In May four researchers at the Faculty of Science and Engineering (formerly known as the Faculty of Mathematics and Natural Sciences) have been awarded a Vidi grant by the Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research (NWO). This grant of maximum 800,000 euros enables the researchers to develop their own research topic and start a research group of their own. So far eight Vidi grants in total have been awarded to researchers at the University of Groningen.
Frank Dekker, Pharmaceutical Gene Modulation
Groningen Research Institute of Pharmacy
Expanding the molecular toolbox in anti-inflammatory drug discovery
Not nearly enough is known about the biochemistry of inflammatory mechanisms as yet. Dekker wants to initiate research into two classes of enzymes that regulate inflammatory reactions. Knowledge about these systems could then form a basis for the development of drugs.
Reinoud Gosens, Molecular Pharmacology
On the developmental origins of airway smooth muscle thickening in asthma
Asthma is a chronic disease that has become more prevalent in recent decades. The illness is accompanied by infections and narrowing of the bronchial tubes. These two problems can currently be tackled more efficiently with drugs than in the past. Less is known about a third problem, airway smooth muscle thickening. The research will look for drugs that can counteract this thickening process.
Syuzi Harutyunyan, Synthetic Organic Chemistry
Stratingh Institute for Chemistry
New concepts in sustainable catalytic asymmetric carbon-carbon bond formation
There are only a few methods available for the manufacture of enantiomer-pure tertiary alcohols and amines on an industrial scale. Nevertheless, these compounds are important raw materials for the pharmaceutical industry. Harutyunyan wants to initiate research on two new catalytic methods. To this end she wants to use a catalyst that activates all parts of the reaction simultaneously, an unusual approach. The aim of the research is to gain more knowledge about the fundamental mechanisms in order to develop a cheap, generally applicable method that can replace the current expensive and limited methods.
Prof. Matthias Heinemann, Molecular Systems Biology
Groningen Institute of Biomolecular Sciences & Biotechnology
Paving the path for antibiotics killing dormant cells
Dormant bacteria are less vulnerable to antibiotics, which means that they can often survive a medical treatment. Recently, however, methods have been discovered that can influence the number of dormant cells in a bacteria colony. Heinemann’s research concentrates on the acquisition of a better understanding of the biological systems that play a role in the transition of a bacterium from a dormant state to one that is busy dividing.
After a decade of preparations, it’s finally time: on the evening of 20 September the German icebreaker Polarstern departs from the Norwegian port of Tromsø. Escorted by the Russian icebreaker Akademik Fedorov, she will set sail for the Central Arctic...
Noorderlicht and the University of Groningen (RUG) continue their collaboration in the ‘Imagining Science’ series. Each year they commission a photographer to depict a scientific research field in relation to the Noorderlicht festival-theme of the year...
A new transmission electron microscope (TEM) allows University of Groningen scientists to study the structure of materials in unprecedented detail. One of its unique abilities is to produce images of both heavy and very light atoms simultaneously. The...