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About us Profile Prizes and awards Veni, Vidi, Vici-laureates

Veni, Vidi and Vici grants awarded to the University of Groningen in 2014

Vici awards

prof. dr. R.S. (Rampal) Etienne
The origin of biodiversity
Prof. R.S. (Rampal) Etienne – Centre for Ecological and Evolutionary Studies

How did ecological communities such as tropical forests, coral reefs and our intestinal flora evolve? On the basis of experiments and field observations, the researchers will develop a theory to answer this question through the DNA of the species in the ecological community.

Prof. L.V.E. (Leon) Koopmans
Visible effects of dark matter
Prof. L.V.E. (Leon) Koopmans – Kapteyn Institute – Astronomy

The project covers research into the dark matter structure in the universe on small scales. By examining the lens effect of these structures, i.e. the bending of rays through gravity, we can gain direct insight into the particle properties of dark matter.

Prof. K. (Katja) Loos
Gadgets with piezo-electric block copolymers
Prof. K. (Katja) Loos – Zernike Institute for Advanced Materials

Portable electronic devices such as smartphones and tablets have become smaller and more powerful in recent years and are playing an ever greater role in everyday life. The technology behind these mobile devices has improved dramatically in recent decades. In order to continue this trend in the future, alternative materials must be developed to enable further miniaturization and better performance. The proposed research will use the interesting properties of piezoelectric polyvinylidene fluoride block copolymers to develop new materials for sensors, data storage and battery applications, all of which are used in our everyday microelectronic devices.

Prof. G. (Gerard) Roelfes
Artificial enzymes
Prof. G. (Gerard) Roelfes – Stratingh Institute for Chemistry

The researchers will make new artificial metal enzymes and incorporate them into living cells. In this way they aim to expand the chemical repertoire of biological synthesis so that new molecules can be made in a sustainable way.

Vidi awards

Dr M.A. (Tati) Fernández
New catalysts for the sustainable production of chemicals
Dr. M.A. (Tati) Fernández, University of Groningen - Chemistry

The sustainable synthesis of organic molecules provides innumerable benefits for the environment and the economy. The researchers will develop new catalysts for the direct and selective functionalization of C-H bonds, a highly attractive strategy for achieving green, clean and efficient transformations.

Dr L.H. (Lude) Franke
From mutation to disease
Dr. L.H. (Lude) Franke, University Medical Center Groningen - Genetics

Genetic risk factors for many diseases are now known. However, for the majority of diseases it remains unclear how these mutations ultimately lead to the disease, and which biological processes are disrupted. The researchers will investigate this with the help of big data.

Dr J. (Jingyuan) Fu
The influence of intestinal bacteria on our lipid metabolism
Dr. J. (Jingyuan) Fu, UMCG - Genetics

Intestinal bacteria and human beings have a symbiotic relationship. This project will investigate how intestinal bacteria influence our lipid metabolism and the role that genetic variation plays in this. This research will provide starting points for new treatment possibilities that make use of intestinal bacteria.

Dr F. (Fanny) Janssen
The future of mortality unravelled
Dr. F. (Fanny) Janssen, University of Groningen - Demography

Mortality predictions are vital for social security and healthcare, but are continuously adjusted. This research will improve mortality forecasts by obtaining and considering new insights into developments relating to smoking, obesity, alcohol and the delay of ageing.

Dr L. J. A. (Jan Anton) Koster
Efficient organic solar cells
Dr. L. J. A. (Jan Anton) Koster, University of Groningen - Photophysics and Optoelectronics (Physics)

Organic solar cells are a highly promising new type of solar cell. However, their efficiency needs to be improved before they can be used commercially. The researchers will therefore investigate how the leakage of charges in such solar cells can be suppressed.

Dr C. P. (Chris) Williams
The importance of export
Dr. C. P. (Chris) Williams, University of Groningen - Molecular Cell Biology

Protein export from cell compartments is vital for replacing defective proteins or sending out signals from the cell. The researcher will use biochemical microscopy techniques to study the recently discovered system whereby proteins are exported from peroxisomes.

