Making Discoveries that Make a Difference

Monique Van Hoek, PhD, Professor


Dr. Van Hoek joined George Mason University in 2002.  She received her bachelor’s degree in Biochemistry from the University of Victoria (Canada). She received her PhD from the University of Virginia, Department of Microbiology, working in the Parsons-Weber-Parsons group. Dr. van Hoek then worked for Boehringer-Mannheim and Roche Molecular Biochemical Division developing and launching new biochemical products for life-science researchers before coming to Mason. Dr. van Hoek conducts her research in the School of Systems Biology and the National Center for Biodefense and Infectious Diseases with a focus on gram-negative bacteria (Francisella tularensis, Burkholderia pseudomallei) and the discovery of novel antimicrobials. Dr. van Hoek currently teaches “BIOL 695/BIOS 704: Microbial Pathogenesis” graduate seminar and “BIOL 691: Introduction to Aerosol Biology”, and has many undergraduate, masters and doctoral students in her lab.

VanHoek CV (downloadable PDF)

Research interests

  • Development of novel antimicrobial peptides and anti-biofilm compounds.
  • Novel antimicrobials for Francisella tularensis (tularemia), Burkholderia pseudomallei (melioidosis), Bacillus anthracis and ESKAPE pathogens (MDR Pseudomonas, Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA), MDR Acinetobacter baumannii, CR-Klebsiella pneumoniae).
  • Microbial physiology of Francisella.
  • Bacterial biofilms and quorum sensing.

Selected publications

For a full list of Monique van Hoek’s publications, visit: 

  1. Komodo dragon-inspired synthetic peptide DRGN-1 promotes wound-healing of a mixed-biofilm infected wound. M C Chung E, Dean SN, Propst CN, Bishop BM, van Hoek ML. NPJ Biofilms Microbiomes. 2017 Apr 11;3:9. doi: 10.1038/s41522-017-0017-2. eCollection 2017. PMID:28649410 Free PMC Article
  2. Cathelicidin peptide rescues G. mellonella infected with B. anthracis. Blower RJ, Popov SG, van Hoek ML. Virulence. 2017 Feb 16:1-7. doi: 10.1080/21505594.2017.1293227. PMID:28272976
  3. Discovery of Novel Antimicrobial Peptides from Varanus komodoensis (Komodo Dragon) by Large-Scale Analyses and De-Novo-Assisted Sequencing Using Electron-Transfer Dissociation Mass Spectrometry. Bishop BM, Juba ML, Russo PS, Devine M, Barksdale SM, Scott S, Settlage R, Michalak P, Gupta K, Vliet K, Schnur JM, van Hoek ML. J Proteome Res. 2017 Apr 7;16(4):1470-1482. doi: 10.1021/acs.jproteome.6b00857. PMID:28164707
  4. Cathelicidin antimicrobial peptide from Alligator mississippiensis has antibacterial activity against multi-drug resistant Acinetobacter baumanii and Klebsiella pneumoniae. Barksdale SM, Hrifko EJ, van Hoek ML. Dev Comp Immunol. 2017 May;70:135-144. doi: 10.1016/j.dci.2017.01.011. PMID:28089718
  5. Peptides from American alligator plasma are antimicrobial against multi-drug resistant bacterial pathogens including Acinetobacter baumannii. Barksdale SM, Hrifko EJ, Chung EM, van Hoek ML. BMC Microbiol. 2016 Aug 19;16(1):189. doi: 10.1186/s12866-016-0799-z. PMID:27542832 Free PMC Article
  6. Screen of FDA-approved drug library identifies maprotiline, an antibiofilm and antivirulence compound with QseC sensor-kinase dependent activity in Francisella novicida. Dean SN, van Hoek ML. Virulence. 2015;6(5):487-503. doi: 10.1080/21505594.2015.1046029. PMID:26155740 Free PMC Article
  7. Short, Synthetic Cationic Peptides Have Antibacterial Activity against Mycobacterium smegmatis by Forming Pores in Membrane and Synergizing with Antibiotics. Gupta K, Singh S, van Hoek ML. Antibiotics (Basel). 2015 Aug 24;4(3):358-78. doi: 10.3390/antibiotics4030358.PMID:27025629 Free PMC Article
  8. Burkholderia Diffusible Signal Factor Signals to Francisella novicida To Disperse Biofilm and Increase Siderophore Production. Dean SN, Chung MC, van Hoek ML. Appl Environ Microbiol. 2015 Oct;81(20):7057-66. doi: 10.1128/AEM.02165-15. PMID:26231649 Free PMC Article

Contact information:
Phone: 703.993.4273
Fax: 703.993.7019


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