Chemist Marthe Walvoort is in the running for the title of Greatest Dutch/Flemish Scientific Talent. After being nominated by the University of Groningen, she has made it into the final 25 in the competition organized by the New Scientist, an international science and technology magazine. The winner will be announced on 22 September, and until 8 September you can
cast your vote for one of the nominees .
Walvoort researches the function and workings of carbohydrate molecules, which not only appear in food, but also in paper or on the outside of bacteria and viruses. She studies these molecules by creating them in the lab. In contrast to the construction of DNA and protein chains, this technique is still in its infancy, meaning that much of Walvoort’s work revolves around developing new methods for producing carbohydrate chains.
Bacteria often use sugars to infect other cells, which means that the knowledge generated by Walvoort’s research could lead to new ways of making bacteria harmless. Another focus area is the development of carbohydrate chains to promote the growth of ‘good’ bacteria over ‘bad’ ones, reducing the future need for antibiotics.
Walvoort is a Rosalind Franklin Fellow at the University of Groningen and one of the founders of the Young Academy Groningen, an interdisciplinary platform for talented young researchers.
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