Dr J. (Joanne) van der Woude
Heroes? What Heroes?
Dr. J. (Joanne) van der Woude, University of Groningen - American Studies

Seafarers, explorers and Indian chiefs: we know them as heroes or villains. But why are they portrayed in this way? This research will expose the political benefit of heroes in English, Dutch, Spanish and Nahuatl poetry from early America.

Veni awards

Dr J.W. (Jan Willem) Bolderdijk
Do-gooders and sustainable consumption
Dr. J.W. (Jan Willem) Bolderdijk (m), University of Groningen - Economics and Business, Marketing

Although consumers consider it important to be moral, extreme moral behaviour (e.g. veganism) can come at a price - 'do-gooders' are not popular. I will investigate the relevance of this mechanism for the marketing of sustainable food sources (e.g. soya butter and cultured meat).

Dr K. (Kèvin) Knoops
The principles of peroxisome formation: organelle origin and morphogenesis
Dr. K. (Kèvin) Knoops (m), University of Groningen - Molecular Cell Biology

Peroxisomes are cell organelles that are essential to metabolism. An important new formation process for peroxisomes is currently being analysed with the help of advanced microscopy and biochemistry techniques. These new concepts relating to peroxisome formation could make an important contribution to medical research.

Dr D.C. van der Linden
Divided by memory: coping with religious diversity in post-civil-war France, 1598-1685
Dr. D.C. van der Linden (m), University of Groningen - History, Faculty of Arts

After a religious conflict, people still always remember their opponent's crimes. This makes reconciliation difficult. This project will investigate how conflicting memories of the French Wars of Religion (1562–1598) continued to divide Protestants and Catholics and undermined religious tolerance.

Dr D.O.S. (Danny) O’Shea
Quantum optics of spins in semiconductor waveguides
Dr. D.O.S. (Danny) O’Shea (m), University of Groningen

A quantum mechanical memory can be used to store optical pulses in a communications network in order to eliminate the possibility of eavesdropping. Using new materials and control techniques, this research will design and explore a semiconductor-based quantum memory with a robust device-on-a-chip device.

Dr A.E. Thomas
Time in early modern metaphysics
Dr. A.E. Thomas (f), University of Groningen - Faculty of Theology and Religious Studies

This project explains 'new' 17th-century developments in the philosophy of time: time perceived as a 'thing', and as divine. This influenced conceptions of free will, personal identity and idealism. In collaboration with other scholars, this project also emphasizes the role that neglected female philosophers played in early modern thought.

Dr M.J. (Marie-José) van Tol
Shield against depression
Dr. M.J. (Marie-José) van Tol (f), UMCG - Neuroimaging Center

A person who has suffered from depression in the past is at risk of suffering from it again. This research will unravel how preventive cognitive therapy can equip the brain against a recurrence, in order to predict who will benefit from preventive therapy to reduce the risk of new depressive episodes.

Dr J.T.W. (Hanneke) Wigman
Networks of symptoms in psychosis
Dr. J.T.W. (Hanneke) Wigman (f), UMCG - Psychiatry

The researcher will study the development of psychoses (a lost sense of reality) by describing networks of early symptoms and by examining how these symptoms influence each other in individuals. This will help to develop personalized treatment advice.

Dr O.H. (Oscar) Vedder
Do mothers know best?
Dr. O.H. (Oscar) Vedder (m), University of Groningen - Behavioural Biology

This research on free-living common terns will determine whether, in certain cases, mothers encourage their offspring, through hormones in the eggs, to invest more energy in growth rather than body maintenance. This could provide an advantage in situations in which there is a great deal of competition and increased risk of premature death.

Dr S.J. (Sander) Wezenberg
Measuring and controlling molecular left and right-handedness
Dr. S.J. (Sander) Wezenberg (m), University of Groningen - Stratingh Institute for Chemistry

Many molecules in nature have a non-superimposable mirror image (left and right-handedness). In other words, they are chiral. The relationship between the mirror images appears to influence certain biological functions. The researcher will develop chemical methods for determining and influencing chiral relationships.

Last modified:13 April 2021 11.08 a.m.
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