Veen, H.W., Callaghan, R., Soceneantu, L., Sardini, A., Konings, W.N., and Higgins, C.F. (1998) A bacterial antibiotic-resistance gene that complements the human multidrug-resistance P-glycoprotein gene. Nature 391: 291-295.

Van Veen, H.W., Margolles, A., Müller, M., Higgins, C.F., and Konings, W.N. (2000) The ATP-binding cassette transporter LmrA mediates multidrug transport by an alternating two-site (two-cylinder engine) mechanism. EMBO J. 19: 2503-2514.

Venter, H., Shilling, R., Velamakanni, S., Balakrishnan, L., and Van Veen, H.W. (2003) An ABC transporter with a secondary-active multidrug translocator domain. Nature 426: 866-869.

Barrera, N. P., Isaacson, S. C., Zhou, M., Bavro, V. N., Welch, A., Schaedler, T. A., Seeger, M. A., Miguel, R. N., Korkhov, V. M., van Veen, H. W., Venter, H., Walmsley, A. R., Tate, C. G., Robinson, C. V. (2009) Mass spectrometry of membrane transporters reveals subunit stoichiometry and interactions. Nature Methods 6(8):585-587.

Van Veen, H.W. (2010) Structural biology: Last of the multidrug transporters. Nature 467: 926-927.

Doshi, R., Ali, A., Shi, W., Freeman, E. V., Fagg, L. A., van Veen, H. W. (2013) Molecular disruption of the power stroke in the ATP-binding cassette transport protein MsbA. J Biol Chem. 288(10):6801-6813.

Choudhury*, H.G, Tong*, Z., Mathavan, I., Li, Y., Iwata, S., Zirah, S., Rebuffat, S., van Veen, H.W., and Beis, K. (2014) Structure of an antibacterial peptide ATP-binding cassette transporter in a novel outward occluded state. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA. 111: 9145-9150. (* shared first authors)