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Veni, Vidi and Vici grants awarded to the University of Groningen in 2012

Here you find the awarded grants.

Vici awards

Prof. dr. A. (André) Aleman
Het apathische brein [The apathetic brain]
Prof. A. (André) Aleman (m)

Apathy, or the lack of initiative or interest in work, hobbies or other activities, is an important symptom of schizophrenia. This project will investigate which brain circuits are disrupted in apathy and whether magnetic brain stimulation can help resolve it.

Prof. dr. P. (Peter) de Jonge
Bestaat depressie wel? [Does depression exist?]
Prof. P. (Peter) de Jonge (m) - Psychiatry

Depression is on its way to becoming the disease with the greatest disease burden. But does depression actually exist? Perhaps it's simply a combination of symptoms thought up by psychiatrists. The researchers will investigate this on the basis of the links between mood-affecting symptoms in the general population.

Dr. D.J. (Dirk) Slotboom
Hoe bacteriën vitamines binnenkrijgen [How bacteria absorb vitamins]
Dr D.J. (Dirk) Slotboom (m) - Biochemistry

Many bacteria, just like people, need vitamins in their diet. An interdisciplinary team of biologists, chemists and physicists will try to understand how vitamin absorption in bacteria (including those that cause diseases) works at the molecular level. This research may lead to the development of new antibiotics.

Vidi awards

dr. H. (Hans) Jonker
The role of FGF1 in lipid metabolism
Dr. J.W. (Hans) Jonker (m), – Molecular Biology

Jonker has discovered that FGF1 is crucial in regulating the adaptation of adipose tissue in times of greater or lesser availability of food. Mice that have no FGF1 quickly develop type 2 diabetes if given a high-fat diet, because they are not sufficiently able to store and use lipids. In humans, the presence of belly fat is an important risk factor in the development of diabetes, and FGF1 seems to play an important role in this. In his research, Jonker will investigate the value of FGF1 as starting point for the treatment of type 2 diabetes.

Prof. dr. D. (Deniz) Başkent
Hear with your ear, hear with your brain
Prof. dr. D. (Deniz) Başkent UMCG – Otorhinolaryngology

The human brain restores degraded speech and enhances its intelligibility. This research project aims to use the restoration phenomenon to study the interactions between the brain and the ear, specifically for speech understanding by hearing-impaired listeners and users of hearing devices.

Prof. dr. S. (Sjoerd) Beugelsdijk
Naar een waarde(n)volle economie [On our way to a valuable and ethical economy]
Prof. S. (Sjoerd) Beugelsdijk (m), – Economics and Business

Norms and values have a major influence on the economic decisions people make. Economists and business experts know that cultural differences matter, but how exactly is not known. This research will concentrate on unravelling the relationship between culture and economics.

Prof. Dr. Frank Dekker
Moleculen om ontstekingen te onderzoeken [Molecules to investigate infections]
Dr F.J. (Frank) Dekker (m), – Pharmaceutical Gene Modulation

Proteins that regulate infection processes are starting points for the development of new drugs. It is thus important to study the behaviour of these proteins in their natural environment. To this end, new blockers and new methods of detection will be developed.

Dr. G.S. (Sander) van Doorn
Evolutietheorie maakt netwerken inzichtelijker [Theory of evolution makes networks easier to understand]
Dr G.S. (Sander) van Doorn (m), – Theoretical Biology

Complicated networks of gene and protein interactions translate the hereditary information in DNA into the externally visible characteristics of organisms. The research team is simulating the evolution of these networks in the computer to further their understanding of the complex structure and behaviour.

Dr. R. (Reinoud) Gosens
Gespierde luchtwegen [Muscled airways]
Dr R. (Reinoud) Gosens (m), – Molecular Pharmacology

The muscles in the airways of asthma patients have thickened, which makes breathing difficult. The researchers are studying the origin of this pathology, whereby a new network of signal molecules is being systematically investigated. The aim is to identify new starting points for drugs.

Dr. ir. H.H. (Hinke) Haisma
Kinderen langs de internationale meetlat [Children measured on the international scale]
Dr H.H. (Hinke) Haisma (f), – Spatial Sciences

Children are weighed and measured to follow their growth. This research aims to contribute to a more complete approach to children's growth, whereby in addition to length and weight, the environment in which the children are growing up in is also taken into account.

Dr. S.R. (Syuzanna) Harutyunyan
Paradigm shift in copper chemistry
Dr S.R. (Syuzanna) Harutyunyan (f), – Chemistry

Chiral tertiary alcohols and amines are molecules of substantial pharmaceutical and chemical importance. Researchers will employ new concepts to prepare single enantiomers of these crucial molecules using sustainable processes based on copper catalysis and in situ generated organometallics. The ultimate goal is to perform catalysis with (in-situ) organometallics in water.

Prof. Dr. Matthias Heinemann
Killing sleeping bacteria
Prof. M. (Matthias) Heinemann (m), – Molecular Systems Biology

Bacteria can enter a sleeping mode in which they cannot be killed by antibiotics. Waking up from this state can cause reoccurring infections. The researchers are investigating the molecular mechanisms behind this mode to pave the path towards antibiotics that can kill dormant cells.

