Molecular biologist Dr Hans Jonker of the University Medical Center Groningen has been awarded an €800,000 VIDI grant by NWO, the Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research.
NWO awards these grants to researchers who have proved themselves able to develop innovative ideas. This grant will enable Jonker to significantly expand his research group. He studies the role of the hormone FGF1 in lipid metabolism and in the development and treatment of type 2 diabetes. He 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.
Hans Jonker (1974) studied Biology at Utrecht University and gained his PhD with distinction from the University of Amsterdam in 2003. From 2005 to 2010 he worked as a postdoc researcher in Prof. Ron Evans’s group at the Salk Institute in La Jolla, California (US). Since 2010 Jonker has worked as a researcher at the UMCG, at the Paediatrics department in the Center for Liver, digestive and metabolic diseases.
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