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Three young researchers to top institutes abroad on Rubicon grants

13 January 2015

Three recent PhD graduates from the University of Groningen/UMCG will be able to conduct research at top institutes abroad for two years thanks to the Rubicon programme organized by the Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research (NWO). The NWO Rubicon programme enables young researchers to acquire international research experience to help kick-start their academic careers.

A total of 94 applications for Rubicon grants were submitted to NWO in this round, of which 15 were approved. The awardees can use their Rubicon grant to finance up to 24 months of research. The amount of the grant depends on the chosen destination and the duration of the stay. The Rubicon programme was named after the river that Julius Caesar crossed before embarking on the series of victories that eventually led to the motto ‘veni, vidi, vici’.

Accepted proposals from University of Groningen/UMCG researchers:


Tamar Lok : Adaptability in migratory birds: what are the limits?

Migratory birds have trouble adapting to their rapidly changing environment. This study will provide the theoretical building blocks for mapping the apparently limited adaptability of migratory birds and for discovering whether this is caused by a lack of flexibility or whether their evolution simply proceeds too slowly.

Lok will conduct her research at the National Centre for Scientific Research, Biostatistics and Population Biology Group, France.

See also: Spoonbills habitually fly further than is good for them


Harm-Jan Westra (UMCG): Localizing auto-immune disease alleles within specific regulatory areas in CD4+ cells
How diseases are caused by genetic variation is still largely unknown. Westra’s research aims to determine in which cells and cellular environments the genetic variants that are involved in type 1 diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis and coeliac disease function.

Westra will conduct his research at Harvard Medical School in the United States.

See also: Interpreting disease genetics using functional genomics


Willem Venema: Measuring DNA repair enzymes in cancer cells

Certain enzymes play an important role in the development of cancer. Velema will design a new sensor to visualize enzymes in cancer cells under the microscope. This will make it possible to predict whether a cancer patient will benefit from chemotherapy.

Velema will conduct his research at Stanford University in the United States.

See also: An antibiotic with an ‘on’ switch

Last modified:12 January 2018 12.16 p.m.
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