Prof. dr. Laura Spierdijk
Banking competition and macroeconomic performance
Prof. L. (Laura) Spierdijk (f) – Economics, Econometrics and Finance

Competition between banks may lead to lower lending rates and higher deposit rates, but it may also stimulate banks to take more risk. This research will analyse the effects of banking competition on financial stability and economic growth, using a new measure of banking competition.

Veni awards

dr. M. (Michiel) Rienstra
Does your DNA determine your risk of atrial fibrillation?
Dr. M. (Michiel) Rienstra (m), – Cardiology

One in four people gets atrial fibrillation. It's hard to predict who will suffer from atrial fibrillation. The researchers will study the genetic and clinical characteristics of a thousand participants in a Groningen population survey, to find new ways to prevent atrial fibrillation.

dr. S.W. (Sander) de Boer
De (on)redelijke verbeeldingskracht [The (un)reasonable power of the imagination]
Dr S.W. (Sander) de Boer (m), – Philosophy

What is the relationship between our imagination and our reason? According to many medieval philosophers, all of our thinking is dependent on images. But according to many early modern philosophers, the imagination is actually a great danger to thought. This project is investigating how and why imagination has lost its old status.

Dr. G.G.  (Giorgos) Gouridis
Translocation at the single-molecule level
Dr G.G.  (Giorgos) Gouridis (m),  – Natural sciences

The volume of prokaryotic cells is regulated by OpuA, an ATP-binding cassette transporter. The researchers aim to identify the molecular mechanism of this multi-domain protein complex by observing this motor, while translocating its substrate at the single molecule level in real-time.

Dr. T.J. (Tjakko) van Ham
Friendly fire in de hersenen [Friendly fire in the brain]
Dr T.J. (Tjakko) van Ham (m),  – Cell Biology

Immune cells protect us against ourselves and intruders, but they can also appear to be harmful in certain brain diseases, such as Alzheimer's. Using microscopic examination of the brains of live zebra fish, scientists are unravelling exactly when and how our immune system helps us to prevent negative effects.

Dr. T. (Tjisse) van der Heide
Hoe overleven planten giftige zeebodems? [How do plants survive poisonous seabeds?]
Dr T. (Tjisse) van der Heide (m), – Community & Conservation Ecology

Salt marsh grasses and seagrasses can grow on seabeds despite a high concentration of poisonous sulphides. The researcher is investigating whether an underground cooperation between plants, animals of the sea floor and bacteria is making the sulphides harmless, and testing the consequences of (human) interventions in these complex interactions.

Dr. I.J. (Ivan) Vera Marun
Heat and magnetism in one-atom-thick nanoelectronics
Dr I.J. (Ivan) Vera Marun (m), University of Groningen – Zernike Institute for Advanced Materials

Understanding the transport of heat and magnetic information could lead to faster and more energy-efficient electronics. The researchers will study these properties in nanoscale devices based on the wonder material graphene, a one-atom-thick layer of carbon.

Dr. K. (Kathrin) Müller
Organic molecules for future electronic devices
Dr K. (Kathrin) Müller (f), University of Groningen – Zernike Institute for Advanced Materials

The researcher will investigate how the structural and chemical properties of organic charge-transfer complexes as well as their contact to metallic or insulating substrates influence important properties like conductivity. This research will lead to new insights for improving organic electronic devices where charge-transfer complexes are regularly used.

Dr. Sanne Parlevliet
Narrating the nation
Dr S. (Sanne) Parlevliet (f), University of Groningen – Dutch Language and Culturer/Pedagogy

The history of the Netherlands is retold to every new generation. This research will reveal which images of the Netherlands and being Dutch children were given to identify with via children’s books in the past two centuries.

Dr S. (Stefania) Salvadori
Chemical signatures of first stars
Dr S. (Stefania) Salvadori (f), University of Groningen) – Kapteyn Institute

Almost 300 million years after the Big Bang the first stars shone and produced the key chemical ingredients for the development of today’s universe. This research aims to identify the chemical signatures of the first stars hidden in our galaxy.

Dr. Jakub Szymanik
What makes social interaction hard?
Dr J. (Jakub) Szymanik (m), University of Groningen
Social life is engaging and complicated. Some of its aspects seem harder than the others. This project aims to identify factors contributing to the complexity of intelligent interactions.
Dr. Sylvia Wenmackers
Inexactness in the exact sciences
Dr S. (Sylvia) Wenmackers (f), University of Groningen– Theoretical Philosophy

The so-called exact sciences often require deviations from full mathematical rigour. Examples of such deviations include: the use of idealizations, approximations, and estimations of error. This project aims at finding a unifying framework for these aspects of inexactness in terms of infinitesimals.

Dr M.K. (Megan) Williams
Papier en de opkomst van de moderne diplomatie [Paper and the rise of modern diplomacy]
Dr M.K. (Megan) Williams (f), University of Groningen – History

How do societies deal with new knowledge technologies? In around 1500, there was a strong development in European diplomacy, with a simultaneous exponential increase in paper production. The researcher will analyse the influence of the relatively new technology of paper on sixteenth-century diplomacy.

Dr. M.D. (Martin) Witte
Communicatie tussen cellen [Communication between cells]
Dr M.D. (Martin) Witte (m), University of Groningen– Bio-organic Chemistry

Sulphate groups play an important role during the communication between cells. The researchers are going to investigate the role of this modification by selectively introducing it and by developing tools to visualize the enzymes that introduce/remove these sulphate groups.

Last modified:20 August 2018 2.58 p.m.
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