Eric Snijder (1962) graduated from Utrecht University in 1986 (cum laude M.Sc.in Biology), after specializing in molecular biology, electron microscopy and molecular virology. Subsequently, he continued with a Ph.D. research project at the Department of Virology of the Utrecht Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, resulting in the Ph.D. thesis "Berne virus – replication and evolution of the torovirus prototype" and a cum laude degree from Utrecht University. In 1990 dr. Snijder moved to the Department of Medical Microbiology of the Leiden University Medical Center (LUMC), where he became Assistant Professor and subsequently Associate Professor and Principle Investigator within the nidovirus research group. On November 1, 2007 Eric Snijder was appointed full professor of Molecular Virology at the LUMC Department of Medical Microbiology. He is Head of the section Molecular Virology and member of the Daily Board of the Department of Medical Microbiology.
Prof. Snijder investigates the molecular biology and evolution of viruses with a positive-stranded RNA genome, in particular nidoviruses. Also the (molecular) interactions between these viruses and their host cell have been a central and recurrent theme in his research, which was supported in part by research grants from the Netherlands Organization for Scientific Research (NWO) and the European Union. At the moment he is a member of the Steering Committee of the EU FP7 project SILVER and deputy-coordinator of the Marie Curie training network EUVIRNA, which both focus on RNA virus replication and the development of antiviral drugs. Furthermore, he was co-coordinator of the EU project SARS-DTV (2004-2008), which was devoted to the newly emerging SARS-coronavirus (2003), which belongs to the virus group in which Snijder has been specialized for many years.
Snijder’s research has a direct link with virus evolution, since RNA virus replication generates a perpetual flow of mutants that can spawn new virus outbreaks ("emerging viruses"). For the same reasons there is a connection to research on the development of novel antiviral strategies. Eric Snijder has published over 175 scientific publications, of which more than 125 have been published in peer-reviewed journals. He is a former Editor of the Journal of General Virology and current Editorial Board member of that same journal and the Journal of Virology. He is former chair and member of the Arterivirus study group of the International Committee on the Taxonomy of Viruses.