Chirlmin Joo

Chirlmin Joo studied physics at Seoul National University in Korea. He obtained his PhD in physics under the supervision of Taekjip Ha at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, USA. He studied a DNA repair process using single-molecule fluorescence techniques. During his PhD study, he advanced single-molecule techniques by innovating new tools including single-molecule multi-color FRET. As a post-doctoral fellow in Narry Kim’s lab at Seoul National University, Korea, he discovered novel proteins in microRNA biogenesis. As a research professor in the same institute, he succeeded reconstitution of functional protein complexes at the single-molecule level (single-molecule pull-down). 

In 2011, he started his faculty position in Department of Bionanoscience at Delft University of Technology in the Netherlands. He applied the single-molecule FRET technique to mechanistic studies on the target search process of microRNA and CRISPR/Cas and the single-molecule pull-down method to the functional studies of protein complexes in microRNA biogenesis and CRISPR memory formation. His single-molecule studies have been supported by ERC Starting Grant (microRNA, 2012-2017), NWO Vidi (CRISPR, 2015-2020), and ERC Consolidator Grant (DNA elimination, 2019-2024).

In 2017, Chirlmin Joo took leadership of developing new techniques of 'single-molecule protein sequencing' in a Dutch national science program (NWO-FOM). His team aims at developing high-resolution single-molecule techniques that can, for the first time, determine protein sequences at the single-molecule level. Using single-molecule fluorescence and nanopores, his team is exploring the biophysics of protein translocation and will utilize it to develop a novel technology to determine the sequence of proteins. By analyzing proteins molecule by molecule, his team will be able to read the entire proteome, despite its complex nature and the wide dynamic range of abundances of cellular proteins. The new technology will be the first to create the opportunity for single-cell proteomics and real-time screening for on-site medical diagnostics. This research has been supported by NWO Vici (2021-2026) and HFSP (2019-2023).

Group Leader

Curriculum Vitae (CV 2023)
Interviews (KIND, Delta, Kavli Foundation)
Personal Interests
h-index: 37 (as of 2022)
Google scholar
ORCID: 0000-0003-2803-0335
ResearcherID: B-9294-2008
Scopus: 8114325400
BRIC (한빛사 - 주철민) 


Distinguished Professor (2022-present), Dept of Physics, Ewha Womans Univ, Korea
Full Professor (2021-present), Dept of BioNanoScience, TU Delft
Director (2018-2022), Kavli Institute of Nanoscience Delft
Associate Professor (2016-2021), Dept of BioNanoScience, TU Delft
Assistant Professor (2011-2015), Dept of BioNanoScience, TU Delft
Research Professor (2009-2010), School of Biological Sciences, Seoul National Univ
Post-doctoral Fellow (2007-2009), School of Biological Sciences, Seoul National Univ


Ph. D. (2007), Physics, Univ of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, USA
B. S. (2002) summa cum laude, Physics, Seoul National Univ, Korea

Professional Activities

Reviewer of Nature journals, Cell Press journals, Science, PNAS, Nucleic Acids Research, ACS journals, Angewandte Chemie, PLoS, ...
Director of Kavli Institute of NanoScience in Delft
Editorial Board of Scientific Reports
Management team of BioNanoScience (2015-2018)
Organizer of Quo Vadis seminar series in BioNanoScience (since 2012)
Advisory committee member of Kavli Institute of Nanoscience in Delft (2013-2015)
NWO-CW studygroup (2015-2016)
Committee member of MasterStudyTour (2012-2014)
Head of Korean Scientists & Engineers Association in the Netherlands (2014-2015)