Wouter was part of the founding team at Illumina Ventures, initially seconded from Illumina Inc., and later joining full time in the role of Principal. He brings 15+ years of experience in life science tools development and genomics to the fund.
Prior to Illumina Ventures, he was Director of Corporate Development at Illumina Inc., where his main focus was venture investing and M&A. Investments led by Wouter at Illumina include Desktop Genetics, acquired by Celixir in 2018; and Biota Technologies, currently an Illumina Ventures portfolio company. Since joining Illumina in 2009, he has also held roles in R&D and Product Development at Illumina, where he was instrumental in the development of sequencing platforms, the sourcing and evaluation of new technology opportunities, and competitive benchmarking.
An electrochemist by training, Wouter made his debut in life sciences in 2003 as first hire for Oxford University spin-out Oxamer, a company founded by Lasker-award winner Professor Sir Edwin Southern, where he contributed to the development of a benchtop DNA microarray fabrication platform. Following the company’s merger with Oxford Gene Technology (later acquired by Sysmex), he continued working alongside Prof. Southern, leading R&D on single cell gene expression analysis and novel applications for DNA microarrays.
Wouter obtained a joint BSc/MSc (magna cum laude) in Chemistry from the University of Ghent, Belgium, a PhD in Chemical Engineering from the University of Newcastle, U.K., and a MBA from the University of Cambridge, U.K.