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Eleven Veni grants for University of Groningen

02 November 2010

Eleven researchers from the University of Groningen have been awarded a Veni grant within the framework of NWO’s Innovational Research Incentives Scheme. Veni grants are intended for young researchers who have recently gained a PhD and have significant and original talent for innovative research.

Veni researchers are awarded a total of up to EUR 250,000 over a period of three years. The Innovational Research Incentives Scheme offers three types of grants each year: not only the Veni grants, but also Vidi grants for experienced postdocs and Vici grants for senior researchers.

The new Groningen Veni grantees are:

Invloedsprocessen onder jongeren op het gebied van risicogedrag [Processes that influence risk behaviour among youth]
Dr J.K. (Jan Kornelis) Dijkstra (m), 1976, Metslawier, Sociology
During adolescence, youth often become involved in risk behaviour, such as smoking, drinking and delinquency. The influences from peers plays a crucial role here. But how do these influence processes work? Who influences whom and why? This research will attempt to answer these questions.

Leren te spreken [Learning to speak]
Dr H. (Hartmut) Fitz (m), 1972, Center for Language and Cognition Groningen (CLCG)
Children learn to speak their mother tongue without any difficulty, with the help of speech in their environment. However, some words, phrases and sentences are heard more often than others. Computer simulations will be used to research how children use this information.

Toevoegen en roeren lost het op [Add, stir and dissolve]
Dr A.K.H. (Anna) Hirsch (f), 1982, Trier (Germany), Bio-organic Chemistry
When developing medications, various characteristics must be optimized simultaneously. This research will develop a method to use additives to make potential medications soluble in water. This will speed up the implementation of biological testing.

Doe meer met hetzelfde DNA! [Do more with the same DNA!]
Dr F. (Frank) Johannes (m), 1976, Dresden (Germany), Groningen Bioinformatics Centre (GBC)
Plant populations are not able to run away if their environment changes, but they usually adapt fast. Researchers will demonstrate that plants are able to do this by temporarily adapting the function rather than the code of their DNA sequence.

Kleine RNA’s beschermen een falend hart [Small RNAs protect failing heart]
Dr G. (Guido) Krenning (m), 1980, Nijmegen, RUG/UMCG – Pathology & Medical Biology
Scar tissue is formed during heart failure. Scar formation is accompanied by the creation of cells that produce the scar and by changes in the presence of small regulatory RNAs. The researchers will investigate whether by modulating these small RNAs, the creation of scar-forming cells can be prevented.

Exploring memory’s limits
Dr R.D. (Richard) Morey (m), 1978, USA, Psychometrics & Statistics
In everyday life, it is often necessary to remember several things at once: several faces, numbers or words. This research project will explore why remembering more things is more difficult than remembering a few.

The Napoleon Complex – fact or fiction
Dr T.V. (Thomas) Pollet (m), 1981, Wilrijk (Belgium), Social psychology
Short men are apparently more aggressive and dominant than tall men. This is often called the Napoleon Complex. We investigate whether this shortness-aggression link is real or a myth. This research will aid our understanding of male aggression.

Leukemische evolutie: Remote control [Leukemia evolution: Remote control]
Dr H. (Hein) Schepers (m), 1977, Coevorden, UMCG – Hematology and Stem cell biology
Blood cells develop from a small number of mother cells (stem cells). Specific proteins monitor this ingenious process, but if something goes wrong here, leukemia (blood cell cancer) can develop. The researchers will investigate when these proteins exercise control in normal and malignant cells.

Energy transport in plastics
Dr A.U. (Anna) Stradomska (f), 1980, Gorlice (Poland), Zernike Institute for Advanced Materials
To help design materials for plastic solar cells, the researchers will investigate what happens to the energy of light after it shines on plastic. They will model how the energy is transported between the molecules of such a material.

Ballistic electronics in graphene: clearing the way for electrons in one atom thick carbon
Dr N. (Niko) Tombros (m), 1978, Zernike Institute for Advanced Materials
Graphene is an ultrathin layer of carbon atoms from graphite that is organized in a two-dimensional honeycomb pattern one atom thick. The researchers will analyse the electronic characteristics under mechanical load and when the material is exposed to strong magnetic powers, whereby electrons can freely move through the material.

Hoe bacteriën in vorm raken [How bacteria take shape]
Dr J.W. (Jan-Willem) Veening (m), 1978, Vries, Molecular Genetics
Every living cell, whether bacterial or human, has to ensure that it takes on the right shape while growing and divides at the right moment. This research will determine how the pneumococcus, one of the causes of pneumonia and inflammation of the ear, coordinates these two essential processes. The researchers anticipate that this work will contribute to the development of new types of antibiotics.

Last modified:31 January 2017 11.13 p.m.
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