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Two Open Competition Science-M grants for FSE researchers

26 September 2023

Two FSE researchers have received an Open Competition Science-M grant from the Dutch Research Council (Nederlandse Organisatie voor Wetenschappelijk Onderzoek, NWO) . Sahar El Aidy of the Biomolecular Sciences & Biotechnology Institute, together with Ody Sibon of the Faculty of Medical Sciences, has been awarded an M2 grant of EUR 700,000 for their project ‘Can we harness our microbiome to enhance coenzyme A metabolism?’ Kira Tiedge from the Institute for Evolutionary Life Sciences receives an M1 grant of EUR 350,000 for her project ‘How do flower colours and odour signal to pollinators?'

M grants are intended for innovative, high-quality fundamental research and / or studies with scientific urgency.

Prof. dr. Sahar El Aidy ( GBB ) & Prof. dr. Ody Sibon | Can we use our microbiome to improve coenzyme A metabolism?

Bacteria in our gut (the microbiome) are continuously digesting what we ingest to produce compounds that may benefit our health. Among these compounds is vitamin B5. Our body needs vitamin B5 to produce coenzyme A, which keeps our cells alive. Some patients have a disturbed metabolism of coenzyme A. In this research, we will study whether we can use the microbiome to digest synthesized vitamin B5-like compounds, which are currently already available as food supplements, into compounds that can enhance coenzyme A metabolism. We will investigate whether this could be beneficial for the patients with an abnormal coenzyme A synthesis.

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A bumble bee pollinating a tobacco (Nicotiana rustica) flower

Dr. Kira Tiedge ( GELIFES ) | How do flower colours and odour signal to pollinators?

Plants attract pollinators via brightly coloured, fragrant flowers. Visiting pollinators obtain a nutritious reward such as pollen and nectar. This project studies the evolution of flower colour and fragrance with regard to pollinators’ visual and olfactory systems. It determines whether colour and scent convey information on the composition of floral rewards. The results of this project will yield fundamental insights into the interaction of plants and pollinators and have applied relevance for, for example, food production and conservation biology. This project will be conducted in collaboration with Casper van der Kooi (GELIEFS).

NWO Open Competition Domain Science-M

M-grants are intended for realizing curiosity-driven, fundamental research of high quality and / or scientific urgency. The grant offers researchers the possibility to elaborate creative and risky ideas and to realise scientific innovations that can form the basis for the research themes of the future.

Last modified:28 September 2023 4.19 p.m.
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