Four young investigators at the Faculty of Science and Engineering (formerly known as the Faculty of Mathematics and Natural Sciences) have been awarded a Veni-grant by the Dutch science funding organization NWO. They will receive a maximum of EUR 250,000 that will enable them to start their own research group.
The four successful applicants are:
The principles of peroxisome formation: organelle origin and morphogenesis
Dr K. (Kèvin) Knoops (m), University of Groningen - Molecular Cell Biology
Peroxisomes are essential cell organelles for metabolism. An important new formation process for peroxisomes is now being dissected in detail with the help of advanced microscopic and biochemical techniques. These new concepts about peroxisome formation could make an important contribution to medical research.
Quantum optics of spins in semiconductor waveguides
Dr D.O.S. (Danny) O’Shea (m), University of Groningen
A quantum mechanical memory can be used to store optical pulses in a communication network in order to eliminate the possibility of eavesdropping. By using new materials and exploiting new control techniques this research will design and explore a semiconductor-based quantum memory with a robust device-on-a-chip approach.
Do mothers know best?
Dr O.H. (Oscar) Vedder (m), University of Groningen - Behavioural Biology
This research on free-living common terns will determine whether mothers in certain cases encourage their offspring, via hormones in the eggs, to grow more instead of investing in body maintenance. This could provide an advantage in situations where there is a lot of competition and a higher chance of premature death.
Measuring and controlling molecular left and right-handedness
Dr S.J. (Sander) Wezenberg (m), University of Groningen - Stratingh Institute for Chemistry
Many molecules from nature have a different mirror image (left and right-handed). In other words they are chiral. The relationship between the mirror images appears to influence certain biological functions. The researcher will develop chemical methods to determine and influence chiral relationships.
In addition to these four, Veni-grants were also awarded to University of Groningen scientists from the Faculty of Economics and Business (1), Arts (1), Philosophy (1) and the University Medical Center Groningen (2).
A total of 1086 proposals were submitted, out of which 152 were selected for funding. A Veni grant is worth a maximum of 250,00 euros, made available by the Ministry of Education, Culture and Science and is one of the individual grants from NWO to promote scientific talent. The scientists are doing research into a wide range of subjects, from the effect of the activity of a nerve on fretting to the development of the universe and the genetic code of poisonous snakes.
See also the NWO press release.
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