Rifka Vlijm has been awarded an Open Competition Science-M grant by the Dutch Research Council (NWO). She receives an M1 grant of EUR 350,000 for her project ‘Filming cell division using AI’.
M-grants are intended for innovative, high quality, fundamental research and / or studies involving matters of scientific urgency.
During cell division, each daughter cell should receive exactly one DNA copy. Microtubules divide the two DNA copies by pulling on them. Therefore, which microtubule binds to which DNA molecule is crucial. How the protein complex called corona organizes this binding remains a mystery as it is too small and dynamic to be detected by ordinary microscopes. Vlijm solves this by imaging fixed cells in low- and high-resolution using a super-resolution-microscope. Next, low-resolution movies in living cells – this is faster and less damaging – are translated into super-resolution using AI, to finally film how the corona ensures robust genome inheritance.
M-grants are intended for realizing curiosity-driven, fundamental research of high quality and / or scientific urgency. The grant offers researchers the possibility to elaborate creative and risky ideas and to realise scientific innovations that can form the basis for the research themes of the future.
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