The Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research (NWO) has awarded two Vici grants to researchers from the University of Groningen. NWO has also announced that seven Rubicon grants will be awarded to young academics affiliated with the University. Rubicon grants are postdoc grants for researchers who have recently been awarded PhDs. The Vici grants were awarded to Prof. Rineke Verbrugge of the Faculty of Science and Engineering (formerly known as the Faculty of Mathematics and Natural Sciences) and Prof. Lodi Nauta of the Faculty of Philosophy. Vici grants are intended for senior researchers who have demonstrated the ability to successfully develop their own innovative lines of research and to function as a coach to young researchers.
Reasoning about how others think
Prof. L.C. (Rineke) Verbrugge - Artificial Intelligence
If you want to cooperate or negotiate effectively, you must think about what your partner knows and wants. But how exactly do people reason about other people’s knowledge and intentions? This is investigated by means of logic and methods of cognitive science, resulting in a decision-supporting computer system that allows people and software programs to work in collaboration. Verbrugge was appointed University Reader in Logic and Cognition on 1 December 2008. She studied at the University of Amsterdam, where she also gained her PhD. She then became a postdoc researcher in Prague and Gothenburg and a visiting assistant professor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), US. From 1995 to 1997 she worked as a university lecturer at VU University Amsterdam, and in late 1997 she was appointed university lecturer at the University of Groningen.
See also: http://www.rug.nl/fse/nieuws/fwnActueel/kortNieuws/kortnieuws2008/41_VerbruggeFWN
Nanoelectronics with DNA
Dr H.B. Akkerman, University of Groningen -> Stanford University, Chemical Engineering (US), 24 months
In the near future, nanotechnology will become part of every layer of our society, and new manufacturing methods will be needed for the electronic equipment that accompanies this development. This research project aims to develop reliable nanoelectronics using DNA and its characteristics.
Tissue morphogenesis in live fruit flies
Dr F. Bosveld, UMCG -> Institute Curie (F), 24 months
Morphogenesis forms the basis for the development of fully functioning organs. Using state-of-the art microscopes and software, scientists will investigate the behaviour of individual cells for the presence of morphogenesis in the growing tissue of live fruit flies for the time.
Interaction between ecology and evolution - Ecogenetic feedback and the structure of ecological communities
Dr E. van Leeuwen, University of London -> University of Groningen, Community and Conservation Ecology group, 12 months
Evolution and ecology influence each other. The creation of new species can have major consequences for species already present. On the other hand, existing species can also prevent new species from developing and/or migrating from elsewhere. This research project aims to gain a better understanding of this interaction by developing mathematical and model-based methods. These methods can then be used to gain an understanding of how our current multi-species communities and ecosystems have developed and how it is possible for so many species to live together.
Bequeathing the Self
Dr S.J.M. Mareel, University of California, Berkeley, (US) -> University of Groningen, Older Dutch Literature, 12 months
In 1561, the rhetorician Eduard de Dene from Bruges collected many of his poems into the strongly autobiographical work Testament Rhetoricael. This research project aims to investigate which factors painted the image of the poet in this text.
Tickling plastics with light
A.U. Stradomska MSc, Kraków (Poland) -> University of Groningen - Zernike Institute for Advanced Materials, 12 months
Plastics hold great potential as electronic and optical materials, for instance for making solar cells. To help to improve their design, the researchers will investigate what happens in and between molecules of these materials after shining light on them.
Hollanders as ‘the Others’. Looking at identity through Hanseatic eyes in the late Middle Ages
Dr J. Wubs-Mrozewicz, University of Groningen -> Leiden University (NL), 12 months
People have always thought in terms of 'us' and 'them'. This project aims to analyse the image of Hollanders from the point of view of the late-medieval Hanseatics. Using Hanseatic sources, the role of identity and image in the relationships between these trade partners and rivals will be investigated.
Development of malaria medicines
A.W. van Zijl, University of Groningen -> ETH Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (CH), 24 months
The development of new malaria medicines is an important goal within the field of medicinal chemistry. The rational design of biologically active substances using molecular modelling of these substances may contribute significantly to this. IspE is a vital enzyme for the malaria parasite, and molecular modelling enables the development of inhibitors for this enzyme. The most promising compounds will be synthesized and biologically tested, hopefully resulting in important new ‘lead structures’ for malaria therapy and enabling the researchers to determine the validity of the rational design of medicines. In addition, more knowledge will be gained about the interactions of molecules in enzymes in general and IspE in particular.
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